Volume #13 - 384.|
LES NATIONS UNIES
CONSEIL ÉCONOMIQUE ET SOCIAL
DÉLÉGATION ET POLITIQUE
Note de la première direction politique|
pour le chef de la première direction politique
le 20 février 1947|
Attached is a self-explanatory memorandum regarding membership on commissions and sub-commissions of the Economic and Social Council.
If you agree with the general line, would you add any comments or suggestions you may have and forward the file to the Under-Secretry?51
Note de la première direction politique
[Ottawa], February 20, 1947
MEMBERSHIP ON COMMISSIONS AND SUBCOMMISSIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Discussion regarding the status of members of commissions52 and sub commissions of the Economic and Social Council is to be re-opened at the coming meeting of the Council, probably by some delegation of the Soviet group. Dr. Davidson, as our delegate to this session of the Council, would be glad to have some indication of our views on this question.
2. At present, the members of commission enjoy a compromise status. They are nominated by their own governments, but as individual experts. The nominations are subject to the approval of the Secretary General and the Economic and Social Council. Alternates may attend sessions and participate in discussion, but may not vote. The status of members of sub commissions has not as yet been defined.
3. The object in re-opening discussion will be to secure status as government representatives for members of commissions and possibly of sub commissions. Two steps towards this objective would be a resolution authorizing appointment of alternates with full voting privileges and one urging "due regard to geographical distribution" in the appointment of members.
4. Some of the commissions, for example the Statistical, and the Population Commissions, do technical work in which political considerations are very slight. Others, however, such as the Economic and Employment Commission, the Social Commission and the Human Rights Commission will be used by economically "under-developed" countries and by groups struggling against economic or political dependence as a means of exerting pressure for various concessions. In these circumstances, it seems likely that, if the commissions and sub commissions are composed of members who are full government representatives, the discussions at this level would tend merely to repeat those in the Economic and Social Council and in the General Assembly. Such a development would lessen the usefulness of the commissions and sub commissions, whose best work can be done if they scrutinize proposals from the expert point of view and frame recommendations combining in the greatest possible degree abstract technical value with political acceptability. Proposals can best be screened in this way if members have at the same time expert capacity in specialized fields and a thorough knowledge of government policy and of the general political considerations applicable to any given subject.
5. The present compromise method of naming members of commissions is, if properly observed, fairly well calculated to produce the result outlined above. It would be advisable, therefore, to support its continuance and, if this seems practicable, its extension to the sub commissions.
51Notre copie du document poile l'annotation suivante :
52La fin de 1947, voici quelles étaient les commissions du Conseil économique et social : Commission des questions économiques et de l'emploi; Commission des transports et des communications; Commission fiscale; Commission de statistique; Commission de la population; Commission des questions sociales; Commission des droits de l'homme; Commission de la condition de la femme; Commission des stupifiants; Commission économique pour l'Europe; Commission économique pour l'Asie et l'Extréme-Orient. En 1947, le Canada faisait partie de la Commission des questions économiques et de l'emploi, de la Commission de statistique, de la Commission de la population, de la Commission des questions sociales et de la Commission des stupifiants.