Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

to be unable to maintain peace or could do so only at the expense of law and justice.

"Nor would a Member be bound to remain in the Organization if its rights and obligations as such were changed by Charter amendment in which it has not concurred and which it finds itself unable to accept, or if an amendment duly accepted by the necessary majority in the Assembly or in a general conference fails to secure the ratification necessary to bring such amendment into effect.

"It is for these considerations that the Committee has decided to abstain from recommending insertion in the Charter of a

formal clause specifically forbidding or permitting withdrawal.” The result of the foregoing is a situation different from that which existed under the League of Nations. The League Covenant recognized withdrawal as an absolute right which any Member could exercise for any reason, or even without reason. In fact, the right was utilized primarily by would-be aggressors. Under the present Charter, withdrawal is permissible but it will have to be justified.

EXPULSION AND SUSPENSION

A number of delegations urged that the Dumbarton Oaks provision on expulsion be omitted from the Charter. They expressed the view that expulsion applied to a state and not to a government, and accordingly it would be more difficult to readmit a Member once expelled than it would be to suspend the exercise of the rights and privileges of membership, since these might be restored at any time by the Security Council. It was likewise suggested that the retention of the provision on suspension and the omission of the provision on expulsion would in effect impose a more serious penalty upon a recalcitrant Member because such a Member would continue to be bound by the obligations of the Charter. A state which was expelled, on the other hand, would not be so bound and might have greater freedom of action. Those who held this view proposed that the provision on suspension be extended to include th

power of the Organization to suspend Members who gravely and persistently violated the principles contained in the Charter. While there was considerable support for this position, it was pointed out by a number of delegations, and particularly by the Delegation of the Soviet Union, that it would be unfortunate to have a Member persistently violating the principles of the Charter while continuing to remain a Member of the Organization. Such a Member would be like a cancerous growth and ought not, it was thought, to be associated in any way with the Organization. In the end this view prevailed at the Conference, as did the view that the Dumbarton Oaks provision for suspension should also be retained.

ORGANS

(Chapter III) The structure of international organizations has tended to follow a somewhat uniform pattern. Under this pattern, there is a general body in which all members of the organization are represented, and where they have an opportunity to participate in formulating and carrying out plans and purposes. At the same time, it has been recog. nized that the many members of such a body cannot efficiently conduct the details of the organization's affairs. Accordingly, there is usually a smaller group which can meet more frequently and apply in specific situations the organization's general rules and principles. It is also clearly necessary to have some kind of staff to arrange the meetings and to attend to the multitudinous details of a continuously function. ing organization. Depending upon the type of organization, addi. tional bodies or organs may be added.

The League of Nations was organized in general along the above lines. It has its Assembly, in which all members are represented, its smaller Council, and its Secretariat. In addition, there are in the general framework of the League system a variety of special bodies and committees of which the two most important are the International Labor Organization and the Permanent Court of International Justice.

Chapter IV of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals listed the principal organs of the proposed organization—a General Assembly, a Security Council, an international court of justice, and a Secretariat. They provided also that the Organization might establish such subsidiary agencies as might be found necessary. Chapter IX of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals also provided for the establishment of an Economic and Social Council, although this was not listed among the “principal organs”.

ESTABLISHMENT OF ORGANS

At San Francisco the structure of the Organization was discussed in connection with the listing of the principal organs. There was no question of eliminating any of the organs mentioned in Chapter IV of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals but it was seen that certain additions ought to be made. By reason of their importance, the Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council were added to the original list of organs prescribed at Dumbarton Oaks.

Each of the principal organs is described in detail in other chapters of this Report. They are established by and listed in Chapter III of the Charter and are referred to here for the purpose of indicating the general structure of the Organization.

Article 7 of the Charter retains the provision which is found in Chapter IV of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals to the effect that the Organization may establish such subsidiary agencies as may be found necessary. Article 63 provides that the Economic and Social Council, subject to approval by the General Assembly, may enter into arrangements with various specialized intergovernmental agencies having wide international responsibilities in economic, social, cultural, educatonal, health, and related fields. This provision, in modfied form, reproduces the suggestion made in Chapter IX, Section A, Paragraph 2, of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals. It will depend upon the nature of these organizations and of the agreements entered into with them whether they become agencies or organs of the United Nations or whether they retain their separate existence and special relationship to the United Nations.

EQUALITY FOR MEN AND WOMEN

Some consideration was given at Dumbarton Oaks to the possibility of providing that positions in the Secretariat be open equally to men and women. It was, however, decided that such a provision, if considered desirable, might be inserted by the Conference at San Francisco. The question of the desirability of this turned out to be the primary issue confronting the Committee of the Conference considering Chapter III of the Charter. While there was no objection to the insertion of an appropriate clause, there was difficulty in agreeing on the exact text. Some delegations felt that such a provision should apply only to the Secretariat. It was argued, however, that a broader provision including other organs and agencies of the Organization would be more desirable. The principal question arose over the wording of an amendment introduced by the Uruguayan Delegation to the effect that “Representation and participation in the organs of the Organization shall be open both to men and women under the same conditions". This was open to the objection that it implied that Members of the Organization might be obligated to apply the principle in appointing their representatives on various organs of the Organization. It was argued that the Organization could not place restrictions upon Members in the appointment of their own representatives. Consequently, after considerable discussion, it was agreed that it would be more suitable if the Charter merely provided that the Organization should "place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs”. This is the phraseology now found in Article 8.

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

(Chapter IV) In the contemporary world, public opinion plays a greater part internationally than it has ever played before. The inter-dependence and inter-relation of peoples and countries may make world problems of problems that develop in any part of the world. At the same time, modern instruments of communication, with the continuing interchange of expression among nations and peoples which they make possible, create a situation in which a true world opinion can form.

It is essential, therefore, that the United Nations, which is designed to play an effective part in the world of our time, should relate itself through appropriate instruments to public opinion. Whatever executive or legal or advisory organs it may possess, it must also provide a forum for discussion. Not to do so would be to deprive the organization of one of the most powerful means at its disposal for the accomplishment of its purpose.

The establishment of such a forum, however, creates obvious difficulties. In the present state, at least, of world opinion, an international legislative body is out of the question, since the several nations are not willing to sacrifice their sovereignty to the extent of permitting an international legislature to enact laws binding upon them or on

their peoples. At the same time, an assembly with the power to discuss but without the power to reach conclusions, is not an effective forum for the discussion of real issues or for the focusing of opinion. It was doubtless for this reason, in part, that the Assembly of the League of Nations was given powers which duplicated to a considerable extent those of the Council of the League.

Thep roblem is resolved in the Charter of the United Nations by creating a General Assembly having broad powers of discussion, but possessing at the same time the right to initiate studies and to make recommendations for the purpose of promoting international cooperation. Since the conclusions reached after full discussion and debate by the representatives of fifty or more nations will necessarily carry great influence, the Assembly seems assured of an important role in the formation of world opinion. The successful performance of this role would require that the proceedings of the General Assembly should not be secret and the Conference took this view. Although the Charter leaves it to the General Assembly to fix its ow procedure, Commission II of the Conference urged that the rules of procedure adopted at the first meeting should provide that, “save in exceptional cases, the sessions of the General Assembly shall be open to the public and the press of the wold”.

The position taken by the United States Delegation with reference to the General Assembly was clearly defined from the beginning of the Conference. From the first Conference question to the last—that is to say, from the question of the organization of the Conference itself to the question of the limits of discussion in the proposed General Assembly—the United States Delegation supported the general proposition that an effective international organization must be constructed on the most broadly democratic basis, if it is to operate effectively. It was a member of the United States Delegation who expressed the hope that the General Assembly would be "the town meeting of the world”. It is believed that that hope has been realized in the Charter.

THE FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

In its general structure and competence in its relations with the other organs of the Organization, the General Assembly remains as it was basically conceived in Chapter V of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals. However, as a result of the San Francisco Conference the enumeration of the functions attributed to the General Assembly, has been expanded and made more specific. This has had the effect of broadening the range of activity and of making more precise the duties with which the General Assembly will be entrusted.

The functions of the General Assembly may be broadly described as being to deliberate, to administer, to elect, to approve budgets and to initiate amendments.

The United Nations is not, of course, a super-state nor is the General Assembly a legislative or law-making body in the usual sense of that term. It is, however, a deliberative body which has the right to consider and discuss any subject within the scope of the Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any organs provided in the Charter. With one exception, which is noted later, it may also make recommendations to the Members of the United Nations or to the Security Council on any such matters (Article 10). The General As

sembly will probably not have extended sessions such as the Congress of the United States or the Parliamentary bodies of other countries. It will meet annually and in special session when called (Article 20) and it seems likely that its sessions will not ordinarily run for more than five or six weeks, since the responsible officials who attend its meetings usually cannot be away from their national responsibilities for a greater length of time. Its deliberative character, however, will normally result in the passing of resolutions on the subjects brought before it and it will usually be the duty of the various councils and of the Secretariat to give such effect to these resolutions as they may require. The term "deliberative" therefore is characteristic of its general functions.

The administrative functions with which the General Assembly will be endowed include making recommendations for the coordination of policies of the various international economic and social agencies which operate directly under its authority or which are brought into relation with the Organization. (Articles 57, 58, 60). It will establish regulations governing the Secretariat (Article 101). It will have important duties of supervision over areas under trusteeship (Articles 87, 88). Moreover, it will be the organ primarily responsible for the smooth functioning of the entire Organization and for seeing that provision is made for the establishment of such subsidiary organs as will be necessary to carry out its duties (Article 22).

The electoral function attributed to the General Assembly places it in a central position in the entire Organization, since most of the other organs will partially or wholly depend upon the election of members by the General Assembly. For example, six of the eleven state members of the Security Council will be periodically elected by the General Assembly (Article 23), as well as the eighteen states members of the Economic and Social Council (Article 61) and some of the members of the Trusteeship Council (Article 86, Paragraph c). In addition, the judges of the International Court of Justice will be elected by the General Assembly concurrently with the Security Council. The Secretary-General will be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council (Article 97). Also on the recommendation of the Security Council, the General Assembly will admit new members to the United Nations (Article 4).

The budgetary function of the General Assembly empowers that body to consider and approve the budget of the Organization as well as any financial and budgetary arrangements with specialized intergovernmental agencies brought into relationship with it, and to apportion overall expenses of the Organization among its Members (Article 17). The allocation to the General Assembly of the task of apportioning the expenses and approving the budgets of the Organization is an extension to the international field of the fundamental principle of democratic government that the purse strings should be held by the most widely representative organ. At the Conference there was some discussion of the desirability of specifying in detail the budgetary procedures and methods of apportioning expenses, but all such suggestions were in the end rejected on the ground that the Charter should be held as much as possible to the description of fundamental powers and functions, and that the General Assembly could safely be left to take care of details through its own subsequent regulations.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »