International: Colliding Principles

Article 1 of the U.N. Charter obliges the U.N. to promote "respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms"; Article 2 bars it from interfering in the "domestic" affairs of member nations. Last week, in the Special Political Committee of the General Assembly, these two principles collided head on. Invoking Article 1, Arab, Asian and African nations proposed a U.N. commission to "study the race situation" in South Africa. France, Britain and half a dozen others objected, citing Article 2. But the ayes had it, 35-2. Not voting: 22 nations, including the U.S., which "deplores" South Africa's racism, but does not want...

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