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There was strong feeling among many nations at San Francisco that the Charter should include a statement emphasizing respect for the territorial integrity and political independence of states. "Agreement was reached to state the obligations of Members of the Organization to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against territorial integrity or political independence. The standards of conduct of this country permit us to assume this obligation with no hesitation, and such an obligation is consistent with the purpose of the United Nations to prevent the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with its objectives.

The fifth principle provides that all Members of the United Nations shall give every assistance to the Organization in any action undertaken by it in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action. This principle combines the fifth and sixth principles which were in the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals. It means first of all that the Members will be obligated to give to the Organization any assistance which their obligations under the Charter require of them. Unless the Organization can count on such assistance, it cannot now plan effectively or operate successfully. From this general obligation stem the other more specific obligations to give assistance on particular matters which are further elaborated in other provisions of the Charter. It means also the corollary of this obligation. It constitutes a general pledge not to strengthen the hand of a state which has violated its obligations under the Charter to the point where preventive or enforcement action has become necessary.

This principle was unanimously adopted at San Francisco.

The sixth principle states that the Organization shall ensure that states not Members act in accordance with these principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security. This principle was voted at San Francisco as it stood in the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals. Accordingly, non-member states will be expected to conform to the principles of the United Nations in so far as such conformity is necesary to assure the maintenance of peace and security. In addition, the Organization is directed to see that non-member states do not threaten or breach the peace. Such action by the Organization is, of course, an essential condition for the preservation of the general peace of the world.

At San Francisco this principle was unanimously adopted. The predominant sentiment was that unless the Organization undertook this responsibility with respect to states not members of the Organization, the whole scheme of the Charter would be seriously jeopardized. In the background of the thought of many delegates was the action of Germany and Japan, ex-members of the League, who menaced the peace until finally they wrought havoc throughout the world.

The seventh and last principle provides that nothing in the Charter "shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state”. It provides equally that the Members are not required to submit such domestic matters to settlement. One exception is then provided; the principle is not to "prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII".

The formulation of this principle differs from that adopted in the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals, and a shift in its location in the Charter also carries important consequences. In the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals the principle had been included in Paragraph 7 of Chapter VIII, Section A, which deals with the pacific settlement of disputes. It stated that nothing in the first six paragraphs of that Section should apply to "situations or disputes arising out of matters which by international law are solely within the domestic jurisdiction of the state concerned”.

At San Francisco, preliminary discussion among the delegations of the Sponsoring Powers brought to light a number of suggested changes. Numerous amendments had been introduced by other delegations, many of which were devoted to providing means for determining which questions are “domestic”. The Sponsoring Powers accordingly formed a subcommittee of jurists which recommended the phrasing finally adopted, with one exception based upon a subsequent Australian amendment. The subcommittee also suggested the shifting of the paragraph to Chapter I where it would be included among the Organization's Principles. The recommendations were adopted by the Sponsoring Powers and introduced by them as a joint amendment.

The change may be explained in terms of its four principal consequences:

i. The proviso with reference to domestic jurisdiction becomes a limitation upon all of the activities of the Organization rather than merely a limitation upon the action of the Security Council under Chapter VI of the Charter (which is the equivalent of Section A of Chapter VIII of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals). Exception was made in the Sponsoring Powers' amendment only for action by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the Charter (the equivalent of Section B of Chapter VIII of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals). That exception was more apparent than real because action under that Chapter of the Charter can be taken only after the Security Council has determined the existence of a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace, or an act of aggression. The same limitation was applicable under the Dumbarton Oaks formula, in view of its express restriction to Section A of Chapter VIII. If a situation arises on which action under Chapter VII of the Charter is authorized, it would by that very fact be hard to conceive how the matter could any longer be considered "essentially domestic". As discussion of the Sponsoring Powers amendment developed in the Committee of the Conference, however, it was pointed out by the Australian Delegation that Chapter VII of the Charter authorizes the Security Council to take two very different types of action: it can make recommendations or it can resort to enforcement action. The Australian Delegation conceded that if the situation were one involving such a disturbance of the peace as to require measures of enforcement, the Security Council should not be deterred by the argument that a domestic question was involved. It argued, however, that the principle of non-interference in domestic matters should be so phrased as to exclude the inference that the Security Council might make a recommendation to a state concerning the way in which a domestic question should be settled. After very considerable debate, this view prevailed, and the amendment of the


Sponsoring Powers was restricted to provide as an exception to the principle of non-interference in domestic questions only the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII.

To extend this principle to the activities of the Organization as a whole, instead of limiting it to the pacific settlement of disputes as had been proposed at Dumbarton Oaks, seemed desirable because of the amplification of the power and authority given to the Assembly and, particularly, to the Economic and Social Council. Without this general limitation, which now flows from the statement of the principle in Chapter I, it might have been supposed that the Economic and Social Council could interfere directly in the domestic economy, social structure, or cultural or educational arrangements of the member states. Such a possibility is now definitely excluded. The general limitation also qualifies the power of the General Assembly under Article 10 with respect to the making of recommendations to the Members of the Organization.

2. The present text omits the reference to “international law”, found in the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals, as the test whether or not a matter is "domestic”. This deletion was supported by the argument that the body of international law on this subject is indefinite and inadequate. To the extent that the matter is dealt with by international practice and by text writers, the conceptions are antiquated and not of a character which ought to be frozen into the new Organization.

3. The language used in the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals excluded matters which are solelywithin domestic jurisdiction, whereas the new Charter language excludes intervention in what is “essentially within the domestic jurisdiction". It seemed ineffectual to use "solely? as a test in view of the fact that under modern conditions what one nation does domestically almost always has at least some external repercussions. It seemed more appropriate to look to what was the essence, the heart, of the matter rather than to be compelled to determine that a certain matter was "solely” domestic in character.

4. The new language adds to the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals a provision that the Members shall not be required to submit matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction to "settlement" under the Charter. That proviso seemed to be called for in view of the obligation on Members under the third principle to settle their international disputes by peaceful means, although as has been noted, the phrasing of that principle was altered to emphasize this very point. It is quite conceivable that there might be an international dispute with reference to such matters as tariff, immigration, or the like, but where such a dispute relates to matters which are essentially domestic in character, settlement through international processes should not be required. It would of course remain true that under the fourth principle, neither party to the dispute would be justified in resorting to force.


(Chapter II) Two concepts concerning the basis of membership in the Organization found consideration both before and during the San Francisco Conference. On the one hand, there were those who believed that the Organization should immediately embrace all the states of the world, save the enemy or ex-enemy states. According to this school of thought even these latter were to be admitted at an early stage in the development of the Organization. On the other hand, there were those who held that membership should depend on the fulfillment of certain conditions, leaving it to the Organization itself to decide whether these conditions had been met.

At first sight both the Dumbarton Oaks proposals and the Charter appear to reflect the idea of qualified and limited membership. A closer study of the provisions of the Charter and of the proceedings at the Conference reveals, however, that there is nothing in the Charter which would prevent any state from eventually becoming a Member. The Charter thus combines regard for present realities with the hope that some day all the nations will join their efforts in maintaining the peace of the world and in advancing the welfare of their peoples.


The provisions of the Charter regarding membership retain the original text of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals—“Membership of the Organization is open to all peace-loving states”—but add the further qualification that new Members must accept the obligations of the Charter and that they must, in the judgment of the Organization, be able and ready to carry those obligations out. The original provision empowering the General Assembly to admit new Members upon the recommendation of the Security Council was maintained without change.

The Dumbarton Oaks Proposals made no provision regarding original Members of the Organization. When it was agreed that membership should be qualified, it was found necessary to provide a clause defining original Members. It was agreed that original membership should include not only the nations which participated in the San Francisco Conference but also those which had previously signed the Declaration by United Nations of January 1, 1942. This formula makes provision for the membership of certain countries which may not technically be called states but which are nevertheless signatories of the United Nations Declaration, as well as of a country such as Poland which was a signatory of the United Nations Declaration but was not represented at the San Francisco Conference.

As suggested above, the idea of qualified and limited membership prevailed only after considerable discussion. The advocates of universality sought to maintain their position by opposing any provisions in the Charter which would limit the possibility of universality, and they particularly directed their attention to the elimination of the Dumbarton Oaks provision on expulsion. While not pressing for a specific insertion in the Charter of a clause prohibiting withdrawal, they urged the adoption of an interpretative statement holding that the absence of a withdrawal clause was to be interpreted as meaning that the right of withdrawal did not exist. They likewise opposed the insertion in the Charter of any rigid qualifications for membership.


The United States Delegation was particularly concerned with the question of withdrawal. The Delegation took the position that there should be no explicit provision in the Charter either prohibiting the right of withdrawal or providing for voluntary withdrawal, but considered that an interpretative statement should be incorporated in the proceedings of the Conference explaining the silence of the Charter on this question. The attitude of the Delegation was first set forth in the following statement of Representative Eaton to the Technical Committee on May 21, 1945:

“It is the position of the United States Delegation that there should be no amendment prohibiting withdrawal from the Organization. The memorandum of the Rapporteur of the Drafting Sub-Committee on membership read to this Committee on May 14 suggests that if there is no prohibition of withdrawal, and if the Charter remains silent on this matter, any possibility of lawful withdrawal is eliminated. That is not my view. Rather, it is my opinion that if the Charter is silent on withdrawal, the possibility of withdrawal would have to be determined in any particular case

in the light of the surrounding circumstances at the time.” A number of the delegations held that there should be an express provision in the Charter permitting members to withdraw in the event of the entry into force of Charter amendments which they found it impossible to accept. They pointed out that this protection was needed because it might be possible for the Organization, acting through its normal amending procedure, or through a general conference, to increase the obligations of Members without their consent. In reply it was pointed out that under the kind of Organization that was being established, it would not be possible to compel Members to accept amendments to which they had not consented, but that it was not necessary to provide for a specific provision in the Charter to assure them of the right of withdrawal in those circumstances.

It was finally agreed that no provision be made in the Charter for withdrawal, but that a statement regarding it should be included in the report of the Committee handling the subject, so that it might be adopted by the Conference. The text of this statement, in which the United States Delegation concurred, and which was eventually adopted by the Conference, is as follows:

“The Committee adopts the view that the Charter should not make express provision either to permit or to prohibit withdrawal from the Organization. The Committee deems that the highest duty of the nations which will become Members is to continue their cooperation within the Organization for the preservation of international peace and security. If, however, a Member because of exceptional circumstances feels constrained to withdraw, and leave the burden of maintaining international peace and security on the other Members, it is not the purpose of the Organization to compel that Member to continue its cooperation in the Organization.

"It is obvious, particularly, that withdrawals or some other forms of dissolution of the Organization would become inevitable if, deceiving the hopes of humanity, the Organization was revealed

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