U.S. firm on human rights, Christopher tells conference

June 15, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

VIENNA, Austria -- Using some of the most forceful language by a senior American official in recent years on the issue, Secretary of State Warren Christopher has pledged a major new U.S. commitment to the cause of global human rights.

Addressing yesterday's opening session of the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights, Mr. Christopher said the Clinton administration would use the issue to define trade and foreign aid relationships with other nations and would press for speedy Senate ratification of four international human rights conventions signed during the Carter presidency, but which have languished since.

His remarks followed an hourlong opening address by U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali that was also viewed by observers as more forceful than expected.

In a reference meant for Third World nations, Mr. Boutros-Ghali warned that nations failing to guarantee human rights should face the prospect of international action against them.

His statement was seen as a clear rejection of views formally put forward by several Asian nations that human rights violations could not be used as a pretext for outside intervention.

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