Editorial Note

The report of the United Nations Commissioner in Libya (GA (V), Suppl. No. 15) was considered by the Ad Hoc Political Committee of the General Assembly during October 1950. Interest centered chiefly on the constitutional development plans which had been prepared by Mr. Pelt. Three draft resolutions were submitted in the Ad Hoc Political Committee on the question of Libya’s progress toward independence. During the debate in the Committee, the U.S.S.R. and other Communist states took the line that the United Kingdom and France, backed by the United States, were trying to impede Libyan unity and independence and to use their position in Libya for allegedly militaristic and aggressive purposes.

The United States commended the constructive work already accomplished in carrying forward the United Nations plan for Libya [Page 1634] and indicated confidence that this plan would be faithfully carried forward to completion. It was pointed out that the form of government to be established must be of the Libyans’ own choosing. The United States also emphasized the importance of rendering adequate technical assistance to Libya.

Eventually two groups of states (not including the Soviet Union) which had sponsored separate resolutions were able to reconcile and combine their proposals in a joint draft. The result, sponsored by 13 states, was a resolution which was adopted by the Ad Hoc Political Committee on October 19, 1950. The vote was 53 in favor, 1 against (France), with 5 abstentions. The Soviet proposal was rejected by 38 votes against, 13 in favor, and 7 abstentions. For the details on the discussions on Libya in the Ad Hoc Political Committee, see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, Ad Hoc Political Committee, pages 41 ff. Hereafter cited as GA (V), Ad Hoc Political Committee.