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On the other hand, the view was advanced that the further element in the Australian proposal calling for national action separate from the itnernational organization went beyond the proper scope of the charter of an international organization and possibly even infringed on the domestic jurisdiction of member states in committing them to a particular philosophy of the relationship between the government and the individual.

The pledge as finally adopted was worded to eliminate such possible interpretation. It pledges the various countries to cooperate with the organization by joint and separate action in the achievement of the economic and social objectives of the organization without infringing upon their right to order their national affairs according to their own best ability, in their own way, and in accordance with their own political and economic institutions and processes.

To remove all possible doubt on this score the following statement was unanimously approved and included in the record of the Conference (Report of the Rapporteur of Committee 3 of Commission II):

“The members of Committee 3 of Commission II are in full agreement that nothing contained in Chapter IX can be construed as giving authority to the Organization to intervene in the do

mestic affairs of member states". It was no simple matter to hammer out these issues and to reach complete agreement among the fifty participating nations. The final results, however, justify the effort. The Charter opens the way for international cooperation in the economic, social, and related fields on a scale unknown in the past. And it safeguards at the same time the right of nations to live their own lives free from unwarranted interference.

FUNCTIONS AND POWERS In keeping with the broader scope and the increased status of the Economic and Social Council the original powers and functions of the Council as authorized at Dumbarton Oaks were substantially enlarged and amended.

Among the added functions which have been entrusted to the Economic and Social Council are:

1. The make and initiate studies and reports with respect to interontional economic, social, cultural, educational, health and other related matters;

2. To address recommendations not only to the General Assembly, out to the member nations of the Organization, and to specialized agencies;

3. To prepare draft conventions, on matters within the field of its work, for submission to the General Assembly;

4. To call, in accordance with rules prescribed by the Organization, international conferences on matters falling within the scope of the functions of the Council:

5. To obtain reports from specialized agencies and from Members of the Organization on steps taken to give effect to the Council's own recommendations and to those of the General Assembly relevant to the purposes of the Economic and Social Council, and to communicate its observations on such reports to the General Assembly;

6. To perform services at the request of Members of the Organization and of specialized agencies, subject to the approval of the General Assembly;

7. To furnish information directly to the Security Council (rather than, as in the Dumbarton Oaks text, merely to enable the SecretaryGeneral to provide information to the Security Council).

None of these added functions is in any way inconsistent with the statement of functions embodied in the Dumbarton Oaks text and indeed it might be argued that most of them could have been implicitly read into the more general language of that text. Nevertheless, the total effect of the changes has been to make clear that in the minds of the delegations at San Francisco, the Economic and Social Council was such an important agency of international cooperation that the functions and powers of the Council should be clearly stated and not left to inference.


Article 61 states that the Economic and Social Council shall consist of 18 Members of the Organization to be elected by the General Assembly for periods of three years with six members retiring each year. They are to be eligible for reelection at any time. Each member shall

have one representative who shall have one vote. Decisions of the Economic and Social Council shall be taken by simple majority of those present and voting:

The essence of this article is that both in its composition and the mode of its operation the Council is to be thoroughly democratic in character. No difference is being made between large and small countries, all votes are to be equal and all issues are to be decided by a simple majority vote.

It is theoretically possible that at some time none of the large powers might be represented on the Council. Such a situation will not be without appeal to those who thing in terms of abstract equality. From a practical point of view, however, it would tend to bear adversely upon the effectiveness of the Economic and Social Council. For this reason a number of amendments were submitted to the Conference, designed to give permanent representation to the great powers or to make membership dependent on economic importance.

In the same spirit of realism which was characteristic of the work of the Conference, it was generally recognized that for the Council to be a success it was essential that the "important” countries should be members. At the same time it was agreed that it would be undesirable to attempt to evaluate economic importance. It was pointed out that cultural and social imporance should also be considered if "importance” were to be a determining factor. Thus it was decided that this matter should best be left to the judgment of the General Assembly. To make it clear that continuing membership of some countries is anticipated, the Charter specifically states that retiring members shall be eligible for reelection.


At Dumbarton Oaks it had been suggested that the Economic and Social Council should set up "an economic commission, a social commission, and such other commissions as may be required”. These commissions were to consist of experts. By contrast, Article 68 reads as follows:

“The Economic and Social Council shall set up commissions in economic and social fields and for the promotion of human rights, and such other commisisons as may be required for the

performance of its functions". This final text changes the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals in two respects. First, it eliminates any reference to "experts”. It was generally felt that it would be undesirable to limit the Council's field of choice. It should be free to select for membership in the commissions the best available talent, free from any restrictive specifications.

More important is the adding of a special provision requiring the Economic and Social Council to set up a commission on human rights. As already pointed out, this addition was made upon the proposal of the United States Delegation, strongly and effectively supported by its group of advisers and consultants.

The unanimous acceptance of this proposal may well prove one of the most important and significant achievements of the San Francisco Conference. It was not for the delegations to the Conference to elaborate a detailed plan of work for the commission on human rights, but the discussions preceding the submission of the amendment and its adoption by the Conference were highly suggestive of the scope of its possible activities.

Thus, the commission on human rights will have the opportunity to work 'out an international bill of rights which can be submitted to member nations with a view to incorporation in their fundamental law, just as there is a Bill of Rights in the American Constitution. It can furthermore be expected to take up, in the early stages of its existence, such problems as freedom of information, of press, the radio and the screen and to prepare draft conventions on these and other subjects. These are freedoms which cannot be attained by declarations and resolutions alone. Hard work extending over many years, careful studies, and long-range planning will be necessary to attain these fredoms throughout the world and to make them secure. The commission on human rights might also undertake to promote equal rights for women, be it in the fields of politics or economics or with respect to their legal status.

These are only a few examples indicating the scope of the commission on human rights to be established by the Economic and Social Council. It is a promise from this generation to generations yet unborn that this war, fought in the cause of freedom, will not have been fought in vain.


The list of specialized international agencies having responsibilities in particular segments of the field covered by the Council is growing rapidly. Among these specialized bodies is the International Labor Organization which has had 25 years of successful experience as an international forum on matters relating to labor standards, social security and general welfare of the world's industrial workers.

Earlier United Nations conferences have proposed a Food and Agriculture Organization, an International Monetary Fund, an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and a Provisional Internatioal Civil Aviation Organization, and future conferences may result in the creation of international bodies in the fields of health, education and cultural cooperation, and international trade. dgreements with Specialized Agencies (Inter-Governmental)

The Charter (Articles 57, 63) provides that these specialized organizations shalì be brought into relationship with the United Nations through special agreements to be negotiated between them and the Economic and Social Council, subject to the approval of the General Assembly.

In order to permit the Economic and Social Council and the specialized organizations a maximum of freedom in negotiating these agreements, the Charter has little to say about their nature and content. They may well differ from case to case. It will be the function of the Organization to cordinate rather than to control. Among the means of coordination are consultation and recommendations (Articles 58 and 63, Paragraph 2). On a basis of reciprocity, representatives of the specialized organizations may participate, without vote, in the deliberations of the Economic and Social Council and its commissions (Article 70). Furthermore, the Charter gives the General Assembly the power to "examine the administrative budgets of such specialized agencies with a view to making recommendations to the agencies concerned”. (Article 17, Paragraph 3). The design is clear: the specialized agencies are to be accorded the greatest measure of freedom and initiative compatible with purposeful and coordinated action on the part of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the agencies and organizations brought into relationship with them.

In the discussion of these issues the Dumbarton Oaks text was clarified to indicate that these relationships were intended to apply to inter-governmental bodies having wide international responsibilities, although the Charter does not preclude the Economic and Social Council from making arrangements with other types of public organizations in its discretion. The Place of Non-Governmental Organizations

The close and fruitful cooperation between the United States Delegation and its consultants, representing private American organizations, pointed to the desirability of some orderly channel through which national and international organizations of a non-governmental character, having interests in international problems falling within the competence of the Economic and Social Council, could bring their views to the attention of the Organization. In an unprecedented example of cooperation and unanimity, a recommendation was addressed to the United States Delegation by consultants representing major organizations in the fields of agriculture, business, education and labor in the United States, suggesting that there be added to the Charter a paragraph providing for consultation and cooperation between non-governmental organizations, national and international, and the Economic and Social Council.

Article 71 is the answer of the Conference to this proposal:

“The Economic and Social Council may make suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations which are concerned with matters within its competence. Such arrangements may be made with international organizations and, where appropriate, with national organizations after consultation with the Member of the United Nations concerned”.

This paragraph stands on its own and needs no interpretation. It opens the way to close and orderly cooperation between the Economic and Social Council and the non-governmental organizations most vitally concerned in its work.


It has been shown earlier that the Conference went some way in stating in greater detail the economic and social objectives of the Organization. Several objectives such as the promotion of activities relating to health and the furthering of cultural and educational cooperation were included in the statement of purposes (Article 55). Some delegations wanted to go further and include additional items in the enumeration of objectives. In order to focus attention upon the major issues, the majority of delegations, including that of the United States, did not favor such a course.

To solve this dilemma and to make certain that these additional objectives should not be neglected by the Economic and Social Council, a number of delegations read declarations into the record of the Conference. These declarations called attention to the urgent need of international cooperation to organize or reconstitute specialized international organizations in specific fields or to take other action toward meeting specific problems of the postwar period.

As an echo from the war-torn territories of the world came a declaration by the Greek Delegation urging that the reconstruction of countries devastated by the war should be one of the principal aims of the Organization. The United States Delegation expressed its keen awareness of the importance and urgency of international cooperation in meeting the problems of reconstruction. It is a task of such transcending urgency that it will have to be undertaken even before the Organization comes into existence.

Another field in which the Conference anticipated that the Economic and Social Council would be concerned is the control of the traffic in and suppression of the abuses of opium and other dangerous drugs. In this connection the United States Delegate made the following statement:

"... Experience has shown that drug control raises issues which can best be met not by an international health, economic or social agency, but by the type of specialized agencies now functioning so successfully in this field. Everything possible should be done to sa feguard the continued operation of these agencies and services.

“The United States Delegation wishes to go on record as hoping that the Organization will be entrusted with supervision over the execution of existing or future international agreements with regard to the control of the legitimate traffic in opium and other dangerous drugs, and the suppression of illicit traffic in and abuse

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