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Thus, in summary, an overall solution to the financial problem, according to Hambro's proposals, would involve $146.5 million in waivers and offsets and new cash contributions of about $42.5 million to liquidate the deficit and retire the bonds. Since it is unlikely that all members would waive the debts owed them by the UN, the new cash requirement would probably be closer to $50 million.
$69. 6 Bond issue to be amortized..
Waivers of peacekeeping debts-
34. O 17. 3 79. O 16. 2
146.5 42. 5-50
Subtotal Net Cash Requirement--Mr. DE PALMA. In essence, he is looking for a way both to wipe out
deficit and to deal with those items in the regular budget which are causing a problem because the Soviets and some others refuse to pay their share. He wants an adjustment in both those matters and also some cash payments. His total package involves paying off the U.N. bonds at their remaining value. To do these things there would have to be contributions on the order of $40 to $50 million in fresh money. In our view, this is money which is owed by those who caused the deficit.
The argument is over who is going to put up the money. So far, the French have put up $3.9 million. That is the only new contribution that has been made, and this happened just recently. This is not adequate, in our view, but it is a step in the right direction. The Soviets have not offered any contribution. The matter is not closed, the discussions will continue, but we don't yet see a solution.
Mr. FRASER. Could you comment on the assertion that the fact that the charter specified the National Government of China as a member, made that Government's status subject to a regular expulsion procedure!
Mr. DE PALMA. Mr. Chairman, we had to deal with that argument extensively in the course of the Chinese representation discussion. I think one simple but perhaps graphic way of making the point is that if the Republic of China had changed its name, I don't think anybody would have argned that it no longer belonged on the Security Council. The names given to the members by the charter are the names that they had at the time the charter was drafted. Other countries have changed their names and have not caused any fuss in the United Nations. The point is that the large majority of U.N. members looked upon this as a representation problem. The question was who represents China and the fact that the Republic of China happened to be named in the U.N. Charter as the Government representing China at that time obviously was not persuasive with the majority. It now felt that a change had to be made.
We, ourselves, did not feel that this particular point was an argument which carried sufficient weight for us to make it part of our presentation to the Assembly.
Mr. FRASER. Were there any of our NATO Allies who voted with us in our final vote on the Albania question?
Mr. De Palma. As you indicated, Portugal voted with us on the important question vote.
Mr. FRASER. Biit on the final vote?
Mr. FRASER. If you don't have the list here, you could put it in the record.
Mr. De Palma. May I do that, please?
VOTES OF NATO MEMBERS ON ALBANIAN RESOLUTION No other NATO members voted with the United States against the Albanian resolution. Two members, Greece and Luxembourg, abstained. The rest voted in favor of this resolution. The Federal Republic of Germany is, of course, not a member of the United Nations.
Mr. FRASER. Well, I think that covers the questions I had, Mr. Secretary. I think vour statement has been very useful. I want to say for myself that I think that your stated objective of reducing the U.S. assessed contribution and setting the target of achieving a 25-percent level is a wise one.
I, myself, would like to see the United States remain a strong supporter of the United Nations, but I do believe that for a lote of reasons that the 25-percent figure would make more sense. I am particularly impressed with the value of lessening the dependence of the U.N. on any one member, particularly when we have shown in the recent votes a willingness to disregard certain treaty obligations that stem from the U.N. Charter. I would hate to see the U.N. jeopardized by the actions of any nation which might undertake from time to time to cut back on its contribution, so I think a lessening of the dependency of the U.N. on the United States is a wise move, and I hope that you
will be able to move forward toward that goal in the next few years.
Mr. KAZEN. Mr. Chairman, might I ask the Secretary a question? Mr. FRASER. Yes.
Mr. KAZEN. I am a little bit disturbed in connection with his last statement there hopefully that we will be able to get a reduction. It has taken us 16 years since the 30 percent of principle thing was adopted and has only brought the percentage of our contributions down 1.81 percent in 16 years. We still have not achieved the 30 percent that we set down. Now, what happens if the Congress all of a sudden decides to limit our contributions to 25 percent?
Mr. DE PALMA. Well, if that happened, then we would fall into arrears until we had achieved that reduction through the process of negotiation.
Mr. Kazen. But, you see, that is a tremendous percentage to shoot for, and if it has taken us 16 years for a benefit of only 1.81 percent, how many years will it take us to negotiate or work this thing out through the U.N. to bring down our contribution to 25 percent?
Mr. DE PALMA. I am in no position to predict how long it would take. What I am saying is that we don't intend to go at this in quite the same way. We are not going to be satisfied with simply establish
ing a 25-percent ceiling as a matter of principle and then waiting to see when we can get down to it. We intend to argue that we want to get down to it as quickly as possible.
I can cite at least one case where we achieved some partial success which I think indicates that, in its present mood, the U.N. recognizes how we feel about these things and the process need not take so long. In the International Civil Aviation Organization, we argued that we should be given the major benefit of accession to the organization by the Soviet Union. After a very strenuous negotiating session, we want through the 30-percent ceiling which ICAO had also adopted in principle and down to 28.75 percent. In other words, through just sheer argument and persuasion, we were able to convince the ICAO members that, ceiling or not, we should be brought down to 28.75 percent. We were not satisfied by that, we had wanted to get down further, but I cite that as an example that there is some recognition in the U.N. system of the mood in this country. I am not saying we can get to 25 percent in the next General Assembly, but we are definitely going to get the process started.
Mr. KAZEN. How many years do they allow us to be in arrears after we are expelled?
Mr. DE PALMA. We would not be expelled; we would lose our vote. Mr. KAZEN. Well, before we lose our vote.
Mr. DE PALMA. When our arrears reach an amount equivalent to the contributions due for the previous 2 years.
Mr. Kazen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FRASER. Mr. Secretary, do you know how much we would receive on the basis of current methods of establishing assessment contributions of both Germanys?
Mr. DE PALMA. The assessment rate has been calculated for the Federal Republic of Germany at 6.8 percent.
The reason this was calculated is that the Federal Republic is a member of the Specialized Agencies. Some of them use the U.N. assessment scale and, therefore, the expert U.N. Committee on Contributions worked out this assessment.
East Germany is not a member of any Specialized Agency so its assessment has not been officially worked out. It also would be at a significant level although not on the order of the Federal Republic.
Mr. FRASER. It would put the aggregate over 8, perhaps 9 percent?
Mr. DE PALMA. My guess is between 8 and 9 percent. Close to 9 percent.
Mr. FRASER. Well, thank you, again, Mr. Secretary, for a very fine statement.
Mr. DE PALMA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FRASER. Our final witness is Mr. Stephen M. Schwebel, professor of international law at the School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Schwebel, we appreciated your earlier appearance and appreciate having you here this morning. If you notice, we are under a quorum call, but we will go ahead and proceed.
STATEMENT OF STEPHEN M. SCHWEBEL, PROFESSOR OF INTER
NATIONAL LAW AT THE SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
Mr. SCHWEBEL. Would it make sense to put my statement in the record and endeavor to deal with any questions you may have, sir?
Mr. Fraser. If you like, we shall put it in the record. Perhaps you could comment on one or two points just informally, and then we will go to questions.
Mr. SCHWEBEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(The statement referred to follows:) STATEMENT OF STEPHEN M. SCHWEBEL, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AT THE SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
I greatly appreciate the privilege of testifying before this Subcommittee on proposals to limit United States financial contributions to the United Nations. May I note that I speak for myself, as a citizen and heavily taxed taxpayer, and not for the University or any other institution with which I am affiliated.
H.R. 11386 would enact into law the provision that "... the aggregate amount of assessed and voluntary contributions by the United States to the United Nations and its affiliated agencies for any calendar year after 1971 shall not exceed an amount which bears the same ratio to the total budget of the United Nations and its affiliated agencies as the total population of the United States bears to the total population of all the member states of the United Nations."
I oppose this bill, on the ground that it contemplates a course of action which would be illegal, inequitable and unworkable. Permit me to deal with these perceptions in turn.
Insofar as the bill deals with assessed rather than voluntary contributions, it raises questions of international law. Under international law, that is to say, by the terms of treaties to which the United States has freely subscribed and by which it is bound, the United States is obliged to pay the contributions which are assessed upon it. The fact that this Congress might set a limit such as that prescribed in H.R. 11386 would not detract from the legal authority of international organizations of which the United States is a member to set a higher limit. If the United States were not to pay the amount resulting from that higher level of assessment, it would violate international law. As a citizen of the United States concerned with the good faith and good standing of my Government, I would object to the Congress forcing the United States into a position of an international law-breaker. That would promote neither the interests of the United States, which preeminently benefits from upholding the law, nor the interests of the international organizations to whose purposes this Government is devoted.
Let us take the United Nations as the paramount and typical illustration. Article 17 of the United Nations Charter provides that: “The expenses of the Organization shall be borne by the Members as apportioned by the General Assembly.” As apportioned, it should be noted, not by this Congress or by other national legislatures, but by the General Assembly. Article 17 so provides and further provides that the expenses so apportioned "shall" be borne by the Members. The wording is imperative; the obligation is clear.
Nevertheless, that obligation has been the subject of litigation before the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. In the advisory proceedings on Certain Expenses of the United Nations, the Written Statement of the United States Government to the Court stated the following in respect of Article 17 of the Charter:
Article 17 (2) provides : "The expenses of the Organization shall be borne by the Members as apportioned by the General Assembly.” The language of the provision is mandatory: expenses "shall be borne". (Emphasis added.) Accordingly, the General Assembly's adoption and apportionment of the Organization's expenses create a binding international legal obligation on the part of States Members to pay their assessed shares.
The history of the drafting of Article 17 (2) demonstrates that it was the design of the authors of the Organization's constitution that the membership be legally bound to pay apportioned expenses. The draft that emerged from the Dumbarton Oaks Conference provided, in Chapter V, Section B, paragraph 5: "The General Assembly should apportion the expenses among the Members of the Organization and should be empowered to approve the budgets of the Organization." Doc. No. I, G/I, 3 U.N. Conf. Int'l Org. Docs. 5 (1945).
It will be noted that the Dumbarton Oaks text did not explicitly state that the expenses “shall be borne" by the membership. Committee II/I of Commission II at the San Francisco Conference corrected this deficiency by approving a revised text of the Dumbarton Oaks proposal which ultimately was embodied in Article 17(2): "The expenses of the Organization shall be borne by the Members as apportioned by the General Assembly.” The summary report of the 15th meeting of that Committee declares: “In taking this action, the Committee considered the view of the Advisory Committee of Jurists that a clear statement of the obligation of Members to meet the expenses of the Organization should be found in the Charter." Doc. No. 1094, II/I/40, 8 U.N. Conf. Int'l Org. Docs. 487 (1945). When, during the debate on the Committee text, the Chairman of the Committee suggested that “allocated" would be a better term than "borne", his suggestion was rejected in express reliance on the opinion of the Jurists. Doc. No. WD 427, CO/191, 17 U.N. Conf. Int'l Org. Docs. 198 (1945). See also Doc. No. WD 431, CO/195, id., at 236, and Doc. No. WD 268, C0/110, id., at 406. Article 17 (2) of the Charter is the “clear statement of the obligation of Members to meet the expenses of the Organization" called for by the Advisory Committee of Jurists. 1.C.J. Pleadings, Certain Expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter at pages 193–194).
In oral argument before the Court, The Legal Adviser of the Department of State added:
There is only one article in the Charter dealing with financial obligations of Members, Article 17, paragraph 2. It provides : "The expenses of the Organization shall be borne by the Members as apportioned by the General Assembly.” It vests in the Organization the power, by resolution of the General Assembly apportioning and assessing expenses, to require Member States to pay charges lawfully incurred. This is the meaning, and the whole meaning, of Article 17. It is the plain meaning of the text; it coincides with the intention of the framers of the Charter evidenced in the preparatory work; it is reinforced by the unbroken practice of the Organization under the Charter. It reflects, as a Committee of Jurists said in construing the parallel article of the League of Nations Covenant, “the general principle, a principle applicable to all associations, that legally incurred expenses of an Association must be borne by all its Members in common”. (Contribution of the State of Salvador to the Expenses of the League, A. 128, 1922, V, p. 193). Ibid., at pages 413-414.
The Court held:
By Article 17, paragraph I, the General Assembly is given the power not only to "consider" the budget of the Organization, but also to "approve" it. The decision to "approve” the budget has a close connection with paragraph 2 of Article 17, since thereunder the General Assembly is also given the power to apportion the expenses among the Members and the exercise of the power of apportionment creates the obligation, specifically stated in Article 17, paragraph 2, of each Member to bear that part of the expenses which is apportioned to it by the General Assembly. Certain expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2 of the Charter), Advisory Opinion of July 20, 1962:1.C.J. Reports 1962, page 164.
A similar position obtains in the Specialized Agencies of the United Nations.
Now if the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies in fact were to assess the United States on a scale of contributions not exceeding that contained in H.R. 11386, a violation of international law would, strictly speaking, be avoided. But that possibility appears to be profoundly improbable. The United States is now assessed at some thirty-one percent of the budget of the United Nations. The scale of assessment prescribed by H.R. 11386 would result in the United States being assessed-if that scale were to be accepted by other nations-at something between five and ten percent of the budget of the United Nations, probably on the order of six percent. Such a reduction in assessments upon the United States