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Now, that was the resolution of December 13. Did we get unanimity among the five great powers on that resolution?
Those voting for it were 36. Those voting against it were six. Those who did not vote at all but abstained were nine.
Among those that voted against it was one of the permanent members, the Soviet Union. In fact, the six negative votes were cast by eastern European states. It is important that among the nine abstainees you find France and China. Therefore, what do you have here as a significant event leading up to that meeting of last January 19? You have just two of the permanent members—the United States and the United Kingdom-willing to take even this small step toward amendment of the voting procedure and the unanimity rule.
Now, we come to the second step in which the Secretary General called this resolution to the attention of the permanent members.
On August 27, 1947, the Secretary General brought to the attention of the Security Council the problem of implementation by the Security Council of the General Assembly resolution of December 13. The Security Council, on the motion of the United States, referred the matter to its committee of experts, with instructions to consider specific proposals and report to the Security Council.
The United States stipulated to the members of the Security Council, specific proposals for rules of procedure. The United States position in this matter is set forth in a position paper entitled, “United States Course of Action in Connection with the Security Council Implementation of General Assembly Resolution on the Subject of Voting on the Security Council.” I believe you have copies of this position paper.
On the 21st of November 1947, the next step leading up to that meeting of January 19, occurred in the General Assembly. This evidence is taken from the report by the President to the Congress for the year 1947, with which you are familiar.
I refer you to page 163 thereof, which is Appendix I, General Assembly Resolutions. The following resolution was adopted by the General Assembly by a vote of 38 to 6, with 11 abstaining. It is important to examine it to see if it anywhere nearly aproaches the radical change which is contained in the proposals now before you. This is the resolution [reading]:
The General Assembly, in the exercise of its power to make recommendations relating to the powers and functions of any organs of the United Nations (Article X of the Charter):
Requests the Interim Committee of the General Assembly, in accordance with Paragraph 2 (a) of the Resolution of the General Assembly of 13 November 1947, establishing that committee to:
(1) consider the problem of voting in the Security Council, taking into account all proposals which have been or may be submitted by the Members of the United Nations or to the Second Session of the General Assembly or to the Interim Committee.
(2) Consult with any comittee which the Security Council may designate to cooperate with the Interim Committee in the study of the problems. That committee referred to is the committee of experts, which I have already mentioned; it is at work now, as it was then.
(3) Report, with its conclusions to the third session of the General Assembly, the report to be transmitted to the Secretary General not later than the 15 of July 1948.
That is next July. It has not yet arrived.
And by the Secretary-General to the member states and to the General Assembly.
Now note this:
Requests the Permanent Members of the Security Council to consult with one another on the problem of voting in the Security Council, in order to secure agreement among them on measures to insure the prompt and effective exercise by the Security Council of its functions.
Now, what is the story on the adoption of that resolution? First, it had to go through a committee of the General Assembly, Committee No. 1. Did it get approval of all the five permanent members when they voted in the committee? No, it did not.
There is no record of the roll call vote but there is a record prepared by the United States Mission to the United Nations of the vote in Committee No. 1. This is our record. As chief of the Mission, I vouch for its accuracy:
The preamble received 44 affirmative votes; and 6 negative votes were cast by the eastern European states.
Chairman EATON. The Soviet Union?
There were abstentions.
Faragraph 1 received 30 affirmative votes and 7 negative votes—the 6 eastern European States plus Chile. There were 11 abstentions.
Paragraph 2—that is the one that requests the permanent members to get together and consult-received 43 affirmative votes, 1 negative vote, Yugoslavia, and 8 abstentions.
Now, those abstentions were the remaining eastern European states—that would be five of them, including the Soviet Union-and three Arab states.
As a whole, the resolution received 36 affirmative votes and 6 negative votes, all eastern European countries, with 11 abstentions and they were the 5 Arab States, Yemen, Ethiopia, Vuatemala, Sweden, and Iceland and there were 4 abstaining, including the Philippines, so you see even in committee we could not get unanimity between the 5 great powers.
The plenary session of the General Assembly adopted this resolution by 38 in favor, 6 against, and 11 absentions. The eastern European States constitute those that were against it, and among them, of course, was the Soviet Union.
This resolution was adopted on November 21, 1947. On January 19, 1948, we had the consultation it calls for. In the meantime, much had been done to try to work out more definite proposals than had yet been made. None of these proposals, however, reach as far as chapter VII; the enforcement part of the Charter. All of them up to that date had been confined to pacific measures, chapter VI, and to the admission of new members to the United Nations.
The meeting of January 19 was a very significant meeting of the Five Great Powers. It tested the question of whether it would be futile or useful to ask under the Charter for the calling of a convention for the purpose of considering an amendment of the Charter with respect only to those matters considered under chapter 6, and admission of new members. This does not encompass so extensive and so great a change as you would make if you went into chapter VII, as would be done by these resolutions that you have under consideration.
Mr. VoRys. Mr. Chairman, would it be possible to ask a question at this point ?
Chairman EATON. Proceed.
Mr. Vorys. Mr. Austin, you say in your statement “only one of the five was willing to amend the Charter in this regard” and that was the United States of America.
Was the United States the only country that was willing to call a meeting to consider the matter? There would be two things: One is, were the five willing to amend, and another would be, were they willing to have a meeting to discuss the matter?
Ambassador AUSTIN. That question was not asked. Our business was to ascertain what probability there might be of amendment of the Charter with respect to the veto with regard to chapter 6 and the admission of the new States. The question of whether they would be willing to call a convention to consider it was not asked. We assumed that if we could not get them interested in amendment of the Charter, we certainly could not get them to call a meeting to amend the Charter. That would be just a waste of energy, and it takes all the energy we have to put through the business that we think has a fair prospect of going through.
Does that answer your question?
Chairman EATON. Let ihe witness proceed, and we will ask questions later.
Ambassador AUSTIN. I call attention, before leaving this point, to a document with which I think you may be familiar. It is Proposed Reforms of the United Nations, which you will find in your confidential memorandum at page 14. (The document referred to appears on pp. 479-480.) I do not need to say any more about it. It shows to you that the United States is eager to do those things for improving the practices with regard to the unanimity rule which are practicable under the Charter.
Indeed the United States has declared publicly, in the General Assembly, and in the Security Council, that it stands ready to amend the charter with respect to the voting procedure under chapter 6, and the admission of new members.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Are these 31 points listed at page 14 and page 15 confidential?
Ambassador AUSTIN. No. They were prepared in response to an additional resolution of the Interim Committee of the General Assembly calling for proposals from every country wishing to present them. The Interim Committee, popularly known as the Little Assembly, includes all the member states in its membership. Every member was asked to file, if he wished to, proposals for amendment of the rules by the 15th of March. We filed ours before the 15th of March ; it is public property. Mr. Chairman, I will proceed with my formal statement.
It is my firm conviction that, in the present conditions confronting the world, at least four of the permanent members will exert their influence to prevent a convention being called under article 109 for l'eviewing the present Charter with a view of amending it.
Therefore, what procedure should we adopt? In the first place, we have to know where our trouble is, and the specific objective we are aiming at. If experience during the brief life of the United Nations
. is a guide safe to be followed, then we ought right here and now to consider that experience. What is it?
Let us look at what has been accomplished in connection with the first task, namely, removal of the causes of war.
May I divert for just this observation: Sometimes we see statements to the effect that the United Nations is a failing instrument, that the United Nations is not effective.
In other words, the attempt is made to lay the foundation for change by undertaking to prove that the United Nations needs this particular change.
What I undertake to demonstrate is that the United Nations does not need change in those places where an attempt is made to apply it. I then expect to show that it would be folly to carry on further and disrupt the United Nations by separating its members from each other.
The first item that I referred to as an objective in the Charter relates to removal of the causes of the war and that is attained through the Economic and Social Council. It now has 12 commissions of experts at work. These include three regional economic commissions which are studying the feasibility of concerted regional action for raising levels of economic activity: A fourth is starting. Rules have been agreed upon for increasing international trade in a changing world economy and organizing to make these rules effective. Specialized agencies are at work on financial problems, on health problems, on problems of human rights and the freedom of information.
The three postwar years have seen the building of more instruments for constructive international cooperation than ever before in history. During this present year, the United Nations network of international organizations is bringing governmental representatives together at more than 2,500 meetings. That is an average of about seven meetings a day.
The Food and Agriculture Organization provides a good example of what is actually being done.
Its studies have revealed that with the expected increase in population—now this is an astounding fact-food production in the next 25 years must be increased 110 percent if we are to avoid mass starvation with all its accompanying hazards to peace and stability.
Consequently, it has established the World Food Council to help allocate exportable food surpluses and fertilizers, to promote the production and distribution of farm machinery, and to focus attention on dangerous food situations.
It has sent agricultural experts on special missions to Greece, Poland, and Siam to work out plans for increased agricultural production in these countries.
It has held international conferences to increase production of rice, cereals, and timber. It has helped countries in the Near East to begin deep-well irrigation and swamp-drainage projects.
It is aiding Peru to establish refrigeration and storage facilities for its fishing industry. Iran, Czechoslovakia, and China have received help on specific projects to increase their food supplies.
It has undertaken other food-producing measures such as field demonstration schools in western Europe on hybrid corn, artificial insemination, and veterinary techniques.
It has given advice to the International Bank on loans for the purchase of agricultural and industrial machinery.
These positive accomplishments are little known. The conflicts that have been prevented never make the headlines. A single veto in the Security Council gets more publicity than an entire session of the Trusteeship Council or the Economic and Social Council. And it is easy to forget that there is no veto in any of the United Nations agencies which are advancing the economic, social, and ethical standards of mankind. Collective effort to remove the causes of war and create the conditions of peace cannot be vetoed.
We have given only a partial survey of the work which one of the 12 specialized agencies of the United Nations has under way to remove conditions that lead to conflict.
These agencies are at work removing ill health, poverty, ignorance, economic conflict, and intolerance which are causes of shooting war. Let us encourage and not hinder them. Let us support the United Nations, instead of destroying it.
The second task is comprehended in chapter VI, Pacific Settlement of Disputes. This task is being performed; but here help is needed, and it is needed from you. Your support of all of our different efforts will help us to progress in this direction.
Please do not misunderstand my position here. We want your help. We regard the Charter of the United Nations as being full of imperfections; but we regard it as a living instrumentality, one that is vital, that is bound to grow and can never be static. As we use it, as we learn how to use it, it will grow in efficiency and power. And we must
. be careful to do nothing in our ambition to improve it that will destroy it.
War cannot be abolished without substituting something for it. Historically, it has been a means of determining political solutions. Yes, its results are so tragic that other means must be found to arrive at real solutions. As a matter of fact, a solution by force is not a real solution.
The dreadful curse of massacre is an impelling force which drives us forward toward all reasonable measures for strengthening the capacity of the United Nations to perform its second task.
Chapter VI, Pacific Settlement of Disputes, is by far the most important part of the Charter. Experience in the United Nations with "disputes and situations, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security," leads to the judgment that we should stay within chapter VI just as long as it is humanly possible to do so.
Let me say in passing that the temptation is very, very great to step out of chapter VI and into chapter VII. Why? Because in the disputes or situations that are brought to the United Nations the parties always are difficult, stubborn, and unwilling to yield. Also around the horseshoe of the Security Council, there are 11 different countries having different views about the same problem. Therefore, , after months of unsuccessful effort in trying to bring the parties to a solution by negotiation and agreement, there is a very strong temptation to step over to chapter VII and say, "Now we will call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as the Security Council deems necessary or desirable.”