UNA Files

United States Delegation Memorandum 1

Proposed Formula for Voting Procedure in the Security Council of the United Nations Organization and Analysis of the Effects of That Formula

I. Proposed formula as communicated on December 5, 1944 to Marshal Stalin and to Prime Minister Churchill 2 (with a minor clarification of the reference to Chapter VIII, Section C).

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The provisions of Section C. of Chapter VI of the Dumbarton Oaks proposals would read as follows:

“C. Voting

1.
Each member of the Security Council should have one vote.
2.
Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters should be made by an affirmative vote of seven members.
3.
Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters should be made by an affirmative vote of seven members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that in decisions under Chapter VIII, Section A and under the second sentence of paragraph 1 of Chapter VIII, Section C, a party to a dispute should abstain from voting.”

II. Analysis of effect of above formula on principal substantive decisions on which the Security Council would have to vote.

Under the above formula the following decisions would require the affirmative votes of seven members of the Security Council including the votes of all the permanent members:

I.
Recommendations to the General Assembly on
1.
Admission of new members;
2.
Suspension of a member;
3.
Expulsion of a member;
4.
Election of the Secretary General.
II
Restoration of the rights and privileges of a suspended member.
III
Removal of threats to the peace and suppression of breaches of the peace, including the following questions:
1.
Whether failure on the part of the parties to a dispute to settle it by means of their own choice or in accordance with the recommendations of the Security Council in fact constitutes a threat to the peace;
2.
Whether any other actions on the part of any country constitute a threat to the peace or a breach of the peace;
3.
What measures should be taken by the Council to maintain or restore the peace and the manner in which such measures should be carried out;
4.
Whether a regional agency should be authorized to take measures of enforcement.
IV.
Approval of special agreement or agreements for the provision of armed forces and facilities.
V.
Formulation of plans for a general system of regulation of armaments and submission of such plans to the member states.
VI.
Determination of whether the nature and the activities of a regional agency or arrangement for the maintenance of peace and security are consistent with the purposes and principles of the general organization.

The following decisions relating to peaceful settlement of disputes would also require the affirmative votes of seven members of the Security Council including the votes of all the permanent members, [Page 686]except that a member of the Council would not cast its vote in any such decisions that concern disputes to which it is a party:

I.
Whether a dispute or a situation brought to the Council’s attention is of such a nature that its continuation is likely to threaten the peace;
II.
Whether the Council should call on the parties to settle or adjust the dispute or situation by means of their own choice;
III.
Whether the Council should make a recommendation to the parties as to methods and procedures of settlement;
IV.
Whether the legal aspects of the matter before it should be referred by the Council for advice to the international court of justice;
V.
Whether, if there exists a regional agency for peaceful settlement of local disputes, such an agency should be asked to concern itself with the controversy.

  1. Undated copy; authorship not indicated. This is apparently the paper copies of which were distributed to the British and Soviet Delegations at the Plenary Meeting on February 6 and of which a considerable portion was read by Stettinius. (Cf. ante, pp. 662663, and post, p. 994.) For the drafting history of this paper, see ante, p. 81, footnote 2.
  2. Ante, pp. 5859.