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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3108


Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 08/12/1972

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 3108

b-O E G
M/ 1 8 December 1972
The Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr E. G.
WVhitlam, today issued the following statement on the occasion of Human
Rights Day. " Human Rights Day on 10th December 1972 marks the twenty-fourth
S anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
on 10th December, 194* 8. 1 recall with a sense of pride that it was an
eminent Australian, the late Dr Herbert Evatt, who was President of the
General Assembly at the time that the Declaration was adopted.
Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration, the United
Nations has been active in drawing up new international conventions
and declarations aimed at the protection of human rights. Altogether
they spell out in considerable detail the various rights and freedoms
0 set out in the Declaration. Of the Conventions, perhaps the most
important are the International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination, vwhich was adopted by the United Nations
General Assembly in 1965, and the International Covenants on Human Rights
which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly a year later.
My Government attaches great importance to Australia becoming
a party to these international instruments. Racism and racial discrimination
are reprehensible and we shall take all necessary steps to prohibit
discrimination on grounds of race. Indeed, I have already set in train

action to expedite Australia's ratification of the Racial' Discrimination
Convention and relevant I. L. O. Conventions.
The two International Covenants oh Human Rights cover important
economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political
rights. It is our intention that Australia should shortly sign the two
Covenants, as a first step towards ratification."
Mr Whitlam drew particular attention to the preamble of the
Universal Declaration which called on peoples all over the world to
renew their determination " to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights,
in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of g
men and women and to promote racial progress and better standards of
life in larger freedom". 0

Transcript 3108