710 Consultation (4)/12–1345
Proposals by the United States for the Provisions of an Inter-American Treaty of Mutual Assistance26
In order to indicate the scope of the treaty the Preamble should state that the Governments undertaking the treaty are
desirous of strengthening inter-American arrangements for the prevention of armed conflict involving any American state in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security,
contemplating that the American states will undertake to conclude the treaty being prepared under Resolution XXXIX of the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace for the purpose of improving inter-American procedures for settling their disputes by peaceful means and of consolidating such procedures into an Inter-American Peace System,
considering that in the Act of Chapultepec signed at the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace it is recommended that a treaty to deal with threats or acts of aggression against any American State be concluded,[Page 169]
considering that under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations,27 the members of the United Nations have reserved freedom to exercise the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense against armed attack until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security,
considering that under Article 52 of the Charter of the United Nations the existence of regional arrangements of agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional action is not precluded, provided that such arrangements or agencies and their activities are consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations, and
considering further that under Article 53 of the Charter of the United Nations enforcement action may be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies with the authorization of the Security Council.
The Preamble would then conclude with the statement that the signatory Governments have resolved to conclude a treaty to carry out the recommendations of the Act of Chapultepec within the framework of the Charter of the United Nations in order to provide for effective reciprocal assistance to meet armed attacks against any American state and in order to deal with threats of aggression against any of them.
Principle of Pacific Settlement
As a reaffirmation of previous obligations concerning pacific settlement the Treaty should state in the initial article that
- The High Contracting Parties agree to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state or in any other manner inconsistent with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.
- They undertake that, in the event of a dispute between two or more of them they will seek, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 2, 33 and 52 of the Charter of the United Nations, to settle the dispute by peaceful means in such manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
It is proposed that the problem of an armed attack be dealt with as follows:
- The High Contracting Parties agree that an armed attack by any state against an American State shall be considered as an act of aggression against all parties to this Treaty, and each of them undertakes to assist in meeting the attack.
- The High Contracting Parties undertake that, in the event of an armed attack by any state against an American State, they will immediately consult together for the purpose of examining any [Page 170] measures that may already have been taken and of agreeing upon appropriate collective measures to be taken. Such agreement shall be reached by a vote of not less than two-thirds of the High Contracting Parties and the decisions shall be binding upon all those concurring. The measures agreed upon in the consultation shall be carried out by all or by some of the High Contracting Parties as may be agreed upon.
- Measures of assistance provided for under this article may be taken until the Security Council of the United Nations has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.
- Invasion of the territory of an American State by armed forces of any state, trespassing boundaries established by treaty and demarcated in accordance therewith shall, in any case, constitute an armed attack unless the use of these forces is in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations or of this Treaty.
Threat of Aggression
With respect to a threat of or preparation for aggression it is believed that the Treaty should state that
- The High Contracting Parties undertake that, in the event of a threat of aggression or in the event that there are reasons to believe that an aggression is being prepared by any state against the integrity or inviolability of the territory, or against the sovereignty or political independence of an American State, they will, upon the request of any one of them, consult together in order to agree upon the measures it may be advisable to take. Such agreement shall be reached by a vote of not less than two-thirds of the High Contracting Parties and shall be binding upon all those concurring.
- Measures deemed advisable as a result of consultations under this Article may include measures or action of the character described in Articles 41 and 42 of the Charter of the United Nations, subject to the provisions of Article 53 of that Charter.
Procedures and Agencies
It is suggested that a separate article should contain reference in the following manner to the procedures and agencies to be employed:
The consultations and measures referred to in the preceding articles shall be carried out through such procedures and agencies as are now in existence, or as may hereafter be established by agreement of the High Contracting Parties.
Obligations Under United Nations Charter
The Treaty should further be related to the obligations assumed under the United Nations Charter by the following proposed separate articles:
The High Contracting Parties shall immediately inform the Security Council of the United Nations of any measures taken under Article . . . . . of this Treaty (Article relating to armed attack) and shall at all times keep the Security Council fully informed concerning [Page 171] any other activities undertaken or in contemplation under the provisions of this Treaty.
Nothing in this Treaty shall be construed as in any way modifying the rights and obligations of the High Contracting Parties under the Charter of the United Nations.
The articles on ratification of the Treaty should, it is believed, provide that
- This Treaty shall be ratified by the Signatory States as soon as possible in conformity with their respective constitutional processes. The ratifications shall be deposited with the Pan American Union, which shall notify all the Signatory States of each deposit. Such notification shall be considered as an exchange of ratifications.
- This Treaty shall come into effect among the States ratifying it upon deposit of the ratifications of two-thirds of the Signatory States.
With respect to the duration of the Treaty it is suggested that the usual practice be followed of providing that
This Treaty shall remain in force indefinitely, but may be denounced by any High Contracting Party by a notification in writing to the Pan American Union, which shall inform all the other High Contracting Parties of each notification of denunciation received. After the expiration of one year from the date of the receipt by the Pan American Union of a notification of denunciation by any High Contracting Party, the present Treaty shall cease to be in force with respect to such State, but shall remain in full force and effect with respect to all the other High Contracting Parties.
- Drafted pursuant to Part III of the Act of Chapultepec, March 8, 1945 (Department of State, TIAS No. 1543 or 60 Stat. (pt. 2) 1831) and enclosed in circular of December 13, 1945 (not printed), by the Secretary of State to the diplomatic representatives in the American Republics, except Argentina, for transmittal to the Foreign Ministers of those Republics.↩
- Department of State Treaty Series No. 993, or 59 Stat. (pt. 2) 1031.↩