IO Files: US/A/2041

United States Delegation Position Paper


Admission of New Members: Report of the Ad Hoc Political Committee (A/1066)1

1. United States Position

The United States should support all of the 11 resolutions recommended to the Assembly by the Ad Hoc Political Committee.2

It will be desirable for the United States to speak if the Soviet group makes strong attacks on the Committee’s resolutions and the United States position.

2. History in Committee

The Australian Delegation submitted 9 resolutions requesting, respectively, that the applications of Austria, Ceylon, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, the Republic of Korea, Portugal and Nepal be reconsidered by the Security Council. All of these resolutions were adopted by votes ranging from 37 to 42 in favor, with 5 and in some cases, 6 votes against.3

The Soviet Delegation submitted a resolution alleging the existence of a “general feeling in favor of the admission” of 13 applicants (all but Korea) to membership and requesting the Security Council to reconsider the applications of all these states.4 A large number of delegations declared their opposition to this resolution on the ground that it involved a process of bargaining over membership applications, since five of the thirteen applicants mentioned in the resolution were on their individual merits unacceptable to most delegations. The Soviet resolution was rejected by 30 votes to 9 (Soviet group, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Mexico), with 16 abstentions (mainly Near Eastern and Latin American States).

An Argentine resolution proposed in substance that an advisory opinion be requested from the International Court of Justice on the question whether in the absence of a favorable recommendation from the Security Council, the General Assembly can admit an applicant to membership. Since objections were raised to the form and scope of [Page 310] the proposal, the Ad Hoc Committee requested the Belgian-Argentine delegations to draw up a suitable revision. The Argentine and Belgian delegations submitted their joint draft resolution to the Committee and accepted an amendment, suggested by the Netherlands Delegation, which in our view greatly improved the text. The amended resolution was adopted by 37 votes to 9 (Soviet group, Norway, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Denmark), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Liberia), The United States supported this proposal on the ground that, while we are not in accord with the Argentine views to the effect that the Assembly can admit a state to membership in the absence of a favorable recommendation by the Security Council, we would not wish to stand in the way of a referral of this legal question to the International Court of Justice.5

A draft resolution submitted by Iraq called upon the permanent members of the Security Council to refrain from the use of the veto in the consideration of membership applications and, further, called upon the members of the Security Council to apply Article 4 of the Charter with “greater flexibility and generosity”. An amendment suggested by Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United States eliminated this language and provided instead for a request to the Security Council “to keep under consideration” all pending applications.6

3. Possible Developments in Plenary

The Soviet group is likely to renew its attacks upon the alleged “discriminatory policy” of the United States and the United Kingdom in supporting the admission of nine applicants but in refusing their support to Albania, the Mongolian People’s Republic, Hungary, Roumania and Bulgaria. The Soviet Union may also resubmit its resolution which requests reconsideration of 13 applications. Extensive participation by other members in the debate is, however, not likely.7

  1. For the report of the Ad Hoc Political Committee to the General Assembly, see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fourth Session, Plenary Meetings, Annex, pp. 30–34 (hereafter cited as GA(IV), Plenary, Annex).
  2. The voting took place on November 4.
  3. For texts, see GA(IV), Plenary, Annex, pp. 31–34 (sections A through I).
  4. For text (UN Doc. A/1079, November 12), see ibid., p. 34.
  5. For text of the agreed draft, see GA(IV), Plenary, Annex, p. 34 (section J).
  6. For text, see ibid., p. 34 (section K).
  7. Plenary discussion by the General Assembly took place in two meetings on November 22; see GA (IV), Plenary, pp. 312 ff. The 11 draft resolutions recommended by the Ad Hoc Political Committee were adopted (ibid., p. 329). The Soviet Union resubmitted its resolution, and this was rejected (ibid., p. 329). For statement of the U.S. position by Senator Cooper, U.S. representative, see ibid., pp. 327–329.