CONVENTION ON THE NON-APPLICABILITY OF
STATUTORY LIMITATIONS TO WAR CRIMES AND
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
Adopted by resolution 2391 (XXIII) of the United Nations General Assembly on 26 November 1968
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: The present Convention was occasioned by the fear, which grew in the mid-1960s, that German war criminals of World War II, who had not yet been apprehended, might escape prosecution because of the expiration of the periods of limitation applicable to their crimes. The Convention was prepared by the Human Rights Commission and thereafter adopted and opened for signature by the General Assembly of the United Nations. It will be noted that the definition of “crimes against humanity” was broadened compared with the definition contained in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal.
ENTRY INTO FORCE: 11 November 1970.
AUTHENTIC TEXTS: Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish. The English text below is reprinted from UNTS, Vol. 754, 1970, No 10823, pp. 73–77.
TEXT PUBLISHED IN: United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2391 (XXIII), Annex; see Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly during its Twenty-third session, 24 September-21 December 1968. General Assembly Official Records, Twenty-third session Supplement No. 18 (A/7218) New York, United Nations, 1969, pp. 40–41 (Engl.). See also Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish editions; UNTS, Vol. 754, 1970, No 10823, pp. 73–129 (Chinese, Engl., French, Russ. and Span.); ILM, Vol. VIII, No. 1, January 1969, pp. 68–72 (Engl.); Lillich, 380.1–380.5 (Engl.); Droit des conflits armés, pp. 1315–1325 (French); Vedomosti Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR, No. 2, 1971, pp. 14–17 (Russ.); Sovetsky ezhegodnik mezhdunarodnogo prava 1969, pp. 468–470 (Russ.); Blatova, pp. 833–836 (Russ.); United Nations website: http://untreaty.un.org.
The States Parties to the present Convention,
Recalling resolutions of the General Assembly of the United Nations 3 (I) of 13 February 1946 and 170 (II) of 31 October 1947 on the extradition and punishment of war criminals, resolution 95 (I) of 11 December 1946 affirming the principles of international law recognized by the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, and the judgment of the Tribunal, and resolutions 2184 (XXI) of 12 December 1966 and 2202 (XXI) of 16 December 1966 which expressly condemned as crimes against humanity the violation of the economic and political rights of the indigenous population on the one hand and the policies of apartheid on the other,