Volume #12 - 520.|
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
High Commissioner in Great Britain|
to Secretary of State for External Affairs
January 31st, 1946|
Following from Wrong, Begins: Economic and Social Council.
The Economic and Social Council has now held two meetings, in the course of which most of the delegations have made general statements defining their attitude to the Council.
Our statement' stressed the following points:
The importance Canada attaches to this phase of the work and our willingness to contribute constructively to overcoming obstacles to cooperation.
The necessity of avoiding any special prerogatives for the Great Powers in the Economic and Social Council.
The importance of giving thorough consideration to the Commission and Committee structure of the Council, and
The avoidance of either excessive centralization or decentralization on the part of specialized agencies. This point was stressed because it seemed to us that the United Kingdom delegate was putting forward an excessively centralist view of the relationships.
3. In connection with point (c) above, the position is that the Assembly has adopted the recommendation of the Preparatory Commission, which provides that the Economic and Social Council should, at its first session, set up five Commissions, namely, Human Rights, Economic and Employment, Temporary Social, Statistical, and Narcotic Drugs. The Economic and Social Council is also at this session to give consideration to the establishment of Demographic, Temporary Transport and Communications, and Fiscal Commissions. We suggested that the nomination of members of commissions might, with advantage, be held over in order to give time to explore the possibilities and decide who are the best qualified people. No decision has yet been taken regarding the size of the Commissions. We also questioned the wisdom of the preparatory Commission recommendation that a majority of the members of the Commission should be Government representatives, while agreeing that they probably should be Government officials nominated by the Council in their individual capacities.
4. The Council will appoint small Committees to consider its rules of procedure and the organization of the Secretariat, and will resolve itself into a Committee of the whole to consider:
Its own organization, i.e., question of Commissions and Committees.
Relations with specialized agencies, and possibly
Relations with non-Government institutions.
5. The first meeting of the Committee on Organization was held yesterday and we again put forward the case for deferring the establishment of the main Commissions, while saying that we might immediately establish a small ad hoc expert body on the urgent problems of economic and social reconstruction.
6. This view received considerable support, particularly from the United States, Russian and Chilean delegations, but it is unlikely to be adopted, as Mudaliar seems strongly opposed to giving the appearance of delay, and we are not inclined to press in face of determined opposition from him.
7. In these circumstances, we may be called upon to decide who shall be named as members of the first five Commissions mentioned in paragraph 3 above, and possibly the others. Could you let us know by Monday to which of these Commissions, in order of preference, you consider it desirable that a Canadian should be named, and also the name of the Canadian you think we should put forward in each case. He can be either a Government official or an outside expert. Ends.
1Voir Nations Unies, Conseil économique et social. Proceês-verbaux officiels, première Council, année, première session, deuxième réunion, 29 janvier 1946, pp. 25-30.