IO Files

United States Delegation Working Paper: Draft Resolution on South West Africa

confidential
US/A/C.4/212

The General Assembly,

Believing that an agreed solution of the vexed question of South West Africa would not only bring greater peace and harmony to the Continent of Africa, but would contribute significantly to the relieving of tensions in wider areas of the world;

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2. Considering that the general acceptance of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 11 July 1950 would greatly strengthen the rule of law and reason in international affairs and thus the defenses of the United Nations;

3. Having by resolution 449 (V) of 13 December 1950 accepted the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice with respect to South West Africa;

4. Having established a Committee of five consisting of the representatives of Denmark, Syria, Thailand, the United States of America and Uruguay to confer with the Union of South Africa, concerning the procedural measures necessary for implementing the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice;

5. Having authorized this Committee, as an interim measure, to examine the report on the administration of the Territory of South West Africa covering the period since the last report, as well as petitions and any other matters relating to the Territory that may be transmitted to the Secretary-General;

6. Having received the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on South West Africa (A/1901, A/1901/Add.1, A/1901/Add.2, A/1901/Add.3);

7. Noting that the Union of South Africa submitted to the Ad Hoc Committee on South West Africa a proposal which the Ad Hoc Committee found unacceptable because it did not allow for an adequate implementation of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice and because the proposal made no provision for the supervision of the administration of the Territory of South West Africa by the United Nations;

8. Noting that the Ad Hoc Committee submitted to the Union of South Africa a counter-proposal based on the existing Mandates Agreement and providing for a procedure for the supervision of the administration of the Territory of South West Africa by the United Nations as nearly as possible analogous to that which existed under the League of Nations, and to the extent practicable, involving international obligations no more extensive or onerous than those existing under the League of Nations;

9. Noting that the Union of South Africa, in reply to the Ad Hoc Committee’s counter-proposal, was willing to resume negotiations only on the basis of its own proposal, and informed the Committee that the Union of South Africa was unable to accept the principle of submission of reports on the administration of the Territory;

10. Noting with concern that the Ad Hoc Committee was unable to comply with the resolution of the General Assembly to examine the report on the administration of the Territory of South West Africa because no report was received and that no petitions were transmitted by the Union of South Africa;

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11. Recalling that the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice with respect to the Territory of South West Africa sets forth, inter alia, that

(a)
The Territory of South West Africa is a territory under the international Mandate assumed by the Union of South Africa on 17 December 1920;
(b)
the Union of South Africa, acting alone, has not the competence to modify the international status of the Territory of South West Africa, and that the competence to determine and modify the international status of the Territory rests with the Union of South Africa acting with the consent of the United Nations;
(c)
the Union of South Africa continues to have the international obligations stated in Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations and in the Mandate for South West Africa as well as the obligation to transmit petitions from the inhabitants of that Territory, the supervisory functions to be exercised by the United Nations, to which the annual reports and the petitions are to be submitted;

12. Commends the Ad Hoc Committee on South West Africa for its earnest and constructive efforts to find a reasonable basis of agreement;

13. Endorses, in principle, as a minimum, the proposal of the Committee, appended hereto;

14. Deplores the fact that the Union of South Africa, in the course of the negotiations with the Committee, while prepared to negotiate on the basis of certain articles of the Mandate, indicated its unwillingness to give adequate expression to its international obligations with respect to South West Africa, and in particular with regard to the supervisory responsibility of the United Nations toward this Territory;

15. Declares that since the Union Government cannot escape its international obligations by unilateral action, the United Nations cannot recognise as valid any measures taken unilaterally by the Union of South Africa, which would modify the international status of the Territory of South West Africa;

16. Appeals solemnly to the Government of the Union of South Africa to reconsider its position, and urges it to resume negotiations on the basis of the Ad Hoc Committee’s proposal for the purpose of concluding an agreement providing for the full implementation of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice; and urges it further to submit reports on the administration of the Territory of South West Africa and to transmit petitions from communities or sections of the population of the Territory to the United Nations;

17. Continues until the next regular session of the General Assembly the Ad Hoc Committee on South West Africa, established by resolution 449 (V), and requests it to continue to confer with the Union of [Page 699]South Africa concerning means of implementing the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice;

18. Authorizes the Ad Hoc Committee on South West Africa, as an interim measure, and pending the completion of the negotiations with the Union of South Africa, and as far as possible in accordance with the procedure of the former Mandates System, to examine reports on the administration of the Territory of South West Africa as well as petitions and any other matters relating to the Territory that may be transmitted to the Secretary-General;

19. Requests the Ad Hoc Committee to submit a report on its activities to the next regular session of the General Assembly.