GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR CANADIAN DELEGATION1
TO THE TENTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Volume #21 - 1.|
NATIONS UNIES ET AUTRES ORGANISATIONS INTERNATIONALES
QUESTIONS PRÉSENTÉES À LA DIXIÈME SESSION DE L`ASSEMBLÉE GÉNÉRALE
INSTRUCTIONS À LA DÉLÉGATION CANADIENNE
Note du secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le Cabinet
CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 188-55|
le 14 septembre 1955|
GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR CANADIAN DELEGATION1
Attached to this memorandum are general instructions for the Canadian Delegation to the tenth session of the United Nations General Assembly, which opens in New York on September 20, 1955.
These instructions provide broad policy guidance on the main issues which are likely to arise at the tenth session, and also brief summaries of the position to be taken by the Delegation on each of the more important items on the Assembly's agenda.
The undersigned recommends that the attached instructions be approved by the Cabinet.
SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS
The tenth session of the General Assembly is likely to be interesting but difficult. It is possible that, in accordance with their new policy of promoting a détente in the international atmosphere, the Soviet bloc may adopt more moderate tactics during the session, and that certain controversial issues may not be revived or pressed unduly. The Canadian Delegation should respond to such tactics if they are adopted and attempt to encourage a further relaxation in tension. Major difficulties can however be expected to arise in connection with the so-called "colonial" items involving strains in the relations between the western nations as well as between these nations and those of the Asian-African bloc. Some of the issues which are to be discussed have been raised repeatedly in the past and resulted in acrimonious and unsatisfactory debates. When such issues are debated it will be particularly important for the Delegation to bear in mind that divisions between non-communist countries will provide propaganda advantages to the Soviet bloc even if no special effort is made to exploit them. The need for a conciliatory and mediatory role on the part of the Delegation will be greater than ever. Unless these problems can be dealt with satisfactorily there is a real danger that the Soviet and the Western blocs may be drawn into the discussion on opposite sides and that the détente may be compromised. While, therefore, the Delegation should concern itself primarily with the unity of the free democracies and their relations with the non-committed nations, it will also be necessary to bear in mind the possible implications of any course adopted on relations with the Soviet bloc.
2. In all disputes between non-communist countries, the essential role of the Canadian Delegation will be to advocate restraint and moderation. The Delegation may find it possible also to draw attention to the items which provide opportunities for co-operation, for positive and constructive action rather than for lengthy and heated disputation. To perform the task successfully the Delegation will have to be as objective as possible and seek a compromise between the legitimate security preoccupations of the colonial powers and the aspirations in many parts of the world for better political, economic and social conditions.
3. The Canadian Delegation should vote for Dr. Maza of Chile for the Presidency; there is no other apparent candidate. In the Security Council elections, we should support Australia to replace New Zealand, and Cuba, or any other candidate agreed upon by the Latin American bloc, to replace Brazil. For the third vacancy, to succeed Turkey in the Eastern Europe seat, the Delegation should initially support Poland. Failing Poland's election, the Delegation should vote for Yugoslavia, if it stands, as compromise candidate on the second ballot. If the vote is still indecisive the Delegation may then support Burma or the Philippines, in that order of preference. Canada is standing for election to the Economic Social Council. For the other seats, the Delegation should support the United States for re-election, Indonesia to succeed India (which will be standing for election to the second "Commonwealth seat" next year) and the candidate agreed on by the Latin American bloc (Costa Rica or Brazil) to succeed Venezuela. For the remaining two seats, the Delegation should support Greece to succeed Turkey, and Yugoslavia for re-election. Should Yugoslavia however already have been elected to the Security Council, the conflict between Turkey and Greece in the ECOSOC elections would be resolved and the Delegation would be free to vote for them both and not for Yugoslavia.
Representation of Communist China in the United Nations
4. At the four last sessions of the General Assembly, United States Delegations have been successful in avoiding substantive votes on this question by securing the adoption of procedural motions providing for postponement of consideration. While the Chinese Communist Government has pursued lately more conciliatory policies, it has not yet given any indication that it is willing to withdraw its forces from Korea and to agree to a settlement of the Korean and other Asian problems in accordance with the principles laid down by the United Nations. Under the circumstances and bearing in mind the fact that the United Kingdom and France are prepared to support the United States moratorium arrangement, the Delegation should again vote in favour of a motion postponing consideration of the issue during the current year.
Admission of New Members
5. There are twenty-one outstanding applications for membership in the United Nations all of which have been blocked previously in the Security Council. We have become increasingly concerned by this deadlock and are prepared to support an arrangement for the admission of all the outstanding applicants except North and South Korea and North and South Vietnam which are not yet unified. Believing compromise to be necessary we are prepared to support the admission of Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Roumania and Outer Mongolia in return for the admission of Austria, Italy, Finland, Cambodia, Ceylon, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal and Portugal. It is possible that the U.S.S.R. and many neutral countries may also support the admission of all seventeen qualified applicants. Accordingly we have urged the Western "Big Three" to seek a gentleman's agreement with the U.S.S.R. to support jointly the admission of the seventeen.
6. The Delegation should let our views be known privately to friendly delegations but should not engage in an active campaign to solicit support for our views if the U.S. and U.K. oppose the scheme. If the Security Council declines to recommend any more than the seven qualified Bandoeng applicants (Cambodia, Ceylon, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Libya and Nepal), the Delegation should regard this as a definitely inferior scheme and seek further instructions. If the U.S.S.R. excludes Japan from admission, the Delegation should also seek further instructions from Ottawa.
7. In pursuance of article 109(3) of the United Nations Charter (which Canada originally sponsored in 1945) a proposal to call a conference to review the Charter has been placed on the agenda for the tenth session.
8. If a conference were held, a few useful Charter revisions might conceivably gain universal support and all states could improve their knowledge of the United Nations through studies and objective discussions of the Charter's use and interpretation. However, in view of the U.S.S.R.'s pronounced opposition to Charter revision, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, New Zealand, India and others have been reluctant to support the holding of a conference in the near future which would not decrease, but might increase international tensions. Accordingly, the Canadian Delegation should support a United States compromise formula: a General Assembly decision, in principle, to hold a conference leaving the date and place open, and to establish a preparatory commission to report to the eleventh session. This suggestion, which is in line with our own thinking and that of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, should be sufficiently positive to please those states which strongly favour holding a conference and yet flexible enough on the question of timing to permit substantial easing of East-West tensions and adequate preparation for a successful conference. The United States is seeking general agreement on this formula and it is hoped that, as a result, this item may be handled non-controversially and with a minimum of debate on substantive Charter review issues.
9. The Canadian Delegation should express its concurrence in the United States suggestion that priority be given to the Eisenhower proposals for the exchange of blueprints on United States and Soviet establishments and for aerial surveys of the territories of the two countries. These proposals seem to offer the best ground, at this stage, for achieving progress in negotiations on the disarmament issue. However, the Western members of the U.N. Sub-Committee on Disarmament (of which Canada is a member) are concerned lest the United States case might be presented at the tenth session in a way which would not be consistent with the aim of achieving unanimous agreement in the General Assembly; this aim was achieved at the last session for the first time in many years. In accordance with Canada's conciliatory role in United Nations disarmament negotiations, the Delegation should make every effort to induce the United States to adopt a flexible attitude in line with the recent détente in East-West relations; but without prejudice of course to Western security.
Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy
10. This subject is to be discussed under two agenda items. The first item concerns a report by the Secretary General on the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy which was held in Geneva last August. The Conference was a great success and there seems to be general agreement that another should be held in three or four years. It is expected that the Secretary General will report that the Advisory Committee, which was established by the General Assembly to assist him in preparing for the conference, will have to meet again to dispose of unfinished business, and that he will suggest that it would be advantageous if the Committee were continued in existence. The position of the Canadian Delegation should be that it would have no objection to the continuation of the Advisory Committee to advise the Secretary General on a possible future conference similar to that held in Geneva this summer, but that its terms of reference should not extend into other fields (e.g., the International Atomic Energy Agency or the problem of radiation hazards), unless it subsequently develops that this would be desirable.
11. The second item, which was proposed by the United States, is intended to give an opportunity to Governments to report on "progress in developing international cooperation for the peaceful uses of atomic energy". The United States intends to refer to the series of bilateral agreements for cooperation which they have made with other nations during the past nine months,2 the progress of their training programme for scientists from other countries, and the current status of the negotiations for the establishment of an International Atomic Energy Agency. Depending on the time at which the debate takes place, it may be desirable for the Canadian Delegation to refer to the arrangements for supplying an NRX-type reactor to India under the Colombo Plan.3 It is hoped that the substance of the draft statute for the proposed International Atomic Agency, which the United States has submitted confidentially to the other governments that are members of the United Nations or the Specialized Agencies, will not be debated. The Canadian Delegation should refrain from any action which might encourage debate on the substance of the draft statute. If the question of the relationship of the Agency to the United Nations comes under active consideration in such a way as to prejudice the final decision to be taken in this matter, the Delegation should seek specific instructions from Ottawa.
Effects of Atomic Radiation
12. There has been widespread concern in many parts of the world over the possible noxious effects of nuclear tests and of atomic plants. It was with these considerations in mind that last year Mr. Nehru suggested that further nuclear tests should be banned: the proposal was endorsed by the U.S.S.R. and incorporated in their recent disarmament plan.
13. In order to allay these fears which it considers unwarranted, the United States Government has suggested lately that the United Nations might collate the facts available so far on the effects of radiation and circulate the results of the survey to the member countries and, we hope, to the Specialized Agencies. Their latest proposal (which they have discussed confidentially with us and with which we are in agreement) calls for the setting up of a body of government representatives who, as a first step, will put together as a systematic and comprehensive report such relevant scientific data as may be released by the governments which have experience in this field. The Canadian Delegation should support this proposal.
Policy on the Competence of the General Assembly to Discuss Colonial Items and Matters of Domestic Jurisdiction
14. In the past, when U.N. competence under Articles 10, 11, 14 or 35 of the Charter has been cast in doubt by the provisions of Article 2(7), we have on some occasions proposed, or supported a suggestion that a ruling of the International Court of Justice be sought. On the other hand, for some time we developed more generally the practice of giving a liberal interpretation to Article 2(7) to permit a wide inscription of items on the agenda and their discussion by the Assembly under Article 14, which establishes the Assembly's right to discuss and make recommendations "for the peaceful adjustment of any situation, regardless of origin, which it deems likely to impair the general welfare or friendly relations among nations". More recently we have, however, recognized that this right, among others, would be seriously impaired if too great an effect were given to the domestic jurisdiction laws set forth in Article 2(7). The Delegation should therefore bear in mind our practice of weighing each case on its merits, the final decision being made on the basis of whether inscription and discussion would serve a useful or harmful purpose either in finding a solution or in reducing the tensions which the problem has brought about among member states. Article 2(7) should in general be brought into the balance only in the next steps of discussion and recommendation, as a measure to determine whether the proposed action by the Assembly is of such a nature as to qualify it as intervention. In other words, our decision whether the Assembly should discuss the item should be decided on the basis of practical and political considerations rather than on legalistic ones. The latter should nevertheless be given due weight in casting our vote on any resolution resulting from the discussion. This flexible policy is the basis of the instructions on Tunisia and on items 20, 23, and supplementary items 1, 2 3 and 5 (Morocco, Cyprus, Algeria, West New Guinea, and race conflict and the treatment of persons of Indian origin in South Africa). In view of the above, the Delegation should avoid giving support to proposals seeking an opinion from the International Court on these apparently conflicting Articles of the Charter. Straight-forward legal questions which do not involve this conflict, such as those questions concerning West New Guinea, do not, of course come under this restriction.
15. The Greek Government has again requested consideration of the future of Cyprus in the same terms as last year, i.e. the application of the principle of self-determination to the population. At the ninth session of the Assembly Canada voted against inscription of the item on two grounds. Procedurally the wording of the item pre-supposed intervention, contrary to the Charter of the United Nations. Politically a general debate on Cyprus appeared undesirable.4 The United Kingdom will undoubtedly maintain its view that there should be no discussion of Cyprus under Article 2(7) of the Charter concerning domestic jurisdiction. Turkey has already entered an objection to the addition of the Cyprus item on the provisional agenda for the tenth session of the General Assembly, on the grounds that it was disposed of at the ninth session or at least that the Greeks are wrong in claiming that inscription also be automatic. The recent tripartite conference on Cyprus between the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey will have a bearing on the matter. While the conference did not produce agreement, the proposals made during it by the United Kingdom may provide some basis for future negotiations. The Canadian delegation should encourage any tendencies to take this view, especially as the arguments against inscription remain strong.5
The Moroccan Question
16. At its Eighth Session the General Assembly adopted a resolution which noted that negotiations between France and Morocco would be initiated, expressed confidence that a satisfactory solution would be achieved and decided to postpone further consideration of the question for the time being. In recent months the French Government has been endeavouring to establish a provisional Moroccan Government with which it could commence negotiations for political, economic and social reforms before the opening of the forthcoming General Assembly. If the French Government is successful, this fact, together with the transfer of a large measure of autonomy to Tunisia, may moderate the tone of the Assembly's discussion of the Moroccan item.
17. In that event the Canadian delegation should pursue a policy similar to that adopted at previous sessions: the Delegation should not attempt to prevent discussion of the Moroccan problem and should not play a prominent part in the debates on this question. The Delegation should oppose any resolution that would condemn French policies or recommend intervention which would be prejudicial to the French efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement in Morocco. The Delegation may support a resolution expressing confidence that a satisfactory solution will be found and recommending continuation of the French-Moroccan negotiations to that end.
18. If political pressures in France should force the French Government to postpone further its proposed reforms in Morocco or if there should be a serious deterioration in Moroccan internal affairs before this question is discussed at the General Assembly, the Delegation should seek further instructions.
The Algerian Question
19. The Algerian question has not been discussed at previous sessions of the General Assembly. It is both more complex and more worrying than the Tunisian or Moroccan questions. Unlike the protectorates of Tunisia and Morocco, Algeria is constitutionally a part of metropolitan France and Europeans comprise a much larger proportion of the population of Algeria. Although French policy seems to be shifting from assimilation to a form of integration which would transfer to the Algerians some control over their own affairs, the nationalist drive for independence has meanwhile gained alarming momentum from the point of view of France. The strength of the nationalists in Algeria was clearly revealed during the uprisings on August 20. Their appetite for independence has been whetted by the political reforms that are being implemented in Tunisia and are proposed for Morocco. It is difficult to see how the French can long continue to insist that Algeria is an integral part of France. Nevertheless, the Algerian problem is not capable of a quick solution and there is at present no alternative to French authority in Algeria other than anarchy or civil war. Moreover, the Mediterranean departments of Algeria are within the North Atlantic Treaty area and the whole territory is of great strategic significance in the maintenance of Mediterranean communications and for the Strategic Air Command. A discussion in the United Nations would probably inspire increased unrest and the inevitable criticism of French policies would undermine the constructive approach which the present French Government has been pursuing elsewhere in North Africa despite strong political pressure from right-wing parties. The outcome of events in French North Africa directly affects NATO as well as North African security, and France's future as an international power depends to a considerable extent on a favourable and peaceful settlement of this difficult situation. It is not in our interests at this stage in world affairs, that French power and influence in Europe and NATO should be weakened.6
20. For these reasons the Canadian Delegation should discourage any Assembly discussion of the Algerian question at this time. If necessary the Delegation may explain that, although we recognize the gravity of the situation, a discussion at this time might be more effective in preventing violence than in bringing about reforms and that in view of the constructive policies and the concessions on both sides which have brought about reforms in Morocco and in Tunisia, we are confident that measures will be taken to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of the peoples of Algeria as well.
21. An attitude of this kind would support the French position while underlining our view of the desirability of moving forward with the political reforms in Algeria. The delicate situation in Algeria is still very fluid and further instructions may be required in the light of later information on the intentions of the French Government and the attitudes of other governments.
South Africa: (Race Conflict and Treatment of People of Indian Origin)
22. These two items provide a focus for the animosity of members of the United Nations towards a member which has appeared intentionally to disregard some of the obligations embodied in the Charter. In particular, the Union of South Africa's observance of Articles 55 and 56 is in question.
23. Bearing in mind the usefulness of allowing discussion of the failings of the Union, the equally important need to adhere to the principles of the Charter, and the value of South Africa's continuing membership in the United Nations, the Canadian Delegation should adopt the customary Canadian attitude towards Article 2(7): the United Nations may discuss, but not intervene in, a member states's internal affairs if these have international implications.
The Question of West New Guinea
24. At the ninth session of the General Assembly a resolution was submitted expressing the hope that the Governments of Indonesia and the Netherlands would pursue their endeavours to find a solution to the dispute over the status of West New Guinea in conformity with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The resolution failed to obtain the required two-thirds majority in the Plenary Session.7 Prior to that, discussions between Indonesia and the Netherlands over the western half of the island of New Guinea had proved negative and the Dutch had made known in August 1954 that they would refuse to re-open negotiations. The Dutch claim that their administration of West New Guinea is an endeavour to bring a dependent people to self-determination and that this right would be denied to the inhabitants if the territory were to be transferred to Indonesia. The Netherlands position is strongly supported by Australia which is concerned about the implications for Australian defence of any change in the status of the territory. Since the Dutch legal case appeared to be the stronger, the Delegation supported it in voting against the resolution which was defeated at the ninth session. The Delegation should support this position again at the tenth session. In the debate the Canadian Delegation should propose that the dispute be referred to the International Court of Justice for a ruling on the question whether the Netherlands are still legally required to continue negotiations. In the debate on inscription of the item, however, the Delegation should abstain. Abstention would reflect our view that, as the matter is part of a question that the United Nations originally dealt with, the General Assembly has the right to discuss it. Abstention (rather than a vote for inscription) would also take into account Dutch sensitivity on this issue.
Questions of Dependent Territories
25. 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 that 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 are critical of the administering powers.
26. Very little change has taken place in the Korean issues themselves since the ninth session of the General Assembly, but the general world picture seems to be changing and this requires a fresh look at Korea. Canada has consistently supported the concept of a Korean settlement through negotiations; the question is still one of timing, and the propitious time to give further consideration to Korean unification may occur during the tenth session. The Assembly might reaffirm the Armistice Agreement. It is doubtful if the problem of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission will be raised. The Canadian Delegation should favour some delay with regard to NNCS's activities coming to an end. India will report on NNRC and we should do what we can to prevent any renewal of an acrimonious debate on this issue.
27. The proposal for the establishment of a Special United Nations Fund for economic development will once again be discussed during the Tenth Session. In general, the Canadian Delegation should continue to oppose as in the past, any proposals calling for the immediate establishment of this fund. Canada has been reluctant to support any such proposal because of the extent of other financial demands on Canadian resources for economic assistance abroad; because we believe Canadian funds could be used to better advantage in support of more practical bilateral programmes of economic aid; and because the absence of United Kingdom and the United States agreement to participate in the proposed organization has made it unrealistic to proceed further with definite plans.
28. ECOSOC resolution No. 15, passed by the 20th Session, recommends however that the General Assembly invite governments to give careful consideration to the most recent report of Mr. Scheyven and the Committee of Experts advocating the establishment of SUNFED. 8 The Canadian Delegation could agree that we would give careful consideration to any ECOSOC-approved report on this subject but should refrain from supporting the further recommendation of ECOSOC that member nations be asked to transmit to the Secretary General not later than 31st March, 1956, their views on Mr. Scheyven's recommendations as this would imply acceptance in principle of the proposed SUNFED. It should also be reluctant to support the establishment of an ad hoc committee to analyze the comments of member governments on these recommendations at the present stage. The Canadian Delegation should, however, need not take a leading part in these discussions and should act in close consultation with other like-minded delegations, particularly those of the United States and the United Kingdom. The discussion in ECOSOC indicates that the U.S. and the U.K. intend to resist proposals for the establishment of SUNFED. Both countries abstained in the voting on resolution 15. However, should either of these delegations modify their positions on the ECOSOC recommendations, the Canadian Delegation should seek further instructions.
29. Canada has approved the terms of the Charter for the International Finance Corporation and before or during the early days of the Session will deposit its formal accession. When the Charter comes up for approval in the General Assembly the Canadian Delegation should strongly support its terms. Canada has, since the idea of the IFC was first introduced, supported this proposal for stimulating private capital investment in the under-developed countries and believes that the Charter in its present form presents an acceptable basis for bringing the IFC into being. 9
30. On the question of the possible provision of technical assistance to Libya, the Canadian position is that this activity lies properly within the province of the U.N.T.A.B. In the event that there is any tendency to link this question to the situation in currently unsettled French North Africa, the delegation should seek further instructions.
31. The Delegation may support the adoption of the ECOSOC report on technical assistance. Separate instructions will be forwarded regarding the Canadian contribution for 1956-57 to the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance.
Humanitarian and Social Questions
32. As a result of a decision on procedure adopted at the ninth session, it is anticipated that the Third Committee of the General Assembly will undertake a detailed examination of the Articles of the draft International Covenants on Human Rights. The Canadian Delegation should continue to press for the inclusion of a suitable federal state clause and, in any event, for the removal of the present federal clause which was inserted at the suggestion of the USSR and which provides that the covenants shall extend to all parts of federal states without limitation. In pursuing this aim, however, the Delegation should avoid placing the Government in a position where it could hardly refrain from signing the covenants without embarrassment, should it be decided at a later date not to sign this instrument in spite of the removal of the Soviet-sponsored article or the insertion of a satisfactory federal state clause. As regards other articles of the draft covenants the Delegation should endeavour to influence the decisions of the General Assembly along the lines of the Canadian comments which were sent to the Secretary General on March 2, 1954.
33. The Economic and Social Council at its latest session approved a resolution for transmission to the General Assembly authorizing the Secretary General to provide technical assistance with respect to any subject in the field of human rights, including the rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and in the draft International Covenants on Human Rights. Since this proposal would probably result in duplication of effort and since the Technical Assistance Committee of ECOSOC is already considering the amalgamation of Technical Assistance Administration activities for economic development, social welfare and public administration, the Delegation should press for reference of this question to the TAC or, failing that, for deferment of the resolution for later consideration.
34. The Delegation should continue to support the four-year programme of the High Commissioner for Refugees which is designed to provide permanent solutions to the problems of refugees and also to provide some emergency assistance. While Canada has already contributed $125,000 to the U.N. Refugee Fund for implementation of the programme in 1955, the Delegation should, for the time being, avoid making any commitment regarding further Canadian contributions in 1956 and subsequent years.
35. On other items relating to human rights 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.
Administrative and Budgetary Questions
36. The Delegation should satisfy itself that all possible economies have been effected by the Secretary General in his budget estimates for 1956 and in his supplementary estimates for 1955. The Delegation should also ensure that any proposed changes in the scale of assessments on member governments are fully in accordance with the principles approved at previous sessions of the General Assembly. Every effort should be made to secure the election of the Canadian candidate (J.F. Parkinson) to the Committee on Contributions. Any move to draft Canada for a further term on the U.N. Board of Auditors should be discouraged. The proposals of the Special Committee for establishing a review procedure for decisions of the U.N. Administrative Tribunal should be supported. Improvements in administrative and budgetary co-ordination between the United Nations and its specialized agencies should be welcomes, but greater emphasis should be placed on the need for coordination of planning between U.N. organs and agencies. Finally, attention should be drawn to the undesirable consequences of setting target figures for contributions to U.N. extra-budgetary programmes without regard to the degree of financial support which is likely to be forthcoming from member governments. 10