Volume #27 - 96.|
NATIONS UNIES ET AUTRES ORGANISATIONS INTERNATIONALES
QUINZIÈME SESSION DE L’ASSEMBLÉE GÉNÉRALE
INSTRUCTIONS À LA DÉLÉGATION CANADIENNE
Note du secrétaire d’État aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le Cabinet
CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 296-60|
le 16 septembre 1960|
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CANADIAN DELEGATION TO THE FIFTEENTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATION|
The fifteenth regular session of the United Nations General Assembly opens on September 20 with an agenda of some 85 items. This memorandum contains suggested lines of policy to be followed by the Canadian Delegation, with particular reference to a number of the more specific questions likely to arise. In accordance with past practice, supplementary instructions will be sent to the Delegation on special issues encountered during the session.
2. Recent months have seen not only a serious deterioration in international relations, but also a disturbing resort to extreme language, irritability and rocket rattling on the part of some countries. This tendency towards increasing tension is expected to colour the work of the Assembly and, of course, presents a grave challenge to the prestige and authority of the United Nations. It is now, perhaps more than ever before, imperative to recall the high purposes and principles of the organization. It is especially desirable for the Canadian Delegation to stress Canada’s strong support for the United Nations and the continued conviction of the Canadian Government that despite its defects and limitations the organization has an indispensable role to play in maintaining peace. The Delegation should, moreover, be alert to seize every opportunity that may be presented to encourage an improvement in the conduct of relations between Eastern and Western countries and to promote understanding between the latter and the countries of Asia and Africa. In regard to the usual quota of Eastern-inspired propaganda items, the Delegation should work for resolutions calling for the peaceful settlement of international disputes and practical progress towards the economic and social well-being of the member countries.
3. Canada continues to regard disarmament as the most important issue facing the world. Because it affects the interests of all nations and because the Charter makes provision for it, Canadian policy has constantly maintained the ultimate responsibility of the United Nations in the disarmament field. However, at this juncture the hard fact is that no meaningful steps towards agreement on disarmament under effective international control can be achieved except in serious negotiation between the representatives of the two great military alignments.
4. Although we share the disappointment that the negotiations called for in General Assembly Resolution 1378 (XIV) have been interrupted, we remain convinced that negotiations between the two sides offer the only real hope of achieving solid agreement. The progress made in Geneva, while much less than world opinion hoped for, nevertheless justifies faith in the potential value of the Ten Nation Committee. In present circumstances a multilateral group or a subcommittee under United Nations auspices would not be as effective a negotiating body. The Delegation, therefore, should work for the earliest possible resumption of negotiations in the Ten Nation Committee.
5. Accordingly, the Canadian Delegation should as well seek to neutralize the expected initiative of the uncommitted countries and the Soviet bloc in favour of a new negotiating forum. This might be accomplished by suggesting in response to any substantial support for a new United Nations body that the United Nations be given the task of studying specific technical problems within the disarmament field to facilitate the political negotiations in the Ten Nation Committee. This would involve the establishment of a sub-committee or sub-committees of technical experts under the aegis of the United Nations Disarmament Commission who would conduct studies and make recommendations to the ten negotiating countries. If it should become clear that the USSR refuse to continue in the Ten Nation Committee, a broad measure of support for the creation of a new negotiating forum within the United Nations may develop. Should the majority favour this course the Delegation may acquiesce on the grounds that in the circumstances there seems to be no other way of dealing with the urgent problem of disarmament.
6. In whatever direction the discussion may lead, the Delegation should maintain a vigilant defence of the principles of effective international control; of a balanced, phased programme; and that no state or group of countries will be put at a military disadvantage by reason of adherence to a disarmament programme or implementation of a disarmament measure.
7. With regard to the Irish item concerning the wider dissemination of nuclear weapons, the Delegation should base its substantive position on the fact that the Canadian Government has no intention of lowering its defensive guard pending the promise of satisfactory progress towards disarmament. The ultimate tactical position adopted in regard to specific proposals in this area will depend on the text of the proposals and on the extent to which they can be regarded as procedural.
8. Proposals relating to nuclear test explosions should be approached in the light of the Government’s clear position of opposition to their resumption.
Elections to Assembly Offices
9. Canada has indicated its support for Mr. Boland of Ireland as President of the session, and is itself seeking election for one of the vice-presidencies. In respect of the other elective offices, the Delegation will be guided by the relevant provisions of the Charter respecting the equitable sharing of positions on a geographic basis and the wishes of countries with specially close ties with Canada
Elections to the Security Council
10. The Governments of Chile, Portugal and the United Arab Republic have been informed of Canadian support for their candidatures. In addition to voting for these countries, the Delegation should support Turkey in the formality of electing that country to replace Poland, which will be resigning its seat in accordance with the compromise arrangement reached at the fourteenth session. The Delegation may depart from its position as regards Portugal should that country’s candidature give rise to unforseen developments of a significant character.
Elections to the Economic and Social Council
11. Seven candidates have emerged for the six seats coming up for election to ECOSOC: China, France, El Salvador, Uruguay, Belgium, Ethiopia and Jordan. No difficulty is expected in the re-election of France or the election of the agreed candidates for the Latin American seats. Some opposition may develop to China’s re-election but it is expected that the Great Power convention in these elections will be maintained. Belgium may run into heavy opposition because of developments in the Congo and an effort may be made to displace it by the unsuccessful candidate for the Sudan seat (either Ethiopia or Jordan). There is no reason, however, for Canada to modify its support for Belgium. The Ghana candidature which Canada had decided to support has been withdrawn and no assessment of the relative strength of the remaining candidates, Ethiopia and Jordan, has yet been possible. The Canadian Delegation should support China, France, El Salvador, Uruguay and Belgium, and exercise its discretion in voting for whichever candidate for the Sudan seat (Ethiopia or Jordan) it appears will be more acceptable to the Assembly.
12. The attempt to unseat the Nationalist Chinese Delegation in favour of one representing the Communist Government on the mainland has been made at every General Assembly session since 1950. This year the Soviet Union has submitted the relevant item instead of India, which in existing circumstances is apparently not disposed to offer this degree of support to the Peking régime. The Delegation should vote in favour of the usual "moratorium" resolution postponing consideration of this matter for a fixed period of time. It should also vote to accept the credentials of the Delegation of the Republic of China if they are challenged.
13. In 1959 the Canadian Delegation worked for and supported a resolution condemning Chinese Communist action in Tibet on the basis of a violation of human rights. In order to avoid a situation in which most of Communist China's neighbours would oppose any resolution and thus in effect endorse her actions, it was considered that the resolution should be moderate, emphasize human rights and avoid political judgments about the international status of Tibet. The Delegation should maintain this attitude at the forthcoming session.
14. It is likely that the debate on Hungary will concentrate more than in 1959 on the general theme of the Soviet Union's failure to respect United Nations resolutions, especially as, in contrast to last year, there is no specific new evidence of repression to illustrate the West's concern with the Hungarian situation. It may be also that in the expected tense atmosphere at the Assembly the Hungarian debate will become an occasion for general Western condemnation of Soviet policies. The Canadian Delegation should support a Western resolution on Hungary which is cast in terms similar to those used at the last session and which provides for the continuation of United Nations' interest in the Hungarian situation.
15. It is expected that, as at all General Assembly sessions since 1956, a proposal will be made to take no decision as to the acceptability of the credentials of the Hungarian Delegation. This move is intended to reflect the reservations many member nations have about the legitimacy of the Kadar government, although it does not inhibit the Hungarian representatives from participating in debates and voting on Assembly resolutions. Once again the Delegation should support the "no decision" formula.
16. Indications are that the debate on Algeria will be more difficult than it was at the fourteenth session. African members in increased numbers will be in full cry, especially since General de Gaulle has already taken the position that he will pay no heed to any resolution adopted by the General Assembly. The friends of France will no doubt find themselves in an extremely difficult position unless some progress is made outside the United Nations toward bringing the parties together. While this could not be described as a likelihood, it is nevertheless a reasonable possibility. However, the tactics to be employed by the French at the General Assembly are still unknown. In the light of the yet unknown factors bearing fundamentally on the Canadian attitude at the General Assembly, it is not yet possible to lay down specific policy guidance. Accordingly, before taking a position the Delegation should seek instructions when the situation has clarified.
Austrian Minority in Italy
17. Austria has formally proposed inscription of this item concerning the German-speaking minority in the South Tyrol. The Italians have indicated that they will oppose introduction of the dispute to the United Nations, favouring instead a direct reference to the International Court. Since we are not directly concerned in the merits of the dispute, a decision regarding the course we should follow in voting on inscription of the item presents some difficulties, as both disputants are friendly to Canada.
18. Traditionally, with a few rare exceptions, Canadian policy has followed a fairly liberal course as to inscription, based on the distinction between the right of the General Assembly to discuss a problem and its competence to render a decision. Accordingly, the Delegation should vote in favour of inscription, withholding judgment as to whether the dispute is appropriate for decision within the terms of the Charter pending a clearer exposition by the two parties of the substance of the dispute.
19. Events have been moving so rapidly that it is very difficult to estimate how the Congo problem may affect the Assembly session. At the moment there is no agenda item providing specifically for a discussion of the political aspects. However, the question of financing the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) and the even more critical problem of establishing the economic viability of the new state are matters which will sooner or later need to be faced. In the event of any discussion taking place on the Congo operation, it is recommended that the Delegation emphasize that it is essential for all member states of the United Nations to provide the broadest possible measure of material support for the United Nations Operation and for the Republic of Congo itself; and that it is in the interests of all to contribute to the reduction of regional or international tensions and to maintain the influence of the United Nations.
20. A separate submission to Cabinet on the UNEF rebate question has been presented. When a policy decision has been made, instructions for the Delegation can be formulated on UNEF financing.
Aid to Economic Development
21. Cabinet has received for consideration a submission proposing Canadian aid to Commonwealth countries in Africa. Further submissions on economic development projects are in preparation. Decisions taken on these proposals will be incorporated in the Delegation's instructions.
22. The agenda for the Third Committee is brief but heavy. It comprises three texts, which the underdeveloped countries and a number of other countries regard as of fundamental importance, namely the Draft International Covenants on Human Rights, the Draft Convention and Draft Declaration on Freedom of Information and the Draft Declaration on the Right of Asylum. Of these three texts, it is expected that the priority will be given to the Draft International Covenants on Human Rights which were first introduced before the General Assembly for final drafting and adoption in 1954. Despite the great number of meetings which were devoted to this question in the Third Committee, little progress was achieved and the magnitude of the work still to be done is recognized. Canadian participation in the drafting work of the Third Committee has, so far, been without prejudice to the constitutional competence of the provinces and was based on the hope that a satisfactory federal clause be eventually included in the Covenants. It is uncertain whether the Covenants will ever reach the treaty stage. If they do, it is expected that they will assume the character of a declaration of principle, a written code of human rights, which will form part of the International Jurisprudence. Discussion on the Covenants will provide the Delegation with an opportunity to reassert, on the international plane, Canada's belief in the fundamental rights, freedom and liberties already encompassed in [the] recent Canadian Bill of Rights.
Contributions to Extra-Budgetary Funds
23. Submissions concerning the Special Fund and EPTA have been made separately, and a separate one on other extra-budgetary contributions is to be submitted. Decisions taken on these items will be incorporated in the instructions.
United States Aggressive Flights over the Soviet Union
24. The Soviet Union has asked for the inclusion of this item on the agenda and will doubtless put forward a draft resolution critical of the United States for permitting the U-2 and RB-47 flights. The United States or one of its allies may put forward a draft resolution calling for an impartial inquiry into the circumstances of the RB-47 incident, and it is possible that some neutral countries will seek acceptance of a draft resolution urging the two sides in the dispute to settle their differences and resume negotiations at a high level. The Canadian Delegation should seek to co-operate with other delegations to make debate on this item as short as possible. It should vote against any draft resolution critical of United States actions, but should consider supporting an appeal for an impartial inquiry into the RB-47 incident and a neutrally sponsored draft resolution calling for resumed negotiations. The Delegation should consider whether at any time during the debate there would be advantage in drawing attention to the recent unauthorized overflight of Canadian territory by a Soviet aircraft.
25. It is impossible to say as yet whether the resolution proposed this year will be a tough one, resulting from the pressure of opinion in the many prospective new African member states, or a mild one similar to those of former years, which have obtained wide support. Canada is strongly opposed to the principle of apartheid. However, the possible international repercussions of a United Nations resolution of a harsh or punitive nature give rise to concern. Accordingly, if a vote is called on inscription of the item, the Delegation should vote in favour. The Delegation should not support without supplementary instructions any resolution condemnatory in tone or punitive in application. The Delegation should make known publicly Canada's abhorrence of racial discrimination. So far as possible the Delegation should seek additional specific instructions before casting any vote.
Treatment of Peoples of Indian or Indo-Pakistan Origin of South Africa
26. Since the issue is basically allied with that of apartheid, the same policy considerations for Canada would apply. The Delegation should: vote in favour of inscription should a vote be taken; vote against any proposal for economic sanctions or expulsion from the United Nations; abstain on any resolution condemning South Africa or any clause implying inclusion of the item on the agenda of a future session; vote in favour of a resolution recalling member states Charter obligations and appealing generally for a revision of the Union's racial policies; recommend direct negotiations or reference to the International Court.
27. It is likely that African states will concentrate pressure on this item to force the Union of South Africa at least to respect the principles and purposes of the League of Nations Mandate and preferably to place the territory under the International Trusteeship System. The Union has recently indicated a willingness to negotiate under certain conditions with an ad hoc body of the United Nations. The Delegation should maintain Canada's opposition to apartheid by voting in favour of hearings of petitioners, or of moderate resolutions regretting the police actions at Windhoek which resulted in loss of life. However, the Delegation should abstain on resolutions recommending reference to the International Court, which would preclude further negotiations.
Admission of New Members
28. In accordance with Article 4 of the Charter the Security Council has recommended the admission of the following new members: Cameroun, Togo, Federation of Mali, Malagasy Republic, Congo, Somalia, Dahomey, Niger, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Cyprus. Since the recommendation concerning Mali, Senegal has seceded from the Federation and has applied for United Nations membership in its own name. At present, the other part of the Federation, Soudan, has not applied. The indications are that France will support separate applications but these will require Security Council action. Canada favours the admission of all new members recommended by the Security Council. The Delegation should, therefore, vote for the admission of all the states listed, including the two parts of the Mali Federation, when appropriate action has been taken by the Council. It is understood that Assembly action on the new members will be taken at the opening session of the General Assembly.
29. It is recommended that approval be given for the issuance of instructions to the Canadian Delegation in conformity with the policy lines indicated above.
78Approuvé par le Cabinet le 16 septembre 1960./Approved by Cabinet on September 16, 1960.