Volume #24 - 1.|
DOUZIÈME SESSION DE L'ASSEMBLÉE GÉNÉRALE À NEW YORK,
17 SEPTEMBRE AU 14 DÉCEMBRE 1957
INSTRUCTIONS À LA DÉLÉGATION CANADIENNE
Note du secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le Cabinet
CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 223-57|
le 16 septembre 1957|
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CANADIAN DELEGATION TO THE TWELFTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS1|
Attached to this Memorandum are General Instructions for the Canadian Delegation to the Twelfth Session of the United Nations General Assembly which opens in New York on September 17, 1957.
These Instructions provide broad policy guidance and summarize the position to be taken by the Delegation on the major issues likely to arise at the Twelfth Session.
Items on Suez Canal Clearance and the future of the United Nations Emergency Force do not as yet appear on the Provisional Agenda but they are likely to be introduced at an early stage. If necessary, these will be subjects of further submissions to Cabinet.
The undersigned recommends that the attached Instructions be approved by Cabinet.2
JOHN G. DIEFENBAKER
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CANADIAN DELEGATION TO THE TWELFTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS
The Twelfth regular session of the United Nations General Assembly opens on September 17 with an agenda of 63 items. This memorandum contains instructions on certain important items and on the general policy of the Delegation. These will be supplemented by instructions to the Delegation on specific questions as they arise.
At the forthcoming session Canada is a candidate for the Security Council on which Canada served for a term in 1948 and 1949. Widespread support for our candidature has been expressed by Commonwealth and other governments. Election to the Security Council would entail important new responsibilities for Canada.
The Delegation should seek to express Canada's strong support for the United Nations and to point out that, despite its imperfections, the organizations has played an essential part in maintaining peace, ending conflicts and advancing the social and economic welfare of its members. The Delegation in particular should play the active role which Canada is peculiarly fitted to play in promoting understanding between Western countries and the countries of Asia and Africa in order to prevent the widening of a breach which threatens to weaken the strength of the United Nations.
The situation is now one of virtual deadlock as a result of the negative Soviet response to the four-power proposals. The widespread international concern which now exists over lack of progress towards disarmament will no doubt find full expression in the Assembly, and the Western Powers must be ready to defend their position.
The Delegation should act in concert with other Western Powers in presenting the Western position in the best possible light, mitigating pressures for action which might be prejudicial to Western security and rallying United Nations opinion in favour of the resumption of negotiations. In particular, since our principal allies are not prepared to accept the cessation or suspension of nuclear tests as an isolated proposition, we should join with them and other friendly delegations in making clear the drawbacks of such a step.
Canada's objectives in this question should be to gain broad endorsement for the Special Committee's report which denounces Soviet intervention in forthright terms; to keep Soviet actions in Hungary prominently in the eyes of the world; and to bring pressure to bear on the Soviet and Hungarian governments which it is hoped may eventually result in relief from oppression for the people of Hungary.
The inflexibility of the French attitude that Algeria is essentially French and that independence for Algeria is out of the question creates increasing difficulties for the friends of France. Opposing the French position on the substantive issue, however, could have serious consequences for NATO and our relations with France, as well as contributing to a reduction in French cooperation in the work of the United Nations. The Delegation should not, therefore, oppose the French position in the Assembly debate on the question, but they should do what they can behind the scenes to bring about a reasonable resolution that would avoid an open break on this issue between the African-Asian group and the West.
Last year the United Kingdom Delegation did not oppose inscription of this item, and the wisdom of this decision was shown by the fact that they achieved a good deal of support for their position in the debate. This year the problem has been complicated by the fact that the Greeks have included in the wording of the item references to violations of human rights and atrocities, which prejudge the issue. The item in this form would almost inevitably be opposed by the United Kingdom, which might submit a counter-item. The Greeks may, however, be persuaded to have the item simply inscribed as The Cyprus Question. The Delegation should not support inscription unless a change of this kind is made. On the substance of the matter it should support the United Kingdom position while seeking to assist any helpful moves toward a settlement.
The problem of Chinese representation has arisen at every session of the General Assembly since 1950 and this year the United States will probably again be able to carry its procedural motion to postpone consideration of the question for the duration of the session. Though there are signs that the United States attitude on this question may not remain in the future as rigid as in the past, United States public opinion on this remains strong and the acceptance of Communist Chinese credentials to the Chinese seat in the United Nations at this stage could have serious repercussions on the attitude of the United States to the United Nations. The Delegation should therefore vote in favour of a procedural motion postponing consideration of Chinese representation for a fixed period such as for the duration of the twelfth session of the General Assembly.
Elections to Organs of the United Nations
The Delegation should vote for Sir Leslie Munro for the Presidency of the twelfth session rather than Dr.Charles Malik of Lebanon who is the only other candidate. In the elections to the Security Council, in which Canada is a candidate for one of the three non-permanent seats, the Delegation should also support Japan and the candidate picked by the Latin American caucus which will probably be Panama.
There are six vacancies to be filled in the Economic and Social Council. France, The Netherlands, Chile and Costa Rica will be elected without difficulty in accordance with the established conventions of representation and the Delegation may support them. The Delegation may also support Egypt for the Middle Eastern seat if no other acceptable Middle Eastern candidate emerges. One of the conventions would provide for the re-election of China as one of the great powers but a contest is expected for this seat. The Delegation may vote for China on the first ballot but if a deadlock appears likely the Delegation may shift its vote to the Philippines, which will probably have Asian support.
For election to the International Court of Justice, the Delegation should vote for the following four candidates nominated by the Canadian National Groups: Sir Percy Spender, (Australia), Mr.Winiarski, (Poland), Mr.Sauser-Hall (Switzerland), Mr.Mynt Thein (Burma). The Delegation will be instructed later on the fifth candidate to support.
The Admission of New Members
Canada with fellow members of the Commonwealth will co-sponsor a resolution recommending Malaya's admission to the United Nations.
If the admission of both halves of the divided countries of Korea and Vietnam is raised again at the twelfth session, the Delegation should vote for the admission of South Korea and against the admission of North Korea, which we do not recognize. Because of our enforced neutral position as a member of the International Supervisory Commission in Vietnam the Delegation should abstain in the vote on North and South Vietnam. The Delegation might also abstain on the admission of Mongolia as a compromise between the Canadian position that the United Nations is more effective if it is as universal as possible and the strong opposition of the United States and some other countries to the admission of Mongolia.
Expansion of United Nations Organs
Asian and African members of the United Nations are justifiably dissatisfied with the composition of the Security Council upon which they are not adequately represented. In the face of a Soviet refusal to contemplate any Charter amendment to increase membership until the question of Chinese representation had been resolved, the Assembly at the eleventh session referred to the twelfth session the questions of enlarging the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the International Court of Justice. If last year's proposal to enlarge the Security Council by two non-permanent members is revived and receives general support the Delegation may support it in preference to proposals for a larger increase which might diminish the effectiveness of this body.
The increase in the membership of the United Nations has also resulted in proposals for expansion of the Economic and Social Council and it is most probable that provision for wider representation by enlargement of the Council will eventually be made although agreement on the amendment to the Charter required for this purpose will not be easy to obtain. There is a danger that wider expansion will render the Economic and Social Council unwieldy and its work less effective. The Delegation may support a proposal to enlarge the Council if such a proposal is pressed and has strong support. It should favour a modest increase (three seats) in preference to more extensive proposals and should favour a distribution of seats which would maintain so far as possible the present pattern of voting strength in the Council.
The Delegation should oppose an increase in the number of judges in the International Court since the size of United Nations membership has no bearing on the size of the Court.
At past sessions Canada has voted for inscription of two items dealing with apartheid and with the treatment of people of Indian origin in South Africa. If the situation in the Assembly at the present session has not materially changed, the Delegation might again vote for inscription of these items. If, however, some friendly delegations come to the conclusion that it would be desirable to encourage South Africa to resume a fuller cooperation with the United Nations and that this might be effected by not favouring inscription, the Delegation this year might abstain on inscription of this item. In explanation of such action it might be stated that there has been ample opportunity in the past to discuss racial problems in South Africa and there is no practical value in so doing once again. If, as expected, the items are inscribed, the Delegation should vote against any proposals which call for United Nations intervention in South African affairs. If any resolutions are put forward which do not call for intervention and are not objectionable in themselves, the Delegation may nevertheless abstain if our position on inscription requires such action in order to be consistent.
At this session the main discussion on this procedural item will centre on the recently-announced intention of the United States forces in Korea to modernize its military equipment in Korea because of Communist breaches of the Armistice Agreement and the need to counterbalance the military buildup which has taken place in North Korea. A Communist-sponsored motion condemning the United States decision will probably be introduced and the Delegation should vote against it. As some accusations have been made that the West is not seriously interested in reunification it is desirable to avoid any statement on reunification which indicates a too rigid or inflexible view of the conditions on which reunification might be achieved.
West Irian (West New Guinea)
For the fourth successive year an item on West New Guinea (know as West Irian to the Indonesians) has been inscribed on the Provisional Agenda. Since TheNetherlands relinquished sovereignty over Indonesia in 1949, Indonesia has disputed TheNetherlands right to rule West NewGuinea, but The Netherlands retains possession. Canada's position in the past has been that the dispute should be referred to the International Court for decision on the legal merits of the two claims. We have not considered that there were sound reasons for opposing a discussion of the subject in the Assembly, but we have doubted whether such a discussion would assist in finding a solution. Consequently Canada has abstained on the question of inscribing the item. At this session the Delegation should abstain on inscription of the item. On the substance of the issue the Delegation should not support the Indonesian claim which is not based on sound arguments of racial affinity or historical right.
Special United Nations Fund for Economic Development
The idea of establishing, under the auspices of the United Nations, a special fund for channelling capital aid to the less developed countries has been under discussion in the General Assembly and elsewhere since 1951. It has had strong support, especially from the under-developed countries.
At the twenty-fourth session of ECOSOC, a resolution was passed with only Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States opposing, calling for a special fund to be established by the General Assembly at its next Session. The Delegation may therefore find it necessary to indicate whether or not Canada would be prepared to contribute to such a fund if it is established, with or without the support of the United States and the United Kingdom. Pending a decision by the Government in this connection, the Delegation should intervene in the debate only to the extent that is necessary to indicate its continued support in principle for the establishment of some type of fund, and its doubts about the usefulness of any such fund which does not have strong financial support.
Questions of Dependent Territories
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.
1 La délégation canadienne était dirigée par Sidney Smith et Wallace Nesbitt, respectivement président et vice-président. Pour obtenir la liste exhaustive des membres de la délégation, voir Canada, ministère des Affaires extérieures, Affaires Extérieures vol9, No.10, octobre 1957, p.296.
2 Le Cabinet a approuvé ces instructions le 19septembre 1957,
à l'exception des sections autorisant le Canada à
soutenir la candidature de l'Égypte à un siège au Conseil économique et social, et de l'inscription des points
portant sur l'apartheid et le traitement des personnes d'origine indienne en Afrique du Sud. Le Cabinet estimait
que l'Afrique du Sud pouvait établir ses propres politiques internes, et que la délégation devait en conséquence
avoir la capacité de voter contre l'inclusion de ces points si nécessaire. Les fonctionnaires des Affaires
extérieures ont par la suite convaincu le premier ministre Diefenbaker que voter contre la candidature de
l'Égypte à un siège de l'ECOSOC en l'absence de tout autre candidat valable constituerait un affront fait aux
nations arabes. Le 20 septembre 1957, le Cabinet autorisait la délégation à appuyer l'Égypte.