Volume #20 - 119.|
UNITED NATIONS AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
NINTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 21-DECEMBER 17, 1954
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CANADIAN DELEGATION
Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs|
CABINET DOCUMENT NO.187-54|
September 7th, 1954|
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CANADIAN DELEGATION TO THE NINTH SESSION|
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS
The ninth session of the General Assembly is not expected to result in relaxation of major international tensions. None of the items on the agenda offers hope for significant rapprochement between the free nations and the communist world. Most of the contentious items on the agenda have been debated previously. The outcome of the Geneva Conference provides little scope for constructive action on a political settlement for Korea, and the decisions of the Conference on Indochina are not expected to come directly before the Assembly. Some new items, such as Cyprus and West New Guinea, raise grave problems for the countries of the free world, and lend themselves to communist exploitation.
2. Since the end of the eighth session, the communist alliance has achieved a number of diplomatic triumphs outside the United Nations. Its members in the United Nations undoubtedly will seek to pose as protagonists of peace, and to exploit and derive propaganda dividends from differences between non-communist countries which will be aired on a number of issues at the ninth session. In accordance with past practice, the Canadian Delegation 1
, therefore, should use its influence to mediate and conciliate disputes involving the non-communist countries in the interests of a united front for the free world. On the other hand, the Delegation should not support any initiative which would deprive the communist members of their rights under the Charter or which, without some important compensatory advantage, would provoke them to leave the Organization.
3. The Canadian Delegation should support Dr. Van Kleffens of the Netherlands for the Presidency of the General Assembly. In the Security Council elections, it should support Belgium to replace Denmark, and any candidate agreed upon by the Latin American bloc to replace Colombia. Canada's choice for the third vacancy on the Security Council, which results from the retirement of Lebanon, will not be made until further information on candidates becomes available. In the elections for the Economic and Social Council, the Canadian Delegation should vote for France for re-election, the Netherlands to replace Belgium, the choices of the Latin American bloc to replace Argentina and Cuba, and probably Burma and Egypt (a retiring member). The Canadian Delegation should vote for Dr. Pal of India in the by-election for the seat in the International Court of Justice left vacant through the death of Sir Benegal Rau, and the candidates nominated by the Canadian National Group in the general elections. The Group nominated Sir Zafrulla Khan, if he decides to contest the election, Professor H. Lauterpacht of the United Kingdom, Mr. J. Basdevant of France and Mr. C. de Visscher of Belgium.
4. A joint report will be submitted to the General Assembly by the fifteen nations which participated in the Geneva Conference. The Canadian Delegation should seek to have the Assembly simply note the report and leave consideration of Korean unification to a more propitious time. The Assembly might also re-affirm the Armistice Agreement and re-state United Nations objectives in Korea. If the question of the future of UNCURK arises, the Delegation should seek to have the Commission continue its activities without substantial change, pending new developments in Korea. The Assembly may be reminded that UNKRA, which was established to promote relief and rehabilitation in Korea, is suffering from a serious shortage of funds and a new appeal for increased financial support may be made.
Representation of Communist China in the United Nations
5. In view of the failure of efforts to reach a final peace settlement in Korea in accordance with the principles laid down by the United Nations, the Canadian Delegation should continue at the ninth session to support measures to postpone consideration of the question of Chinese representation for a limited period. In the unlikely event that a vote is in prospect on the substantive question, the Canadian Delegation should refer the matter back to Cabinet.
Admission of New Members
6. It is understood that the Committee of Good Offices appointed by the General Assembly at the eighth session to investigate the possibilities of breaking the deadlock on the admission of new members will be unable to report any progress to the ninth session. The Canadian Delegation should support any measures which may be made to implement a suggestion by the Secretary-General in his latest Annual Report that progress might be made by considering individually applications of countries "which do not directly enter into the balance between the conflicting camps". The Canadian Delegation also should support an Australian proposal to seat Laos and Cambodia in view of the favourable references to their future independence made at Geneva in the settlement on Indochina. It should examine carefully any new "package deal" proposals which may emerge but should refuse to consider any proposals involving the applications of the North Korean and Viet-Minh States in view of plans for the eventual unification of Korea and the Viet-Minh-Viet Nam States.
7. Consideration of the future of Cyprus has been requested by the Government of Greece, which complains that the Government of the United Kingdom has refused to agree to bilateral discussions. The Government of the United Kingdom has indicated it will invoke Article 2(7) of the Charter concerning domestic jurisdiction in an attempt to prevent discussion. The past policy of the Canadian Government on similar questions has been to favour the right of the Assembly to discuss the issue but has been opposed to resolutions that clearly impinge on the domestic jurisdiction of states and involve intervention. While consistently upholding the right of the Assembly to discuss questions involving Article 2(7), Canadian Delegations occasionally in the past have recognized the desirability of avoiding or postponing discussions on political grounds. The attitude of the Canadian Delegation on the Cyprus question should be aimed at minimizing embarrassment to the free world, and views of the Canadian Delegation on the usefulness of the Assembly's discussing the question should be determined in the light of circumstances prevailing at the time and after further consultation with other friendly delegations.
Tunisia and Morocco
8. At its seventh session, the General Assembly adopted two resolutions in connection with Tunisia and Morocco. The Tunisian resolution urged France to continue negotiations with Tunisian leaders to develop increased measures of self-government in Tunisia. The Moroccan resolution was similar but referred to the development of "free political institutions" rather than self-government. As negotiations have continued in regard to Tunisia and since the French Government recently offered important concessions there, the Canadian Delegation should use its influence to discourage renewed intervention by the Assembly. Corresponding developments have not taken place in Morocco, however, and the Delegation, in accordance with past practice, should not attempt to prevent discussion of the Moroccan problem.
The Question of Dutch New Guinea (West New Guinea)
9. This item has been proposed by the Government of Indonesia to bring pressure on the Government of the Netherlands to resume negotiations on the question of the future of the western half of the island of New Guinea. Discussions which began in connection with negotiations between Dutch and Indonesian authorities on the transfer of sovereignty in the Netherlands East Indies have reached a stalemate and the Dutch have shown unwillingness to negotiate further. The Dutch wish to retain West New Guinea for strategic and economic reasons. The issue has political significance in Indonesia and is being pressed by the Indonesian Government to soothe nationalist bitterness. It has been suggested that the problem might be solved by the establishment of a long-term Dutch trusteeship - a solution that would have advantages for the parties directly concerned as well as for interested third parties. The Canadian Delegation probably should not oppose inclusion of the item on the agenda providing the Indonesian proposal is limited to a request to the Dutch to resume bilateral negotiations, since new discussions have a reasonable prospect of achieving a solution. The Delegation should not define its attitude definitely, however, until further information becomes available on the plans of the Netherlands and other friendly governments for dealing with the question.
South Africa (Items on Race Conflict and Treatment of People of Indian Origin)
10. The Canadian Delegation should continue to support the right of the Assembly to discuss these questions but should abstain on resolutions constituting intervention in domestic affairs of South Africa.
11. A substantial improvement in the position of the West on disarmament has resulted from the private conversations which took place in London during May and June 1954. Canada should participate in Western efforts to capitalize on this development during the ninth session on the assumption that the Western Powers will present a united front on the main aspects of the disarmament programme. In any event the Canadian delegation should support the continuation of the Disarmament Commission which is the proper forum for a detailed examination of the Anglo-French proposals on a comprehensive disarmament programme (and the United States working paper on international control) submitted in London, which has yet to take place. The General Assembly will most probably be asked to express its opinion on the Indian proposals for a "standstill agreement" on hydrogen bomb tests. The Canadian delegation should support any reasonable position taken in this matter by the United States and the United Kingdom, which are more immediately concerned.
12. Proposals to establish a special United Nations Fund for Economic Development (SUNFED) and an International Finance Corporation (IFC) will again be discussed. While recognizing the needs of under-developed countries, the Delegation should adhere to the previously expressed Canadian view that it is inadvisable to set up the Fund or the Corporation until circumstances, including progress in disarmament, are such that developed countries can contribute on a worthwhile scale. Canada would not be prepared to contribute at the present time. The Delegation should, however, support action to keep alive both the SUNFED and the IFC projects until a more propitious time.
13. A separate memorandum will be submitted on technical assistance matters, with recommendations for the Canadian contribution to the Expanded Programme for 1955. 2
14. The Canadian position on the international flow of private capital is that the most important steps toward creating a favourable climate for investment must be taken by the under-developed countries desiring to attract capital.
Human Rights and Social Questions
15. The Draft Covenants on Human Rights have been finally completed by the Commission on Human Rights, and unless a special conference is convened to consider them, this session of the General Assembly may possibly be our last opportunity to influence their content. The Delegation should repeat earlier Canadian suggestions on the drafting of the Covenants, insofar as these have not been incorporated in the final draft, and in particular should press for the inclusion of an acceptable federal-state clause. If the present Soviet-sponsored clause, which requires unlimited application of the Covenants by federal states, is retained, it may be impossible for Canada to sign the Covenants. The Delegation should therefore be careful not to commit Canada to signing the Covenants.
16. The Delegation may support in principle the proposals of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds should assume the responsibility of raising funds for emergency aid to the refugees under his mandate and that a five-year programme of integration and resettlement of refugees should be undertaken. No commitment can be made, however, for a Canadian contribution to the High Commissioner's Fund at this time.
17. On the various lesser items relating to human rights and freedoms and social problems, the Delegation should endeavour to have the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies undertake projects which are realistic in terms of prevailing world conditions and in which there is a possibility of practical results.
Questions of Dependent Territories
18. In trusteeship matters, it has been the Canadian view that the details of the administration of trust territories should be left to the Trusteeship Council and the General Assembly should concern itself with broad principles. The Delegation should maintain this attitude. It should also seek to moderate the inevitable disagreements between those countries that administer trust territories or colonies and those that do not and are critical of the administering powers.
19. The United Kingdom proposal to end its trusteeship of British Togoland and unite this territory with the Gold Coast appears to warrant Canadian support. Although there is no prospect of South Africa accepting any form of accounting for South West Africa to the United Nations, the Delegation should support the procedure which has been worked out by the Ad Hoc Committee on South West Africa in an effort to implement the International Court's opinion on the status of the territory.
20. The International Court has ruled that the General Assembly has no right to reject the awards of compensation made by the United Nations Administrative Tribunal to dismissed United States nationals. The United States may continue to oppose payment of the awards, but the Canadian Delegation should vote to uphold the opinion of the International Court.