Volume #24 - 14.|
THIRTEENTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, NEW YORK,
SEPTEMBER 16 TO DECEMBER 13, 1958
INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CANADIAN DELEGATION
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CANADIAN DELEGATION15 TO THE THIRTEENTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS|
The Thirteenth Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly opens on September 16 with an agenda of seventy-two items. This memorandum contains instructions on certain important items of the general policy of the Delegation.16 These will be supplemented by instructions to the Delegation on specific questions as they arise.
The Delegation will seek as always to promote greater international co-operation in the peaceful settlement of disputes and in pursuit of the broad objectives of the Charter. In doing so, it will bear in mind governmental policy as established in public statements on certain of the more significant subjects to be discussed in the General Assembly. Thus it has been made clear that Canada favours, in principle, strengthening the United Nations by the creation of arrangements for a permanent United Nations force which would assist in the peaceful settlement of international disputes but recognizes that there are immense practical and political difficulties. Concerning the question of disarmament, it has been stated that we are prepared to regard the agreed Western proposals as flexible and as a basis for negotiation rather than as a plan to be accepted. On the question of the Middle East, Canada has given support to the resolution adopted by the Third Emergency Session of the General Assembly and has expressed hope that the countries primarily concerned will co-operate fully to ensure the success of the arrangements envisaged. Canada has given support to the establishment of a Special Fund within the United Nations to further the economic development of under-developed countries and Canadian delegations have participated in drafting the terms and conditions for the establishment and operation of the Fund. It has been stated that, provided the organizational arrangements as finally approved by the Assembly are well designed and provided that there is broad support for the proposal among particularly the contributing nations, Canada will consider making an appropriate contribution. Instructions on these and certain other items are contained in the following paragraphs.
The current peace-making efforts of the Secretary-General in the Middle East under the unanimous resolution of the recently concluded third emergency special session of the General Assembly will come under review, in whole or in part, during the period of the thirteenth regular session, the Secretary-General having been instructed in the resolution to report thereunder by September 30, 1958. In general, the Canadian Delegation should endeavour to facilitate the tasks of the United Nations, and, particularly, of the Secretary-General, bearing in mind that the unanimous mandate conferred on him demonstrated not only that the United Nations machinery appears to offer the best, and perhaps the only, means of achieving a settlement in the area of dangerously conflicting Great Power interests; but also that the co-operation of the Arab states in the search for such a settlement will probably be forthcoming only if any United Nations action in the area recognizes the common political and economic fabric of the Arab World. While the Delegation should therefore render all necessary assistance to the United Nations efforts to reconcile inter-Arab differences, it should remain the Delegation's prime concern to assist in devising a formula to regulate relations between Israel and the Arab states, either individually or collectively.
Secretary-General's Study on Experience of UNEF
Since 1945 every effort aimed at developing permanent machinery for the preservation of peace through the employment of a United Nations force has failed. It remains the Canadian view that the effectiveness of the United Nations as an instrument for preventing or stopping armed conflict would be greatly enhanced if permanent arrangements existed for the provision of forces for use by the United Nations in appropriate circumstances. In view of persistent opposition, on political, financial and administrative grounds, to the creation of a permanent United Nations force, it seems unlikely that any major advance in this direction will be achieved at the thirteenth session of the General Assembly. However, the Secretary-General, in his report of the Secretariat study of UNEF experience, may indicate the possibility of at least limited progress through the establishment of a standby organization which would be capable of preparing for, and thereby facilitating, the rapid deployment of observer or patrol type groups to meet various future contingencies.
Until details of the Secretary-General's report are known specific instructions cannot be given. The Delegation will, however, wish to consult with other delegations and report upon the reception of the Secretary-General's study. The Delegation will wish to encourage any initiative which it would appear would carry support in the Assembly for the development of specific proposals to be considered by member governments which would tend to increase the effectiveness of the United Nations in the provision of observer groups or of forces to be charged with the tasks of fact-finding and reporting in areas of international tension or of prevention of conflict and preservation of settlements reached.
Canadian policy supports the establishment of an international space agency to assure that jurisdiction would be vested in the United Nations and that outer space would be used for peaceful and scientific purposes only. The Soviet Union has presented proposals for collaboration within the United Nations in the exploration of outer space, but has linked this question to the elimination of foreign bases. The United States is proposing that there should be a United Nations committee to survey the needs, potentialities and resources in the field of peaceful uses of outer space and to make recommendations.
The course proposed by the United States appears in general appropriate to command the support of the Delegation. It emphasizes international collaboration in the peaceful exploration of space. However, the Delegation should seek to ensure that the disarmament aspects are not neglected and that recognition is given to the need to find without delay a basis for agreement to ensure that outer space will be used exclusively for peaceful and scientific purposes.
The refusal of the Soviet Union to participate in the Disarmament Commission as composed for 1958 has meant that the regular processes of negotiation have been interrupted. However, there has taken place on an ad hoc basis the conference of experts on nuclear tests which reached agreed recommendations on a control system; there is an early prospect of a political conference of the three testing powers with a view to negotiating the terms of a suspension agreement; the United States proposal for technical talks on safeguards against surprise attack is expected to be accepted in principle by the Soviet Union; and there is a possibility that the problems raised by the penetration of outer space may be found suitable for similar specialized consideration. It is evident that, despite the lack of agreed United Nations machinery and the absence of negotiations on the overall problem, there is more evidence of concrete progress this year and a more promising outlook than could be reported at the outset of any previous session. Nevertheless, the existence of an accepted negotiating forum would be desirable to facilitate consideration of the results of specialized discussions and to ensure that the interests of the lesser powers are not neglected.
It would be appropriate for the Delegation to approach the appointment of members of the Disarmament Commission and the general debate on disarmament with the attitude that the piece-meal discussion of various aspects of disarmament by the governments most concerned should be continued as long as it shows promise of results, but that such discussion should be brought within the United Nations framework in a more formal way. To that end it would appear proper to advocate the continuation of specialized discussions, to stress the advantages of a flexible approach, to minimize discussion of the differences between the rival overall plans and to seek a compromise on the composition of the Disarmament Commission.
In June the United Kingdom announced a plan for the administration of Cyprus which was devised to increase Greek and Turkish participation in the administration of the island without prejudice to the ultimate political pattern which would not be determined for a probable period of seven years. The acquiescence of Greece and Turkey to the British plan, although sought by Mr. Macmillan, has not been forthcoming.
As yet, there has been no indication of Greek intentions in regard to the question of Cyprus which they have proposed for inclusion on the agenda; specific policy guidance will be provided when tactics at the Assembly become clearer. It is, however, thought that a specific endorsement by the United Nations might limit the flexibility of the United Kingdom plan and increase the problem of Greek and Turkish co-operation. On the other hand, general approval of the plan and encouragement to Greece and Turkey to co-operate might be helpful particularly if a resolution along these lines were sponsored and supported by the anti-colonial groups.
In view of Canada's common NATO membership and friendly ties with the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey, the Delegation should be cautious in taking any initiative which might affect our good relations by urging on any of the parties concessions which they will oppose. Nevertheless, the Delegation might with due discretion encourage any step which would bring the parties more closely together and help towards a solution.
The consequences for North Africa and France of failure by Premier de Gaulle to find a solution for the Algeria situation could be grave. Precipitate action and immoderate debate in the General Assembly which might hinder his efforts should therefore be avoided. Specific guidance will be sent to the Delegation when Premier de Gaulle's plans become known and the tactics of the sponsors of the Algerian item can be more clearly determined. The Delegation may, however, vote for inscription of the item on the agenda.
Under this item there will be considered a further report of the Special Committee on Hungary dealing with the execution of Nagy, Maleter, and others. The Soviet Union's attitude towards United Nations resolutions in condemnation of the Soviet Union's violation of the independence of Hungary, the continuance by the Hungarian Government of acts of repression against the Hungarian people in defiance of United Nations resolutions, and the refusal to co-operate with the representatives of the United Nations charged with investigation of the Hungarian situation are deserving of condemnation. The continued pressure of world public opinion may conceivably restrain the Soviet Union and Hungarian Government from further repressive acts. It would be unfortunate if by passing over the latest report of continued repression too lightly the United Nations should give the impression that its earlier efforts on behalf of the Hungarian people were not sincere, or that the actions of the Soviet Union and Hungarian Government have been in any way forgotten or condoned. There is, however, little to be gained by seeking any further United Nations action of a specific character or by protracted debate which would be regarded by the uncommitted nations as merely an exchange of cold-war propaganda. It might be desirable to accept the termination of the existence of the Special Committee on Hungary at this stage if this can be done in such a way as to avoid any impression that United Nations concern in securing an amelioration of the sufferings of the Hungarian people is diminished.
At the same time it would be helpful if the General Assembly could approve an expression of continued international concern since this would not only be encouraging to the ordinary people of Hungary but might possibly have a deterrent effect on the repressive measures of the Hungarian Government.
In general it is not considered that credentials if formally in order should be rejected on political grounds. It is nevertheless difficult to agree that the United Nations should accept the representatives of a government maintained in power as a result of Soviet military intervention which the United Nations has condemned. For this reason the Delegation should support a resolution similar to the ones introduced by the United States in 1956 and 1957 and at the Third Emergency Session, by which the General Assembly took no decision as to the validity of the Hungarian credentials. This procedure permits the Hungarian Government Delegation to sit in the Assembly with full rights of participation but without formal acknowledgement of its right to do so. The Delegation should not vote to reject the credentials of the Hungarian delegation unless there is broad support for such action in the Assembly.
The problem of Chinese representation has arisen at every session of the General Assembly since 1950 and this year the United States may find it more difficult to carry its procedural motion to postpone consideration of the question for the duration of the session. The Delegation should vote in favour of a procedural motion postponing consideration of the issue for a fixed period of time such as for the duration of the Thirteenth Session of the General Assembly. The Delegation should also vote in favour of accepting the credentials of the Representative of the Republic of China if they are challenged.
The South African Government which has maintained only token representation at the United Nations since 1956 has announced its intention of resuming full participation in the work of the United Nations and has based its decision on what it considered to be the more conciliatory attitude of a number of United Nations members towards the discussion of its policies at the last session of the General Assembly. The continued participation of South Africa in the work of the United Nations is to be encouraged. The efforts of the United Nations to secure an improvement in the racial policies of the South African Government will not, it is believed, be assisted by immoderate debates or by the continuation of critical attacks which would result in South Africa's withdrawal from the United Nations. With these considerations in mind the Delegation should seek to avoid any vote or action in the Assembly which would go further in support of United Nations action in respect of South African racial policies than the Canadian position at last year's General Assembly. The Delegation should, therefore, abstain on inscription of the items on race conflict in South Africa resulting from the policy of apartheid and on the treatment of Indians in South Africa on the basis that such further discussion in the Assembly would seem unlikely to serve a useful purpose. If the items are inscribed, as may be expected, the Delegation should abstain on any resolution appealing to South Africa to revise its policies but might in its discretion support an appeal for negotiations between South Africa and India and Pakistan on the treatment of Indians in South Africa.
The Korean Question
It may be expected that at this session the Soviet bloc will not only denounce the action taken by the United States to modernize military equipment in Korea in contrast to the Chinese withdrawal of forces, but will also propose again that the United Nations Commission on the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea (UNCURK) be abolished. This prospective attack makes it particularly important for those states which had forces in Korea to maintain a common front on the Korean question, and the Delegation, bearing this in mind, should work privately with friendly delegations for a resolution on the Korean problem reiterating United Nations objectives and sufficiently positive and conciliatory in tone to ensure the support of the majority of uncommitted countries.
Special United Nations Fund for Economic Development
At its twelfth session the General Assembly decided to establish a Special Fund to further the technical, economic and social development of the less developed countries. Canada played an active role in negotiations which led to the resolution now submitted by the Economic and Social Council to the General Assembly.
The Delegation should support the ECOSOC resolution which sets out the organizational, administrative and financial arrangement for the Fund, and its detailed scope of operations. Canadian support in principle for the Fund has been announced by the Canadian Government and the Delegation may reaffirm Canadian willingness to make a suitable contribution provided arrangements along the lines of the ECOSOC resolution are approved by the Assembly and receive broad international support.
Conference on the Law of the Sea
The Delegation should give its full support to the convening of a new international conference on the law of the sea at the earliest practicable date following the conclusion of this session of the General Assembly (March or April 1959 would seem suitable). It would be preferable that the conference be held in a neutral location and Geneva or possibly New Delhi might be suggested. The Delegation should support inclusion in the terms of reference of the conference of the questions of the breadth of the territorial sea and of a contiguous fishing zone and should resist any attempt to separate these two items. The Delegation should support any move to include in the resolution a request that member states should refrain from taking unilateral action prior to the convening of a new conference and should oppose any attempt to include in a resolution a request that states attempt to enter into settlement among themselves with regard to fishing rights prior to the convening of the conference. The Delegation should oppose the inclusion of any questions other than the breadth of the territorial sea and a contiguous fishing zone in the terms of reference for the new conference.
15 La délégation canadienne était
dirigée par Sidney Smith et Browne, respectivement président et vice-président.
Pour obtenir la liste exhaustive des membres de la délégation, voir Canada, ministère des
[ho]Affaires extérieures, Affaires Extérieures, 12, décembre 1958, p.296.
15 Note marginale:/Marginal note: