Editorial Note

The report of the United Nations Commission for Eritrea to the General Assembly was completed at Geneva on June 8, 1950. The Commission was unable to reach agreed conclusions on the disposition of the territory. The Burmese, Norwegian, and South African members of the Commission joined in preparing a factual survey of the problem. The three delegations concluded that close political and economic association of some kind between Eritrea and Ethiopia was necessary in view of Eritrea’s poverty, its economic dependence on Ethiopia, and the close affinities between large sections of the Eritrean [Page 1654] and Ethiopian peoples. Norway added its own proposal that Eritrea as a whole be reunited with Ethiopia. Burma and South Africa submitted a proposal for the federation of Eritrea with Ethiopia under which Eritrea would be autonomous in local matters and which would offer effective safeguards for the rights and interests of the Moslems, the Italians, and other minorities. Guatemala and Pakistan on the other hand questioned whether a majority of Eritreans wished union with Ethiopia and suggested that the territory be placed under a direct United Nations trusteeship for 10 years, to be followed by independence. For the text of the report see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, Supplement No. 8, Report of the United Nations Commission for Eritrea. Hereafter cited as GA (V), Suppl. No. 8.