Disgusting U.S. Political Scene

The current political wrangling in the U.S. Congress over the U.S. debt ceiling is disgusting.

In order for the U.S. to avoid defaulting on its Treasury securities, the U.S. Congress needs to pass a bill to increase the debt ceiling before August 2, 2011. If the Congress does not do so, then there would be catastrophic consequences for the U.S. and hence the global economy. Most economists and informed commentators, I think, are agreed on these propositions. Moreover, in my opinion, it is too risky to experiment and test the contrary views expressed by the minority.

Some stupid suggestions have been made to evade the above analysis and not raise the debt ceiling. Former Minnesota Governor and presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said the U.S. could continue to pay interest on its securities (a lot of which are held by the Chinese government) and not pay U.S. military personnel and ordinary Americans.[1] Another Minnesota presidential candidate, Michelle Bachmann, has taken a similar position.[2] Even if such absurd actions could avoid adverse reaction in the world market for U.S. securities, which I doubt, who can seriously believe that there would not be a horrendous chain of reactions from our military personnel and citizens?

How can Pawlenty and Bachmann be taken as serious presidential candidates in light of just these stupid suggestions? Yet I read that Bachmann was number one in recent opinion polls of Republicans.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, has admitted that not raising the debt ceiling runs a very high risk of causing disastrous consequences to the U.S. Therefore, he has proposed what is sometimes referred to as “Plan B,” a bill that would allow President Obama unilaterally to raise the debt ceiling for the balance of his term of office. This plan, McConnell crassly admitted, was motivated by his desire not to help President Obama get reelected.[3]

The Republicans’ call for reductions in government spending  flies in the face of the elemental formula for Gross National Product: B (business spending) + C (consumer spending) + G (government spending) + E (net exports or exports- imports) = GNP (Gross National Product). Reducing government spending their way will reduce the incomes of many people dependent upon the government and, therefore, probably cause a reduction in consumer spending. Moreover, it is delusional, in my judgment, to believe that reducing government spending will cause an explosive increase in business confidence and spending to counterbalance the reduction in the former. Many corporations already have huge stashes of cash that they are not spending because consumer spending is weak. Consumer spending is weak because of high unemployment, general economic anxiety and reduced consumer wealth associated with declines in home values. In short, reducing government spending the way the Republicans want to do it will worsen our stalling recovery.[4]

Moreover, the Republicans’ call focuses on the smaller slice of the federal budget devoted to improving our deteriorating infrastructure and maintaining the frayed social safety net for our citizens. We the People should be able to see these adverse developments with our own eyes. And those who know something about what is happening in the rest of the world know that the U.S. is falling behind many other countries on many facets of a healthful society.[5]

No one, to my knowledge, is discussing the most important issue, in my opinion, that is raised by the huge and mounting U.S. national debt that needs to be addressed. What is a new U.S. national security strategy that protects the vital interests of our country while vastly reducing the size and global span of the U.S. military? Is the U.S. now in the position of earlier empires whose foreign expenditures to maintain their empires dragged down those regimes?

We the People and all of our elected representatives need to recover the spirit of moderation.

Learned Hand

This spirit, said Learned Hand, “is the temper which does not press a partisan advantage to the bitter end, which can understand and will respect the other side, which feels a unity between all citizens–real and not the factitious product of propaganda–which recognizes their common fate and their common aspirations–in a word, which has faith in the sacredness of the individual. . . . [Such a spirit and faith] are the last flowers of civilization, delicate and easily overrun by the weeds of our sinful human nature. . . . They are the fruit of the wisdom that comes of trial and a pure heart; no one can possess them who has not stood in awe before the spectacle of this mysterious Universe; no one can possess them whom that spectacle has not purged through pity and through fear–pity for the pride and folly which inexorably enmesh men in toils of their own contriving; fear, because that same pride and that same folly lie deep in the recesses of his own soul.”[6]

[1] E.g., Kane, Pawlenty: If debt ceiling not raised, pay “outsie creditors” first, (July 15, 2011), http://www.rawstory.com.

[2] E.g., Bachmann, No Debt Ceiling Increase, http://www.michelebachmann.com; Drum, Bachmann and the Debt Ceiling, (July 20, 2011), www. motherjones.com.

[3] E.g., Stein, McConnell Debt Ceiling Strategy: “I refuse To Help Obama Reelection,” Huffington Post (July 13, 2011).

[4] E.g., Krugman, The Lesser Depression, N.Y. Times (July 21, 2011).

[5] E.g., Thomas Friedman, Still Digging (Dec. 7, 2010).

[6]  Learned Hand, The Spirit of Liberty at 164-65 (3d ed.; Phoenix ed.; Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press 1977).

Passionate, Committed Political Leadership

Senator Hubert H. Humphrey

The recent documentary about Hubert Humphrey[1] is inspirational and disheartening at the same time.

One is inspired to be reminded of the extraordinary life and talents of Senator and Vice President Humphrey. He entered the national political scene at the Democratic National Convention in 1948 as the Mayor of Minneapolis in his passionate and inspirational speech calling for his Party to enter “the bright sunshine of human rights.” After election to the U.S. Senate that same year, he continued to press for liberal, progressive legislation in his unique, spirited, passionate and committed way.

Humphrey talked about his drawing sustenance, as do I,[2] from the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (Emphasis added.)

Humphrey stressed that the emphasized verbs of the Preamble were all calls for an active government, an observation that had escaped me. “We the People” through our federal Government are called upon to form, establish, insure, provide, promote and secure the previously stated goals or objectives. This calling is never finished as the words “a more perfect Union” emphasize. (I often had thought that this was an inapt phrase as something is either perfect or it is not; there cannot be degrees of perfection. Now, however, I see a larger purpose behind the phrase.)

The documentary also tells the story of Humphrey’s shepherding the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through the U.S. Senate and leading the battle and ultimate defeat of the southern Senators’ filibustering of the bill. (At the time, cloture of debate required 67 votes, not the 60 needed today.) Part of this skillful legislative leadership was compromising to gain support for the bill from Republican Senators, most notably Everett Dirksen of Illinois, and by yielding to Dirksen important roles in advocating for the bill.

Humphrey demonstrated in this instance and in the rest of his Senate career that persistence and compromise were both needed to advance the causes in which you believed. Your opponent today might be your ally tomorrow. Today you might not obtain all that you want in a particular piece of legislation, but there are always tomorrows to work on the unfinished business.

I also found the documentary disheartening. Today we the People desperately need another passionate, committed advocate for a strong, active federal government. We also need legislators in the Congress who welcome compromise as an important and necessary ingredient for advancing the public’s business. In the current political turmoil about raising the national debt limit, I do not see such leaders.

[1] Hubert H. Humphrey: The Art of the Possible (DVD) (2010), http://www.shoppbs.org.

[2] Post: My Political Philosophy (April 4, 2011).

Blogging in Havana


The blog from Havana– “Generation Y”[1]— is Yoani Sanchez’s courageous effort to let the world know about the daily life      and frustrations of ordinary Cubans.

She provides sketches of daily life in Cuba–“a dreary, enervating routine of food shortages, transportation troubles and          narrowed opportunity.”[2] Other major themes are the need for political and economic changes in Cuba and the Cuban          regime’s efforts to stifle her criticisms of the government.


A collection of her blog posts from 2007 through 2010 has been published as Havana Real.[3] Two of them prompt comments based upon my three church mission trips to Cuba since 2001.

Most Cubans struggle to survive. Those who have jobs generally make around $20 to $30 per month. They still have rationed basic food essentials at subsidized low prices, but as the blog emphasizes, many of these rationed essentials are very small quantities and are not really always available, and the government recently has talked about ending or reducing these pitifully limited rations. One day, Yoani’s mother called her to report that there was toilet paper available at a distant market, but that Yoani needed to hurry to get there because the “tp” would soon be gone.[4] On my last trip to visit our partner Presbyterian church in the city of Matanzas, its pastor told us that he was not able to buy any “tp” for our visit and stay in the church’s dormitory. He, therefore, asked the members of the congregation to give the church any extra “tp.”

Not surprisingly Yoani has negative reactions to Cuban political speeches that talk about the Cuban Revolution’s being “eternal.” She says she avoids using words like “eternal,” “always” and “never.” The word “eternal”, she says, means something that “lasts into the future ad infinitum,” but also something that “has no beginning.” There is little, if anything, that meets those requirements. She concludes with these words of wisdom, “It’s a relief that all the things in this world’s days are numbered.”[5]

In addition to her own blogging, she helps organize and present workshops in Cuba on creating blogs on “wordpress.com.”

Yoani has won many international awards for her blogging: one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and Best Blog (Time Magazine), Ortega y Gasset Prize for digital journalism (Spain), one of the 100 Most Notable Hispanic Americans (El Pais Spanish newspaper), World Press Freedom Hero award (International Press Institute) and Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum).[6]

“Generation Y” honors those people like Yoani whose have names containing the Greek Y letter, so unusual in Spanish, but relatively common in Cuba in the 1970’s and 1980’s when Cuba was under Russian or Soviet influence.

[1] http://www.desdecuba.com/generationy/. The blog also has links to other Cuban blogs in English and in Spanish as well as her articles and interviews.

[2] Rohter, In Cuba, the Voice of a Blog Generation, N.Y. Times (July 5, 2011).

[3] Sanchez, Havana Real (Brooklyn: Melville House 2011).

[4]  Id. at 361-63.

[5]  Id. at 31-33.

[6]  Id. at 2.

The Washington Semester

U.S. Capitol

In the Fall of 1959 (the first semester of my junior year), I attended American University in Washington, D.C. Thirty-one other students from all across the U.S. and I were in a unit of AU’s Washington Semester Seminar led by Professor Louis Loeb.

The objective of the Semester was to give us insight into our national government in action. We did this in various ways.

The Seminar was the heart of the Semester. We had meetings with officials who worked in or with the national government, assigned readings and interpretation sessions with Professor Loeb while we also maintained a journal of our activities and took examinations.  All of this was arranged around the following subjects: (a) Congress and its staff agencies; (b) political parties, pressure groups and opinion; (c) the President and the executive agencies; (d) international relations; and (e) the judiciary.

The second major part of the Semester was conducting an independent research project and writing a report on the results. Mine was “A Study and Analyses of Political Interest Group Participation in House Un-American Activities Committee’s Contempt of Congress Cases, 1945-1956.” I chose this topic because I detested that Committee, on the one hand, and endorsed the philosophy of one of its major opponents in such cases, the American Civil Liberties Union, on the other hand. In addition to doing a lot of general reading regarding the Committee and the theory and practice of political interest groups, I spent a lot of time in the Supreme Court Library reading the records in such contempt cases that reached the Court. I compared the briefs of the parties with those of the amici curiae (friends of the court) and the Court’s decisions.

In three of the four contempt of Congress cases that reached the Supreme Court in this period, the decisions were favorable to the views expressed by these interest groups even though the actual points in the amici briefs did not make it into the Court’s opinions. It was impossible to determine what effects, if any, their briefs had on the thinking of the justices or the results in the cases. The decisions in these cases did have some effect on the Committee’s giving notice to witnesses of the relevance of the Committee’s questions and its rejection of the witnesses’ objections. It was possible, at least in theory, to see how such participation might affect the interest groups themselves, but specific evidence of such effects could not be found.

In order to obtain additional hours of credit that semester, we had to take courses at night at AU’s downtown campus, just west of the White House. I took three such courses: American history, early political theory and the economics of public finance.

This semester was the first time I had ever lived in a major city. I thoroughly enjoyed going to museums, concerts and plays and seeing the beautiful and historic buildings of the city. I became acquainted with the general counsel of the Atomic Energy Commission, who was a musical composer in his spare time. I vividly recall going to a vocal recital in the living room of the old mansion that became the Phillips Gallery for performance of my friend’s songs with lyrics from the poetry of e. e. cummings.

At the end of the semester AU awarded me a scholarship for summer school at Harvard University. I, however, declined the offer in order to be the assistant to the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Iowa under Grinnell College’s Program in Practical Politics.[1]

[1] See Post: Encounters with Candidates JFK and LBJ (April 16, 2011).

Refugee and Asylum Law: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

In the modern era, the principal U.N. agency responsible for refugees is the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland.[1]

The UNHCR was established by U.N. General Assembly Resolution 28(v), December 14, 1950 (after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but before the signing of Convention Relating to Status of Refugees). This Resolution adopted the Statute for the UNHCR that charges the agency with “providing international protection . . . to refugees . . . and . . . seeking permanent solutions for the problem of refugees by assisting Governments and . . . private organizations to facilitate         the voluntary repatriation of such refugees, or their assimilation within new national communities.” The Statute also contained a definition of “refugee” that was similar to the one set forth in the subsequent Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. This definition states a “refugee” is

  • “Any person who, as a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951 and owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear or for reason other than personal convenience, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country . . . .”

To fulfill this mandate UNHCR “strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, and to return home voluntarily. By assisting refugees to return to their own country or to settle permanently in another country, UNHCR also seeks lasting solutions to their plight.” It also publishes a handbook on procedures and criteria for determining refugee status and guidelines on common issues that have arisen in such determinations.[2]

The UNHCR now is concerned with refugees, 80% of whom are in poorer, developing countries,  and certain other individuals in the world. As of January 2010, it was concerned with the welfare of the following people:

Category Number
Refugees 10,397,000
Asylum seekers      983,000
Returned refugees      251,000
Internally Displaced People 15,628,000
Returned IDPs   2,230,000
Stateless persons   6,560,000
Other       412,000
TOTAL  36,460,000


[1] This post is based upon the UNHCR website: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home.

[2]  One example of these publications is UNHCR Guidelines on International Protection No. 1: “Gender-Related Persecution,”  (May 7, 2002), http://www.unhcr.org/3d58ddef4.html.


Alien Tort Statute: Important Cases Heading to U.S. Supreme Court

On July 8, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided an important case under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) that is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.

In Doe v. Exxon Mobil Corp., the D.C. Circuit held, 2 to 1, that corporations may be held liable for aiding and abetting human rights violations under the ATS. The plaintiffs were Indonesian villagers who accused Exxon Mobil of aiding and abetting murder, torture and rape by Indonesian soldiers acting under the corporation’s direction to protect its natural-gas operations in that country.[1]

Late last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City reached the opposite conclusion, 2 to 1, in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., another ATS case, this one by Nigerians against Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. for alleged complicity in crimes against humanity.[2]

In Kiobel, the plaintiffs already have asked the U.S. Supreme Court for review of that case,[3] and it is likely that Exxon Mobil will do as well in the other case. Since an important factor in the Supreme Court’s decision to grant such review (granting the writ of certiorari) is a split in decisions by the courts of appeal on important issues of federal law,[4] the Court, in my opinion, is highly likely to grant such review in both cases and to consider them on the merits next Term (October 2011-September 2012).

The ATS provides that the U.S. district courts have “original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien [non-U.S. citizen] for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.”[5]

In future posts, I will review (a) the adoption of the ATS in 1789 and its use through 1979; (b) the interpretation of the ATS by the Supreme Court in 2004; (c) the use of the ATS by the lower federal courts since 1980; (d) the issue of aiding and abetting in ATS cases; and (e) the issue of corporate liability in ATS cases.

[1] Doe v. Exxon Mobil Corp., No. 09-7125 (D.C. Cir. July 8, 2011), http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf; Reuters, Exxon to Face Lawsuit Over Rights Violations in Indonesia, N.Y. Times (July 8, 2011); Kendall, Exxon Hit by Reversal in Human-Rights Case, W.S.J. (July 9, 2011).

[2]  Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Pet. Co., 621 F.3d 111 (2d Cir. 2010), pet. for reh’g denied, 642 F.3d 268 (2d Cir. 2011), pet. for reh’g en banc denied, 642 F.3d 379 (2d Cir. 2011), pet. for cert. filed (No. 10-1491 June 6, 2011).

[3]  Id.

[4]  U.S. Sup. Ct. Rule 10 (a): “A petition for a writ of certiorari will be granted only for compelling  reasons.  The  following,  although  neither controlling  nor fully measuring  the Court’s discretion,  indicate  the  character of the  reasons  the  Court  considers: (a) a United States court of appeals has entered a decision  in  conflict  with  the  decision  of  another  United States  court  of  appeals  on  the  same  important matter. . . .”

[5] 28 U.S.C. § 1350.

Refugee and Asylum Law: The Modern Era

As previously indicated, the history of refugees and asylum, in my opinion, may be divided into two major periods: the pre-modern era (before the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948) and the modern era (after that adoption).[1] We now examine that Declaration and its implementation in the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The United Nations Charter, which entered into force on October 24, 1945, created the Economic and Social Council in Chapter X. Under Article 68 of the Charter, this Council was to establish a commission for the promotion of human rights.[2]

In early 1946 this Council created a committee to make recommendations on the structure and functions of such a commission. Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and eight others were appointed to this committee, and she was elected its chair. It recommended that the first project of the new commission should be the writing a bill of human rights. Thereafter, in June 1946, the Council created the U.N. Human Rights Commission and directed it to prepare an international bill of human rights.[3]

In January 1947 the Human Rights Commission held its first meeting and elected Eleanor Roosevelt as its chair.[4]

At the Commission’s June 1947 meeting Great Britain proposed preparing a covenant or treaty of human rights, rather than a declaration full of high-sounding generalities. The U.S., however, favored a broad declaration followed by treaties. The U.S. position appears to have been a strategy to avoid the U.S. Senate ratification process that constitutionally was necessary for ratification of treaties, but was not required for U.S. voting in the U.N. General Assembly. Remember that President Truman was heading into the 1948 presidential election and did not want to provoke a Senate vote he might lose. In any event, the Commission decided to work on both a declaration and covenants.[5]

In December 1948 (only one month after Truman won the presidential election), the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration: 48 in favor (including the U.S.); 0 against; 8 abstentions (the USSR and its allies, South Africa and Saudi Arabia); and 2 absences.[6]

Eleanor Roosevelt & UDHR

The Declaration had two important provisions relevant to refugees and asylum. Its Article 13(2) stated, “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” Article  14(1) went on to say, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” (Emphasis added.)[7]

Even though the Declaration was not a treaty that created legal obligations for subscribing states, its declaring that every individual human being had a right to asylum was a historic departure from the pre-modern era where asylum was a matter of discretion for the protecting state. This provision also set an objective for the treaty on refugees then being formulated. These provisions of the Universal Declaration, in my opinion, also constitute an atonement for the failure of the civilized world in the 1930’s to protect German Jewish refugees.

In any event, ever since its adoption, the Universal Declaration has set the agenda for the subsequent development of international human rights treaties. The Declaration also continues to act as an inspirational and aspirational document throughout the world, as I discovered on my first visit to El Salvador in April 1989.[8]

Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees


On July 2, 1951, an international conference in Geneva, Switzerland concluded with the signing of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees by the conference attendees and the opening of the treaty for accession or ratification by nation states.[9] By its Article 43(1) it was to enter into force or become a binding treaty 90 days after the sixth state had acceded or ratified the treaty. That happened on April 22, 1954.[10]

Its preamble noted that the U.N. had “manifested its profound concern for refugees and endeavored to assure refugees the widest possible exercise of . . . fundamental rights and freedoms.” The preamble also stated, “the grant of asylum may place unduly heavy burdens on certain countries, and . . . a satisfactory solution of a problem . . . [of] international scope and nature cannot therefore be achieved without international cooperation.”

This treaty adopted the following definition of “refugee” in Article 1(A)(2) as any person who:

  • “[As a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951] and owing to well- founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”

The bracketed phrase [“As a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951”] was the provision that limited the coverage of the Convention to the problems still being faced by many World War II refugees still scattered across Europe. This limiting phrase was eliminated in the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees discussed below.

Excluded from the definition of “refugee” in Article 1(F) was “any person . . . [who] (a) . . . has committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity . . . ; (b) . . . has committed a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge prior to his admission to that country as a refugee; [and] (c) . . . has been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the [U.N.].”[11]

The Convention granted refugees certain rights within a country of refuge as well as imposing on them certain obligations. The Convention further stipulates that, subject to specific exceptions, refugees should not be penalized for their “illegal entry or presence.” This recognizes that the seeking of asylum can require refugees to breach immigration rules. Prohibited penalties might include being charged with immigration or criminal offences relating to the seeking of asylum, or being arbitrarily detained purely on the basis of seeking asylum.

Importantly, the Convention contains various safeguards against the expulsion of refugees. Its Article 33(1) states, “No Contracting State shall expel or return (‘refouler’) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”

Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees

By 1966, it had become apparent that new refugee situations had arisen since the Refugee Convention had been adopted and that all refugees should enjoy equal status. As a result, a new treaty was prepared to eliminate the previously mentioned limitation of the Convention to those refugees created by pre-1951 events. This was the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees that went into force on October 4, 1967.[12]

Parties to the Convention or Protocol

As of April 1, 2011, there were 145 nation states (and the Holy See) that were parties to the Convention and Protocol or the latter, including the U.S. That represents 76.2% of the U.N. members (plus the Holy See).[13]


In subsequent posts we will review (a) the work of the principal U.N. agency concerned with refugees (the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees); (b) U.S. law and procedures for refugees; and (c) U.S. law and procedures for asylum.

[1]  See Post: Refugees and Asylum Law: The Pre-Modern Era (July 7, 2011).

[3] See Mary Ann Glendon, A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (New York: Random House 2002)(fascinating history of the development of the Universal Declaration).

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6]  Id.

[8]  See Post: My Pilgrimage to El Salvador, April 1989 (May 25, 2011).

[9] UNHCR, 1951 Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons, http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/search/?page=&comid=3c07a8642&cid=49aea9390&scid=49aea9398.

[10]  UNHCR, Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.html; UNHCR, The 1951 Refugee Convention: Questions and Answers (2007), http://www.unhcr.org/3c0f495f4.html.

[11] There are certain other stated exclusions from the definition of “refugee” in Article 1(C), (D), (E).

[12] Id.

[13]  UNHCR, States Parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol,        http://www.unhcr.org/3b73b0d63.html. In addition Madagascar and St. Kitts & Nevis are parties only to the Convention with its now outmoded temporal limitations. (Id.)