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with whatever further measures, including the use of force, may ultimately be necessary. And this must be clear to the states involved in the dispute. If it were not, the authority and prestige which the Council needs in order to secure peaceful settlements of disputes might be fatally weakened. That is why the five permanent members are required to agree and vote together from the beginning of any dispute on which the Council takes action. The
power of veto does not, however, apply to consideration and discussion of a dispute by the Council before action is taken. Thus the right of any nation to bring a dispute before the Council and to obtain a hearing of its case cannot be blocked. Furthermore, no member of the Council—and this includes the permanent members— can vote in any decision involving peaceful settlement of a dispute to which it is a party. By this provision the five permanent members must submit themselves to the same processes of peaceful adjustment and settlement that apply to any other member nation.
Additional checks are provided against abuse of their voting powers by the five permanent members. Any decision by the Council in either the peaceful settlement or enforcement stage requires at least seven votes. Thus at least two of the smaller nations on the Council must agree with the five permanent members before the Council can take action. The Charter also provides that the General Assembly, where the five major powers possess no special voting powers, may make recommendations to the Council on any questions relating to peace and security not being dealt with 'by the Council. vides, further, that the Council must report at least once a year to the General Assembly on all measures.it has taken to maintain peace. These provisions mean that the Council must act under the watchful eye of the whole organization, and its members can quickly be held accountable before the world opinion if they are derelict in their duty.
There is still another, and more compelling reason why the power of veto is not likely to be abused, or even to be exercised at all except in unusual circumstances. That is the compelling desire and need of the five great nations to work together for peace. Twice in 30 years they have been allies against aggression. Their common interest in preventing another war is fully as urgent as that of any other nation. Under this Charter they assume sacred obligations and heavy responsibilities for the maintenance of peace with justice. They do not assume these obligations and responsibilities lightly. They do so because it is in the vital national interest of each one of them to see that these obligations and responsibilities are fulfilled.
I believe that I speak for the entire United States delegation when I
say that the requirement for unanimity among the five permanent members, with the safeguards that have been provided, is not only essential to the success of the United Nations Organization in the years immediately ahead, but that it recognizes and confirms a power which a majority of Americans believe the United States should have in view of the great responsibilities our country must inevitably assume for the maintenance of world peace.
The special position of the United States and the four other permanent members of the Security Council is also recognized in the provisions for ratification both of the Charter and of later amendments to the Charter.
The Charter itself will come into force when it has been ratified by the five permanent members of the Council and a majority of the other signatory states. Amendments will come into force when they have been adopted by a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly or of a special conference called for the purpose and have been ratified by two-thirds of the member states, including all the permanent members of the Security Council.
It should be noted that there is no power of veto over the adoption of amendments. The Security Council does not vote on amendments at all. The power of veto applies only to their ratification by the nations concerned.
In practice no important amendments to the Charter are likely to be adopted in the near future unless there is unanimous, or virtually unanimous, agreement upon them and ratification is regarded as assured. The General Assembly is not a legislative body. It is an international meeting of the representatives of sovereign nations. The act of voting on an important matter, therefore, is not likely to take place until all the means of adjustment usual in negotiations among nations have been brought to bear in order to reach a common viewpoint. It is interesting to note that at the San Francisco Conference there was no veto and the two-thirds rule applied. Yet the provisions of the Charter were adopted unanimously.
I feel that much of the criticism of the voting provisions of the Charter arises from failure to remember that the United Nations is neither a federal union nor a world state and that voting procedures among its sovereign member nations cannot necessarily be judged on the same basis as voting procedures in a State legislature or in the Congress.
As the peoples and governments gain experience and confidence in world organization in the years ahead I hope that they will learn to apply and adapt to international affairs many more of the principles and techniques of democracy. But I believe it would be fatal to this hope if we were to attempt now to go beyond what the nations are clearly ready to undertake today. The Charter affords full opportunity for later amendments whenever a sufficient majority of the people of the world is ready to go further.
V. GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
Just as the then existing distribution among nations of the power to maintain peace is recognized in the provisions for the Security Council, so the principle of the sovereign equality of all member states is recognized in the provisions for the General Assembly. In the General Assembly every member nation, large or small, has one vote.
It is the function of the General Assembly to develop in practice those friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, which is declared as one of the objectives of the United Nations. The General Assembly may discuss and make recommendations either to the Security Council or to the members on any matter within the scope of the Charter. It may call to the attention of the Council any situations likely to endanger the peace and make recommenda
tions on any questions relating to peace and security not being dealt with by the Council. It will receive and consider annual and special reports from the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, and the Secretary-General.
The General Assembly has the further power to recommend measures for the peaceful adjustment of any situations regardless of origin likely to impair the general welfare, including situations resulting from violation of the purposes and principles of the Organization. This is one of the most important provisions in the Charter for peaceful change and for the correction of injustices present or future.
Because the United Nations is an organization of sovereign states, the General Assembly does not have legislative power. It can recommend, but it cannot impose its recommendations upon the member states. It has, however, virtually all the other powers of a free deliberative body. Senator Vandenberg has justly characterized it as the town meeting of the world. Its authority is sufficient to make it effective as the keeper of the world's conscience and as the watchman over the international behavior of every member of the United Nations and over the other agencies of the Organization.
One of the principal purposes of the United Nations is the removal of the economic and social causes of international conflict and war. Responsibility for discharging the functions of the Organization in this connection is vested by the Charter in the General Assembly and, under the Assembly's authority, in the Economic and Social Council.
In its chapters on economic and social cooperation the Charter spells out in more detail the economic and social purposes of the United Nations. These include the promotion of higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development; solutions of international economic, social, health, and. related problems; and international cultural and educational cooperation. The Economic and Social Council is also charged, under the General Assembly's authority, with the principal responsibility for promoting universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.
The Economic and Social Council will consist of 18 members elected by the General Assembly.
In the field of its responsibility the Economic and Social Council has the power to make studies, reports, and recommendations, to prepare draft conventions for submission to the General Assembly, and to call international conferences.
Subject to the General Assembly's approval, it is empowered to make agreements with specialized intergovernmental agencies concerned with international trade and finance, labor, agriculture, and other related fields in order to bring them into relationship with the United Nations Organization as a whole and to make recommendations for coordinating their activities. It is then authorized to obtain regular reports from these agencies on their work and on the steps they have taken to give effect to its recommendations or those of the Assembly.
The Economic and Social Council will also set up a commission for the promotion of human rights, commissions in economic and social fields, and such other commissions as may be required. The Commission on Human Rights will have the power to prepare an international bill of rights for submission to the member states for approval.
Like the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council has no power to impose its recommendations on the member states. But, as I reported to the President, this “power to study and report and recommend—and the power to call conferences and prepare draft conventions and require reports of progress-is a power which can be counted on to go a long way towards translating humanitarian aspirations into human gains."
In the next 10 or 15 years, the work of the Economic and Social Council and its related agencies in helping to restore a shattered world and to achieve better living conditions for all peoples will be of paramount importance. If the United Nations cooperate effectively toward these ends they will have gone far toward eliminating in advance the causes of another world war a generation hence. If they fail, there will be, instead, widespread depressions and economic warfare which would fatally undermine the world organization. No provisions that can be written into the Charter will enable the Security Council to make the world secure from war if men and women have no security in their homes and in their jobs.
VI. INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
The fourth major instrument of international cooperation for which the Charter provides is the International Court of Justice. The Court provides the means by which international disputes of a legal character can be settled "in conformity with the principles of justice and international law,” as stated in the purposes of the United Nations. The Charter states the general rule that such disputes should be referred to the International Court. The Statute of the International Court, which is annexed to the Charter, does not provide for compulsory jurisdiction. It does, however, include an optional clause under which members of the United Nations may agree in advance to submit all their justiciable disputes to the Court for settlement.
The Charter provides that whenever disputes are referred to the Court its decisions shall be binding on the parties and that any member of the United Nations, party to such a dispute, must comply with the decisions of the Court. If it fails to do so the matter may be brought to the attention of the Security Council for appropriate action.
The International Court will also have a most important part to play in the further development and strengthening of international law, just as the courts of England and America have helped to form the common law. The Court will be the subject of separate testimony before this committee by Mr. Green Hackworth, legal adviser of the Department of State and our member of the Committee on the Court at San Francisco. At the close of my testimony, the Charter will be reviewed, article by article, by Dr. Pasvolsky, our representative on the Coordinating Committee.
In addition to these four over-all instruments of international action the Charter includes a declaration of principles and purposes regarding all non-self-governing territories and provides for an international trusteeship system under which some of these territories may be placed by later agreement.
In the general declaration the member nations accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost the well-being of the inhabitants of all dependent territories over which they have responsibility. They are pledged to insure the political, economic, social and educational advancement of such peoples and to assist them in the “progressive development of their free political institutions." They are pledged to develop self-government for all dependent peoples.
I wish to emphasize that this pledge includes the right to independence for those peoples who aspire to it and are able to exercise its responsibilities. That was the view of the United States delegation, and the Committee on Trusteeship at San Francisco unanimously concurred in that interpretation.
This declaration of international obligations regarding all dependent peoples is the first of its character in the history of international relations. No similar obligations were assumed under the Covenant of the League of Nations, which provided only for a mandate system applicable to territories and colonies detached from Germany and Turkey after the last war.
The international trusteeship system of the present Charter will apply to such territories as may be placed under it by later agreements among the states directly concerned. The Charter itself does not place any territories under trusteeship. The trusteeship agreements may apply to territories now held under mandate, territories taken from enemy states as a result of the present war, and other territories voluntarily placed under the system.
The objectives of the trusteeship system include the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the dependent peoples concerned and their development toward self-government or independence, together with encouragement of respect for human rights and fundamental freedom. These provisions constitute another long step forward from the League of Nations mandate system.
A Trusteeship Council is created to assist the General Assembly in carrying out the functions of the United Nations with regard to trusteeship agreements for all areas not designated as strategic. Membership in the Trusteeship Council will be divided equally between those United Nations administering trust territories and those which do not, but it must include the five permanent members of the Security Council. Annual reports for each nonstrategic trust territory must be made to the General Assembly on the basis of a questionnaire prepared by the Trusteeship Council.
Strategic areas may be designated in trusteeship agreements and in these areas all functions of the organizations are to be exercised by the Security Council, with the assistance of the Trusteeship Council.
I am happy to say that both the War Department and the Navy Department participated fully in framing the trusteeship provisions of the Charter. Furthermore, both Departments have certified that they are of the opinion that the military and strategic implications of the Charter as a whole are in accord with the security interests of the United States.