Memorandum Prepared in the Division of International Organization Affairs8


Subject: Alternative Candidates for Council Posts.

I. Introduction

The basic memorandum prepared on the subject of slates for election to the three UN Councils lists in specific detail the states which will be supported by this government for election to all available posts. The United States Delegation to the General Assembly will engage in conversations with other Delegations in New York in an endeavor to secure general acceptance for its candidates. Very probably, however, it will be necessary to alter the proposed United States slates in order to produce a list of nominees which will be acceptable to the United States and will at the same time enjoy a reasonable prospect of election. The present memorandum is designed to provide general guidance as to the priority in which other states should be considered if our original choices for Council posts prove unacceptable.

It is important to note the criteria which must be observed in making selections for the various Councils. Article 23 of the Charter prescribes that, in the election of non-permanent members of the Security Council, due regard should be paid “in the first instance to the contribution of Members of the United Nations to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of the Organization, and also to equitable geographical distribution”.

The Charter does not prescribe any particular set of qualifications for membership in the Economic and Social Council. It is clear, however, that the economic importance and the economic and social policies of the various states are among the important factors to be taken into consideration in selecting suitable candidates.

No special criteria are set forth in the Charter for election to the Trusteeship Council. The list of eligible states is, however, limited to those who will not already be members of the Council by virtue of their status as states administering trust territories or permanent members of the Security Council.

II. Alternative Choices in Specific Geographical Areas

(a) Latin America

The basic memorandum on the subject of slates contained a statement that the Latin American countries might select candidates of [Page 198] their own for the two Council positions open to them. In that event, the memorandum stated, the Delegation might be well advised to concur in the decisions of the Latin American countries, provided the United States has no special objection to the candidates selected.

If Colombia and Uruguay, our first preferences for the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council respectively, are not supported by the Latin American delegations, the United States would probably have no objections on political grounds to the selection of any other Latin American candidates except Argentina, Nicaragua, Honduras, or the Dominican Republic. These four countries would not be acceptable as candidates for either of the Councils. It is doubtful, however, that any Latin American republics except Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Venezuela will receive serious consideration as candidates for Council posts at the forthcoming Assembly session.

(b) Europe

(1) Security Council.

Belgium is our first choice among the European states to fill one of the three impending vacancies on the Security Council. The Department has been informed that a report that the Belgian Government is unwilling to be a candidate for this post is entirely without foundation. There seems at present to be no completely satisfactory alternative choice for Belgium, although Denmark and Norway are possibilities.

Denmark is not now a member of any Council. It is however, our choice for the second elective post on the Trusteeship Council and for membership on the Social and Statistical Commissions and on the Commission on the Status of Women.

Norway already enjoys considerable representation in United Nations bodies. It is serving a two-year term on ECOSOC; the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Registrar of the International Court of Justice are Norwegians; and Norway is supported by the United States for election to the Human Rights, Statistical, Transport and Communications, and Fiscal Commissions.

(2) Economic and Social Council.

Denmark would be the logical alternative to the Netherlands for election to ECOSOC. In case Sweden should be admitted to membership in the UN before the elections are held, it would be a highly satisfactory choice for this Council because of its economic importance and its leadership in the field of social affairs.

South Africa would be the logical alternative to New Zealand as the British Commonwealth choice for ECOSOC.

In view of the fact that all Eastern European countries which are members of the UN are now holding or will hold Council posts under our original proposals, it seems impracticable to suggest alternative choices from that area.

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(c) Near and Middle East and Africa.

If it should appear that Syria and Turkey, our preferred candidates for the Security Council and Economic and Social Council, respectively, cannot be elected, the United States might possibly be disposed to support Greece or Iran for one of the Council posts.

Greece is now completing a one-year term on the Economic and Social Council and would therefore presumably not be considered for reelection to that Council. Because Greece has twice been involved in matters considered by the Security Council and, at the beginning of September, was still engaged in a controversy before that body, its election to the Security Council might be undesirable. It might possibly be considered, however, for election to the Trusteeship Council if our preferred candidates should withdraw.

As regards the Security Council, the same objection might apply to some extent in the case of Iran. If the situation in Iran should develop favorably, however, so that Iran indicates a sincere desire and intention to act independently, the United States might possibly support Iran for one of the Council posts in the event that a vacancy should develop in our slates.

It seems desirable not to consider Iraq or Lebanon for positions on any of the Councils at this time.

(d) Far East.

The Philippines is not at present a member of any United Nations Council and is in effect our alternate choice for the Trusteeship Council. It is supported by the United States for membership on the Human Rights Commission and the Fiscal Commission of the Economic and Social Council.

  1. Prepared originally as a “draft”, this paper was approved later by other interested offices and set up on September 24 as a Departmental position paper (IO Files, document SD/A/C.1/37).