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Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Drafting History

General Assembly 3rd session - 3rd Committee

Third Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly (28 September 1948 Paris, France)

General Assembly, 3rd session, Third Committee
30 September - 7 December 1948

At its 142nd meeting on 24 September 1948, the General Assembly referred the draft International Declaration of Human Rights to the Third Committee. The Third Committee considered the draft it at its: 88th to 105th (30 September to 18 October) meetings, 107th to 116th (19 to 29 October) meetings, 119th to 134th (30 October to 12 November) meetings, 137th to 167th (15 to 30 November) meetings, and 174th to 179th (4 to 7 December) meetings.

The Third Committee spent 81 meetings discussing the draft. During the debate 168 formal draft resolutions containing amendments to various articles were submitted. The Third Committee set up a Sub-Committee to review the draft for consistency of language and style (A/C.3/400/Rev.1). At its 178th meeting the Third Committee voted on the text as a whole. A detailed summary of the discussions is found in the United Nations Yearbook, 1948-1949.

The draft was adopted as Declaration with 29 votes in favour, none opposed and seven abstentions (A/PV.178). Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights noted the Declaration was a first step in the elaboration of human rights as in the UN Charter. The Declaration was a statement of basic principles of inalienable human rights setting up a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations (A/C.3/SR.89).


Meeting Records

Reports and Actions