501.BD International Law/10–446

Memorandum by Miss Marjorie M. Whiteman of the Office of the Legal Adviser to the Associate Chief of the Division of International Organization Affairs ( Maktos )

I have examined the document entitled “Proposed Resolution on the Development and Codification of International Law”, Confidential—August 15, 1946, which Dr. Liang of the Legal Division of the Secretariat of the United Nations left with you this morning.10

The document contains a draft Resolution on the subject of the Development and Codification of International Law, which officers of the Secretariat propose should be submitted for adoption by the General Assembly. The document stresses (a) the progressive development of international law, (b) international legislation, and (c) cooperation with official and unofficial bodies.

Briefly, by the Resolution the Secretary General would be requested (1) to prepare a survey of general multipartite international conventions during the past fifty years; (2) to prepare a survey of current projects of official and unofficial bodies engaged in codification; and (3) to prepare, “with such advice and assistance as may be needed”, [Page 533] a report on the methods and procedures which may be usefully followed by the General Assembly in discharging its functions under Article 13 of the Charter (relating to the Assembly’s part in codification).

In other words, the Secretariat suggests that it be constituted the Committee on Procedure which the United States feels should be established to determine the scope of the problem and appropriate procedures which should be adopted looking to the accomplishment of the work to be done. It is contemplated that the Committee on Procedure suggested by the United States would consider all plans for condification submitted, whether official or unofficial, and make its recommendations in the light of such consideration.

It is my view (1) that the Secretariat should not constitute the Committee on Procedure and (2) that the document left at the Department by Dr. Liang, containing as it does suggestions on procedures with respect to codification, is such a document as might appropriately be considered by the Committee on Procedure.

  1. Miss Whiteman is referring to the conversation that is recorded in the memorandum dated October 3, supra.