IO Files: US/A/874

United States Delegation Position Paper


French-Swedish Resolution on Place of Meeting of the Third Regular Session of the General Assembly

1. United States Position

The United States should vote in favor of this Resolution, which proposes that the Third Regular Session of the General Assembly be held in Europe. The resolution requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with a committee of nine members designated by the President of the General Assembly, to choose the city where the session shall be held.

If, as is probable, a rather spirited debate takes place on this issue, the United States Representative may consider it advisable to make a brief statement indicating the position of the United States.

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2. History in Committee

On November 3, the General Committee recommended to the General Assembly that the French-Swedish proposal be considered by the General Assembly in plenary session, and that the budgetary and administrative implications of the proposal be referred to the Fifth Committee for consideration and report. The Secretary-General subsequently informed the Fifth Committee that, compared to estimated costs at headquarters, the additional costs of holding the session in Geneva amount to $1,336,344, and at a site other than Geneva, to $1,482,562. These figures were referred by the Fifth Committee to the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, which revised and reduced them to an additional cost of $901,875 for a session in Geneva and of $1,047,875 for a session elsewhere in Europe. With some reservations, the Secretary-General accepted the Advisory Committee’s estimates. By a vote of 46–0, with 2 abstentions, Committee 5 agreed that these cost figures should be transmitted to the Assembly. In the course of discussion in the Committee, representatives of the following States spoke against the proposal to hold the Third Regular Session of the General Assembly in Europe: China, Nicaragua, Cuba, Uruguay, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The proposal was supported by the delegates of Sweden, Belgium and the Philippines.

3. Possible Developments in the Plenary Session

The French Delegation may be expected to lead the fight for holding the Third Regular Session in Europe, in the hope that the site finally chosen might be Paris. The United Kingdom Delegation, supported by the delegations of the Dominions, will probably oppose strenuously any effort to hold the next General Assembly in Europe. The British will presumably stress the administrative and budgetary difficulties involved in holding the session away from headquarters at this particular time, although there is reason to believe that they are also motivated by fear that Communist propaganda agencies in Europe may exploit the opportunity provided by an Assembly held in Paris for a strenuous propaganda campaign.

It is impossible to predict the outcome of this discussion in the Assembly, and it would not be surprising if the vote on the Resolution were close.1

  1. After quite extensive debate beginning on November 14, the General Assembly on November 15 adopted the French-Swedish resolution (32–15–5), the United States voting affirmatively; for the discussion in the General Assembly, see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Second Session, Plenary Meetings, vol. ii, pp. 896 ff.; for text of the resolution, see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Second Session, Resolutions, p. 153. Subsequently the General Assembly appointed a committee of nine members to choose the city in Europe where the Third Regular Session of the General Assembly was to be held. This committee consisted of Australia, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, and Uruguay; Paris was selected.