IO Files, Lot 71 D 440

Position Paper Prepared in the Department of State

secret

SD/A/C. 1/379/Rev. 1

Report of the Collective Measures Committee 1

the problem

To determine the United States position on the agenda item, “Report of the Collective Measures Committee” for the Sixth General Assembly.

recommendations

1. The United States should take the lead in carrying forward the momentum initiated by the collective action against aggression in Korea and the “Uniting for Peace” Resolution2 toward the continued development of an effective United Nations collective security system by introducing a resolution supporting the report such as contained in Annex A. We should seek the co-sponsorship of the United Kingdom and France, such other CMC Members who wish to join, and other States in the discretion of the United States delegation for the aforementioned resolution.

2. Such a resolution should have the following objectives:

a.
Approval by the General Assembly of the CMC Report and extension of the CMC for one year.
b.
Increasing the awareness of states of their responsibilities to support and contribute to the UN collective security system by (1) reemphasizing the recommendation to maintain UN units within their national armed forces; (2) recommending that states review their legislation and administrative regulations to insure they will be able to contribute to UN collective measures; (3) recommending that states take necessary steps to enable them to provide assistance and facilities to UN forces, including rights of passage and related rights, (4) inviting non-member states to consider ways and means whereby they can contribute to UN collective action.
c.
Recognition of the mutually supporting relationship, in accordance with the Charter, between regional and collective self-defense arrangements and the UN collective security system.
d.
Appointment of the Panel of Military Experts provided for in paragraph 10 of the “Uniting for Peace” resolution.

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1. The Uniting for Peace Resolution

On September 20, 1950, Mr. Acheson addressed the plenary session of the Fifth General Assembly and emphasized the following:

  • “The action of the United Nations to put down the aggression which began on June 25 against the Republic of Korea was exactly the effective collective measure required. It marked a turning point in history, for it showed the way to an enforceable rule of law among nations.
  • “The world waits to see whether we can build on the start we have made. The United Nations must move forward energetically to develop a more adequate system of collective security. If it does not move forward, it will move back.”

To this end the US delegation placed before the Fifth General Assembly a number of recommendations designed to increase the effectiveness of UN action against aggression. Based on these recommendations, the General Assembly adopted the Uniting for Peace Resolution on November 3, 1950. Section C of the Resolution recognizes that an indispensable element of common strength rests in the maintenance by members of armed forces and other resources available for UN use. Section D established the CMC and directed it to study collective measures which might be used for the maintenance and strengthening of peace.

2. Report of the Collective Measures Committee

A. Salient Features

In furtherance of our policy of strengthening the capacity of the UN to take effective and prompt collective measures against aggression, the US in the past year has played a major role in the work of the CMC. The CMC Report as a whole, and in particular the military sections, reflects to a considerable degree the ideas of the United States Government. The most important features of the CMC Report are summarized in the Introduction (paragraphs 1–37); the guiding principles and recommendations in the chapter on economic measures (paragraphs 162–66); the guiding principles, procedures and conclusions in the chapter on military measures (paragraphs 250–263); and the conclusions (paragraphs 264–65).

1. Political

The Report listed as political measures appeals to parties, determination and denunciation of the aggressor, partial or complete severance of diplomatic relations, suspension or expulsion from the UN or its Specialized Agencies, and non-recognition of changes brought about by the threat or use of force. It recognized that their use would vary with the circumstances of each case and that they should be regarded [Page 670]as primarily suitable for preventive action. They may be useful as a warning signal to the interested parties and to other nations, and can play an important role in exercising the moral judgment of the World Community and in establishing the broad foundation upon which UN collective action can be based.

In respect to the coordination of national action to increase the effectiveness of political measures and the establishment of machinery thereof, the report recognized the usefulness of creating some coordinating machinery but concluded that the question should be decided in each individual case.

The Report recognized that in the information field coordinated action designed to inform public opinion of the aims, the nature and scope of collective measures in the event of aggression might usefully contribute to the successful implementation of such measures.

2. Economic

The economic section of the report outlines the various economic measures which are available for collective application by the UN in order to weaken the aggressor or assist the victims. Measures to weaken nations threatening or breaching the peace included in the report are: (a) total embargo; (b) selective embargo including: arms embargo and embargo on other exports; (c) embargo on imports from an offending country; (d) severance of financial relations, including both selective and total prohibitions; (e) severance of transport and communications; (f) and sequestration of property. In addition to the aforementioned, the report discusses measures to assist victims of aggression including: financial, supply, relief, and refugee assistance.

The report analyzes each measure and outlines the considerations which should be taken into account by the UN in deciding on or recommending collective measures; it considers national action which should be taken by cooperating states; it points up procedures for coordination, including UN machinery, which should be established in order to make collective measures more effective; and it outlines collective economic measures to aid victim states and other states suffering from the application of economic measures.

The Committee recognized that the application of collective economic sanctions requires procedures and machinery for coordination. Accordingly, the Committee recommended that in the event that the Security Council or the General Assembly decides upon or recommends the application of collective measures against an offending State, a committee be designated Ad Hoc for the necessary coordination of the measures. While the actual composition of such a coordinating committee would be determined largely by the particular circumstances of the situation, it should have specific functions conferred to it by the [Page 671]General Assembly or the Security Council. These functions include: receipt and study of reports from cooperating States on action taken by them in implementing collective economic and financial measures; coordinating action related to the adoption and application of measures; arranging for the analysis and interchange of information; making recommendations to the Security Council or General Assembly and giving such advice to States as may be appropriate regarding controls which might be applied; defining the scope of embargoes and other projects; and reporting to the Security Council or General Assembly on the operation of the collective measures.

3. Military

A foremost development, from the military point of view, is the provision, in the event of a decision or recommendation to take collective measures, for an Executive Military Authority to be designated by the United Nations. Under United Nations aegis, the EMA would be the agent responsible for the effective conduct of the military operation, and could be either a State or a group of States.

In studying military collective measures, the Committee examined how capabilities of States could be best organized to strengthen collective security and considered the methods by which contributions and efforts of States can be coordinated by the United Nations in the event of a decision or recommendation to undertake military measures. The Korean experience was drawn upon heavily.

The machinery for coordination of the efforts of States, international bodies, and the EMA was considered in some detail. On the initiative of Yugoslavia, the special position of the victim State or States was given particular recognition, as was the special interests of participating States, States situated in or contiguous to the area of hostilities. Based on the assumption that an EMA will have been appointed, possible procedures for dealing with requests for and offers of military assistance and with the utilization of such contributions were outlined.

B. Adoption of Report by the Collective Measures Committee

The CMC carried on its work through three separate subcommittees; political, economic, and military. In each case after the respective subcommittee completed its studies, its report was approved and submitted to the full Committee. While the full CMC approved the Report, certain Members stated that their governments had not had adequate time to give consideration to the full Report, and, therefore, reserved their position to suggest changes during the Sixth General Assembly. Other United Nations Members will probably be examining the report for the first time, and it is reasonable to expect that revisions and comments will be presented by them during the debate in Committee I.

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3. Policy Objectives of the General Assembly Resolution

The collective action against aggression in Korea, the Uniting for Peace Resolution, and the studies of the CMC have each contributed to the further development of the United Nations collective security system. While progress already made has been substantial, there is much to be done before an effective United Nations collective security system becomes a reality. It would appear appropriate, therefore, for a resolution to have two main purposes: first, to highlight and register the concrete progress already made to strengthen the United Nations as the result of the steps taken in implementation of the Uniting for Peace Resolution by approval of the CMC report; secondly, to point the way toward further action for strengthening the United Nations collective security system. The over-all effect of highlighting what has already been done and what still needs to be done in order to achieve an effective collective security system can be expected to make all States far more aware of their responsibilities to that system which the United Nations is striving to develop.

It is anticipated that the USSR will oppose the proposed resolution as it did the Uniting for Peace Resolution. Because of the fear of some states that the effect of further efforts in this field will be to convert the United Nations into an anti-Soviet alliance, the United States approach should emphasize that the goals we are seeking in strengthening the United Nations are Charter goals and nothing we are doing is inconsistent with or in derogation of the Charter or the application of Article 43. Indeed, as pointed out in paragraph 18 of the report, such progress as the CMC can make in developing collective security under the United Nations will be of assistance to the Security Council in exercising its responsibilities under the Charter.

During the debate the US representative, if the appropriate occasion arises, should make a statement to the effect that we would welcome the cooperation of the Soviet Union, rendered in good faith, in building an effective United Nations collective security system and indicate our willingness to have them participate in the work of the CMC.

We recognize that an effective collective security system cannot be built solely by increasing the military strength of the United Nations. It is assumed that simultaneous with the application of collective measures the UN will continue to seek peaceful settlements. Furthermore, cooperation in the solution of international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character is also among the major tasks of the United Nations, the successful fulfillment of which is essential to world peace. In the event the suggestion is made by a delegation, the United States should accept appropriate language along the above lines for inclusion in the resolution.

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4. Proposed Operative Clause of Resolution

A. Approval of Report and General Assembly Adoption of Collective Measures Committee Conclusions

The conclusions and guiding principles expressed in the CMC Report were worked out with care in the Committee and should, in our view, be adopted by the General Assembly. Express General Assembly endorsement would enhance their status to a greater extent than by simple acceptance of the Report.

Of particular significance is the adoption by the General Assembly of the conclusion that States should not be subjected to legal liabilities under treaties or other international agreements as a consequence of carrying out United Nations collective measures. General Assembly adoption of this conclusion, as with others, will give it the firm moral support of world opinion and bring it closer to becoming well established as a principle of international law.

B. Further Action for United Nations Units

Paragraph 8 of the Uniting for Peace Resolution recommends that States maintain within national forces elements available as a United Nations unit or units. Thirty-eight responses have been received by the CMC; twenty-nine of these replies have been both positive and constructive, indicating active support for the Uniting for Peace Resolution. Of the nine remaining, only four are negative. (See Annex II, page 37, CMC Report, A/1891.)

The importance of Member States maintaining elements available for United Nations service cannot be over-emphasized. In this connection, United States policy should be directed toward stimulating further steps by United Nations Members in implementation of Paragraph 8. The maintenance of specific units by a maximum number of States can be expected to increase the moral and material strength of the United Nations and represents for some states the optimum method of carrying out recommendations of Paragraph 8.

C. Legislative and Administrative Action

The purpose of the Uniting for Peace Resolution is to increase the capacity of United Nations Members to take prompt and effective collective action in the event of aggression. In the case of some States, it may be that certain legislative and administrative impediments are present which constitute a bar to the prompt application of collective measures. The Resolution, therefore, recommends to Member States that they examine their legislation and administrative regulations and take whatever steps may be necessary to ensure that they will be in a position of readiness to take political, economic or military collective measures upon United Nations recommendation or decision.

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D. Assistance and Facilities for United Nations Forces

The CMC Report recognizes that in the modern world collective measures must of necessity involve a variety of resources. In the event of a United Nations decision to apply collective measures, it is reasonable to expect that not only will armed forces be needed but also other assistance and facilities, including rights of passage and related rights in order for United Nations collective measures to attain maximum effectiveness.

The objective of this portion of the resolution is to emphasize the necessity for States to make available promptly, in the event the United Nations undertakes collective military measures, rights of passage and related rights for United Nations forces.

E. Survey of Resources

The General Assembly recognized the importance of the principle that States be prepared to make the greatest possible contribution to collective measures by the United Nations. The attached resolution should restate the recommendation contained in the Uniting for Peace Resolution that States should survey their resources.

F. Regional and Self-Defense Arrangements

The Uniting for Peace Resolution, in paragraph 11, directed the CMC to “study and make a report . . . on methods . . . which might be used to maintain and strengthen international peace and security in accordance with the Principles and Purposes of the Charter, taking account of collective self-defense and regional arrangements”.

The United States response to the recommendation in the Uniting for Peace Resolution that Member States maintain United Nations units in their national forces made express reference to the North Atlantic Treaty. Our response included the statement that the Treaty comes within the framework of the United Nations, and that the United States forces in Europe maintained in furtherance of the Treaty could in appropriate circumstances, pursuant to the Treaty and the Charter, participate in collective military measures in the North Atlantic Area in support of United Nations action. The United Kingdom and France, as well as other NATO members, followed a similar pattern in their responses.

The CMC devoted considerable attention to the general relationships between regional and collective self-defense arrangements and the United Nations and the Report discussed these relationships in paragraph 10 of Chapter 1, paragraphs 161 and 164 in Chapter III, and paragraphs 182–195 inclusive in Chapter 4. The proposed Resolution deals with this subject in the sixth paragraph of the Preamble and the sixth operative paragraph. The effect of the Resolution is to recommend to States Members of the United Nations and also members of regional or self-defense arrangements or agencies that they [Page 675]take into account the views set forth in the Report of the CMC. This recommendation states also that Members of such arrangements or agencies take account of how and to what extent such arrangements or agencies can make a valuable contribution to the collective security system of the United Nations within the scope of their authority.

G. Panel of Military Experts

Paragraph 10 of the Uniting for Peace Resolution provides for the creation of a Panel of Military Experts who could be made available to Member States upon their request to give technical advice regarding the organization, training, and equipment of military units. These experts can make a valuable contribution to the maintenance of national elements made available for United Nations service. The Resolution calls upon the Secretary General to appoint as soon as possible the panel so that it can be made available to States who may desire technical advice.

H. Non-Member Participation in Collective Measures

The Collective Measures Committee Report has emphasized the principle that United Nations collective action to be most effective should be as nearly universal as possible. Contributions to and support of United Nations collective measures should come from the maximum number of States, including those which are not Members of the United Nations. In the Korean collective action, contributions have been accepted from both Members and non-members. Furthermore, in order to reinforce international peace and security, the Collective Measures Committee Report makes various recommendations for additional preparatory steps that all States, including non-members, should take. These recommendations are included in the text of the resolution. Therefore, by including a specific reference to the contribution that non-members can make to United Nations collective measures, a step will have been taken toward laying the foundation for the universal application of collective action in the event of future aggression.

I. Continuation of Collective Measures Committee

The United States should support the continuation of the Collective Measures Committee for one year made up of the same membership with substantially similar terms of reference for the following reasons: (a) The task of building a collective security system requires further study and effort. In the time available there has been opportunity to make only a first general survey of the problems connected with the organization of the United Nations resources and the coordination of contributions from States to a United Nations armed force. The United Nations, in the interests of strengthening the machinery for the maintenance of international peace and security, should continue to study questions which have been surveyed only in a preliminary way. (b) A [Page 676]continuation of studies is an explicit reaffirmation of the desire of the United Nations Members to further develop the system of collective security within the United Nations, and failure to do so would probably have deleterious psychological effects on the preparations and willingness of the free world to meet aggression. (c) During its first year, the Collective Measures Committee was unable to study certain important problems which would arise in the coordination of collective economic measures.

5. Procedure in Submitting Resolution

The United States representatives should seek early consideration of the Collective Measures Committee Report by Committee I. In submitting the Resolution, the United States should seek the co-sponsorship of other Collective Measures Committee Members and other United Nations Members who may desire to do so in order to obtain a broad geographical distribution. However, since we anticipate widespread support for the resolution, it is suggested that its co-sponsorship not be extended to the point where important concessions will have to be made.

Annex A

Proposed General Assembly Resolution on Report of Collective Measures Committee

The General Assembly

Reaffirming its determination, as expressed in the Uniting for Peace Resolution, to ensure that the United Nations have at its disposal the means for maintaining international peace and security pending the conclusion of Article 43 agreements;

Recognizing that for this purpose states must be in a position of readiness to support and contribute to United Nations collective action undertaken in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter;

Having received the report of the Collective Measures Committee rendered in accordance with Paragraph 11 of the Uniting for Peace Resolution;

Encouraged by the responses from Member States to its recommendation contained in that Resolution that they maintain elements within their national armed forces which could be made available for United Nations service;

Convinced, moreover, that additional action should be taken by states and by the United Nations in furtherance of the continued development of an effective system of collective security under the United Nations;

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Recognizing that regional and collective self-defense arrangements concluded in accordance with the Charter are an important aspect of the structure of universal collective security and that they can and should make a valuable contribution to the collective security system of the United Nations;

Recognizing that United Nations collective action to be most effective should be as nearly universal as possible and that in the event of need, states not Members of the United Nations should unite their strength with the United Nations to maintain or restore international peace and security in accordance with the purpose and principles of the Charter,

1.
Approves the report of the Collective Measures Committee and adopts its conclusions;
2.
Recommends to Member States that each member take such further action as is necessary to maintain within its national armed forces elements so trained, organized and equipped that they could promptly be made available for service as United Nations units in accordance with Paragraph 8 of the Uniting for Peace Resolution;
3.
Recommends to Member States that they examine their Legislation and administrative regulations and take such steps as are necessary to insure that they will be in a position of readiness to support and contribute, in accordance with their constitutional processes, to United Nations collective measures, whether political, economic, or military;
4.
Recommends to Member States that they take such steps as are necessary to enable them in accordance with their constitutional processes to provide assistance and facilities, including rights of passage and related rights, to United Nations forces engaged in collective military measures undertaken by the Security Council or the General Assembly;
5.
Recommends to Member States that they continue the survey of their resources provided for in Paragraph 7 of the Uniting for Peace Resolution;
6.
Recommends to Member States which are members of regional or collective self-defense arrangements or agencies that as set forth in the report of the Collective Measures Committee they take account of the complementary relationship between the activities of such arrangements or agencies and collective measures undertaken by the United Nations and how and to what extent within the scope of such arrangements or agencies they can make a valuable contribution to the collective security system of the United Nations.
7.
Invites states not Members of the United Nations to consider ways and means whereby they can contribute most effectively to collective measures undertaken by the United Nations in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter;
8.
Requests the Secretary General to appoint the members of the Panel of Military Experts provided for in Paragraph 10 of the Uniting for Peace Resolution as soon as possible to the end that they can be made available on request to states wishing to obtain technical advice regarding the organization, training and equipment of the United Nations units referred to in Paragraph 2 above;
9.
Continues the Collective Measures Committee und directs it, in consultation with the Secretary General and with such states as the Committee finds appropriate, to continue its studies on methods which might be used to maintain and strengthen international peace and security in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter, taking account of regional and collective self-defense arrangements, and report thereon to the Security Council and the General Assembly before the Seventh Session of the General Assembly.
  1. GA (VI), Suppl. No. 13 (document A/1891).
  2. Resolution 377 (V), November 3, 1950; for text, see GA (V), Resolutions, pp. 10–12, or Department of State Bulletin, November 20, 1950, pp. 823–825.