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CODIFICATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
In accordance with article 13 of the Charter, which provides that the General Assembly shall encourage the progressive development and the codification of international law, the United States Delegation strongly urged the General Assembly to take action in that field as soon as possible. The United States Delegation, together with the Chinese Delegation, submitted a proposal providing that a committee should be established by the General Assembly to study the methods by which the progressive development and codification of international law might be encouraged. It was emphasized that, if codification were to be effective, it would be necessary to plan the entire process with great care.
The Assembly consequently created a committee of 17 members, including the United States, which was instructed to prepare plans during the next year for the codification of the principles of international law. The committee was instructed to regard the codification of the principles of the Nuremberg Charter, mentioned above, as a matter of primary importance. The committee was also given a mandate to report to the next session of the General Assembly upon the comments received from Member states regarding the Draft Declaration of the Rights and Duties of States presented to the General Assembly by the Delegation of Panama.
OTHER LEGAL PROBLEMS
The United States Delegation participated actively in the consideration of a number of other legal matters. It formulated regulations for the registration of treaties and international agreements with the Secretariat, in accordance with the terms of article 102 of the Charter, and secured their adoption by the Assembly. It assisted in the examination and approval of arrangements with regard to the privileges and immunities to be enjoyed by the Members and officials of the International Court of Justice. It introduced and successfully sought the passage of an interpretative resolution containing a necessary clarification of the meaning of the word “meeting” in articles 11 and 12 of the Statute of the Court, dealing with the election of judges. (This resolution requires the concurrence of the Security Council before it becomes effective.) On the advice of its Legal Committee, the Assembly also approved a report of the Security Council establishing the conditions upon which Switzerland might become a party to the Statute of the Court.1
'See chap. VI, International Court of Justice.
With United States support the General Assembly adopted an official emblem for the United Nations and invited the Member states to protect the emblem and the name “United Nations” from exploitation for commercial use within their countries.
The Legal Committee of the General Assembly considered the legal aspects of a number of additional problems. On its recommendations the Assembly authorized the Economic and Social Council to request advisory opinions from the International Court of Justice, and approval was given to provisions in agreements between the United Nations and certain specialized agencies authorizing them also to request advisory opinions from the Court on matters within the scope of their activities.
5. ESTABLISHMENT OF TRUSTEESHIP SYSTEM
The important steps taken by the General Assembly to establish the trusteeship system, as well as the measures adopted with respect to non-self-governing territories, are described in detail in chapter V of this Report.
Important Organizational Decisions 1. ELECTIONS TO UNITED NATIONS COUNCILS
Belgium, Colombia, and Syria were chosen by the General Assembly in New York to occupy seats on the Security Council for a period of two years to fill the expiring terms of Egypt, Mexico, and the Netherlands.
The United States and Lebanon were reelected to the Economic and Social Council, while the Byelorussian S. S. R., New Zealand, Venezuela, and Turkey were selected to replace Colombia, Greece, Yugoslavia, and the Ukrainian S. S. R. on this Council. The Netherlands was elected to the Council in a special by-election to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Belgium.
The establishment of the Trusteeship Council was completed by the election of Iraq and Mexico for three-year terms to achieve the balance between states which administer trust territories and those which do not, required under article 86 of the Charter. Thus the Assembly brought into existence the last of the principal organs of the United Nations for which provision is made in the Charter.
By a decision of the General Assembly, embodying a United States proposal, all Members of the United Nations Councils will henceforth take office on January 1 following their election and will conclude their terms of office at the end of the appropriate calendar year. 2. APPROVAL OF AGREEMENTS WITH SPECIALIZED
AGENCIES Pursuant to the terms of articles 57 and 63 of the Charter, the Economic and Social Council had negotiated agreements during the year bringing four specialized intergovernmental agencies into working relationship with the United Nations—the International Labor Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the International Civil Aviation Organization. All four agreements were approved by the General Assembly; but in the case of the agreement with the International Civil Aviation Organization, which was created with the participation of Spain, the Organization is called upon to comply with the Assembly's resolution barring the Franco regime from membership in agencies affiliated with the United Nations.
In approving the resolution concerning these agreements, the General Assembly called upon the Economic and Social Council to report within three years on the progress of coordination of the policies and activities of the specialized agencies.
The United States voted in favor of all these decisions.
3. RELATIONS WITH NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZA
TIONS The question of the type of relationship which should exist between the Economic and Social Council and the World Federation of Trade Unions-a matter raised at the San Francisco conference, the General Assembly in London, and at each of the first three sessions of the Economic and Social Council-received renewed attention during the session in New York. Although the president of the WFTU had expressed satisfaction with the broad arrangements worked out for consultation with the Economic and Social Council in accordance with article 71 of the Charter, Leon Jouhaux, Delegate of France and a vice president of the WFTU, requested that the Federation be granted additional privileges. In a letter to the president of the General Assembly, signed by himself and by another vice president of the WFTU, he urged the Assembly to recommend that the Economic and Social Council grant the Federation (1) the right to submit to the Council questions for insertion in its provisional agenda, in line with the procedure applicable to specialized intergovernmental agencies and (2) the right to make written and verbal statements to the Council on all matters of concern to the Federation. These two proposals were subsequently embodied in a resolution presented by the Soviet Delegation.
The United States Delegation strongly opposed any change in the arrangements already made by the Economic and Social Council on the grounds that these arrangements should afford ample opportunity for consultation between the WFTU and the Council, that there had been no opportunity to test these arrangements in actual practice, and that the additional privileges sought raised serious constitutional questions. The changes asked, it was pointed out, would give a single non-governmental organization privileges equal or superior to those of the specialized agencies and Member governments of the United Nations not sitting on the Economic and Social Council, and would jeopardize the Council's control over its own agenda.
Nevertheless the General Assembly adopted, by a vote of 25 to 22, the recommendation that the Economic and Social Council should grant to the WFTU the right to place items on the Council's provisional agenda. But the Assembly also approved by a large majority a United States resolution reaffirming the principle that all nongovernmental organizations in Category A. (those with a general interest in all the work of the Council) should be accorded equal privileges in regard to arrangements for consultation with the Council. This group of organizations now includes the American Federation of Labor, the International Cooperative Alliance, and the International Chamber of Commerce, as well as the WFTU.
Headquarters of the United Nations
When the General Assembly met in October 1946, it received a committee report recommending five areas in Westchester County, New York, as possible sites for the permanent headquarters of the United Nations. At an early stage in the consideration of the report, the United States announced that in response to the desire of other Members it had abandoned its previous position of neutrality on the subject and would take an active part in assisting the United Nations to reach a decision. The General Assembly thereupon voted to consider other areas in the United States, and its Headquarters Committee decided to narrow the field to the areas of New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Philadelphia. A rapid survey of sites in these areas was made by a subcommittee which recommended the Belmont-Roxborough site offered as a gift by the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Presidio, a military reservation in San Francisco, as of equal merit, with the White Plains site in Westchester County as second choice.
In the discussion which followed in the full Committee, Senator
Austin, speaking for the United States but without indicating any preference among the areas suggested, announced that, subject to Congressional consent, the United States would make the Presidio available without cost. When the time came for announcing the United States position, however, he supported the view of those Delegations, especially from Europe and including both the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, who felt that the United Nations could operate more effectively on the Atlantic seaboard where it would be closer to most of the capitals of Member nations.
During the session there had been a marked shift of sentiment away from a suburban site and in favor of one within very easy access of a metropolitan center. The Philadelphia and San Francisco sites filled this requirement, but there had been virtually no opportunity to consider such sites in the Boston and New York areas. For this reason the United States moved to postpone the final decision until the next session.
In the last days of the session, however, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., offered to give the United Nations $8,500,000 to acquire almost six blocks of land (approximately 17 acres) on the East River between Forty-second and Forty-eighth Streets in New York City. The City of New York agreed to donate the streets traversing this area and also to acquire by condemnation and give to the United Nations some parcels needed to round out the area of the site. The Headquarters Committee immediately appointed a subcommittee which examined the site and found it excellently suited for a skyscraper type of development. The General Assembly accepted the offer and requested the Secretary-General to take steps for the preparation of the necessary plans and estimates prior to the next session, with the assistance of an advisory committee of 16 Member nations including the United States.
Administrative and Budgetary Matters 1. UNITED NATIONS FINANCES
The principal administrative and budgetary accomplishments of the General Assembly were the review and approval of budgets for the financial years 1946 and 1947 and the further development of the permanent financial system and general organization of the Secretariat.
The budgets for 1946 and 1947 were fixed at $19,390,000 and $27,740,000 respectively. The 1946 budget replaces the provisional budget of $21,500,000 adopted at the London session. The Organization's working capital fund was reduced to $20,000,000 from the provisional figure of $25,000,000 established at the London session.