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Ad Hoc Committee on Statelessness and Related Problems, First Session: Summary Record of the Thirty-Second Meeting Held at Lake Success, New York, on Thursday, 16 February 1950, at 2.15 p.m.

Ad Hoc Committee on Statelessness and Related Problems, First Session: Summary Record of the Thirty-Second Meeting Held at Lake Success, New York, on Thursday, 16 February 1950, at 2.15 p.m.

27 February 1950

Chairman: Mr. CHANCE Canada

Mr. CHA China
Mr. LARSEN Denmark
Mr. JUVIGNY France
Mr. KURAL Turkey
Sir Leslie BRASS United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Mr. HENKIN United States of America
Mr. PEREZ PEROZO Venezuela

Representative of a specialized agency:
Mr. WEIS International Refugee Organization (IRO)

Consultant of a non-governmental organization:
Mr. STOLZ American Federation of Labor (AF of L)

Mr. HUMPHREY Representative of the Assistant Secretary-General
Mr. GIRAUD Division of Human Rights
Mr. HOGAN Secretary of the Committee


1. The CHAIRMAN invited the Committee to complete the examination of comments on the draft convention relating to the status of refugees and the draft protocol concerning stateless persons. As had previously been agreed, the comments of members of the Committee would be included in the record of the meeting only if the representative concerned expressly requested it.

Article 23: Travel document

2. Mr. WEIS (International Refugee Organization) remarked that it was obviously for the Committee to decide whether travel documents issued under earlier agreements should be replaced by a uniform travel document. He wished to point out, however, that the agreement relating to the so-called Nansen passport had been adhered to by 53 States in all. The Nansen passport had been issued for some 25 years, was a well known document and had finally acquired a certain traditional value.

Chapter VII: Final clauses

3. In order to obviate any misinterpretation of one of his previous statements, Mr. LARSEN (Denmark) explained that treaties concluded by Denmark did not generally extend to Greenland.


4. The CHAIRMAN said that the Committee had creditably accomplished a long and difficult task. As it had devoted many arduous meetings to the preparation of a draft convention relating to the status of refugees and a protocol concerning stateless persons, the Committee had naturally been unable to undertake a thorough study of the extremely complex problem of the elimination of statelessness at the same session. Its contribution to the improvement of the lot of the refugees and stateless persons was nonetheless praiseworthy. It was a worthy consummation of its work.

5. It had been possible to conclude that work only as a result of the harmony prevailing in the Committee and of the excellent teamwork of its members. He had found each member eager to facilitate the exercise of the Chairman's functions on every occasion; each of them, therefore, was equally deserving of his deepest gratitude.

6. He expressed his gratitude to the representative of the International Labour Organisation, and especially to Mr. Weis, the representative of the International Refugee Organization, whose assiduous participation in the work of the Committee had been of inestimable help to him.

7. He thanked Mr. Humphrey and Mr. Giraud, of the Division of Human Rights, who had given the Committee the benefit of their wise advice, and Mr. Hogan, who had been its active and zealous Secretary.

8. Finally, he thanked all the Secretariat staff who had served the Committee for their valuable assistance.

9. Mr. LARSEN (Denmark), on behalf of all the members of the Committee, said how greatly they had appreciated the courtesy and patience of the Chairman and the way in which he had exercised his functions. He had been able to create an atmosphere of cordiality, mutual understanding and goodwill thanks to which the Committee had been able to work in a particularly effective and harmonious manner and to bring forth two plans, the future of which could be contemplated with confidence.

10. Mr. WEIS (International Refugee Organization) thought that it was his duty, as the representative of IRO, to thank the Chairman particularly for the great spirit of sympathy he had shown during the Committee's meetings for the cause of the refugees. He also wished to extend his personal thanks to the Chairman and to all the members of the Committee for the great kindness and generosity they had shown him.

The meeting rose at 4.15 p.m.