Declaration by the Sixteen, Geneva, June 15, 19541
Pursuant to the Resolution of August 28, 1953, of the United Nations General Assembly, and the Berlin Communiqué of February 18, 1954, we, as nations who contributed military forces to the United Nations Command in Korea, have been participating in the Geneva Conference for the purpose of establishing a united and independent Korea by peaceful means.
We have made a number of proposals and suggestions in accord with the past efforts of the United Nations to bring about the unification, independence and freedom of Korea; and within the framework of the following two principles which we believe to be fundamental:
- The United Nations, under its Charter, is fully and rightfully empowered to take collective action to repel aggression, to restore peace and security, and to extend its good offices to seeking a peaceful settlement in Korea.
- In order to establish a unified, independent and democratic Korea, genuinely free elections should be held under United Nations supervision, for representatives in the National Assembly, in which representation shall be in direct proportion to the indigenous population in Korea.
We have earnestly and patiently searched for a basis of agreement which would enable us to proceed with Korean unification in accordance with these fundamental principles.
The Communist delegations have rejected our every effort to obtain agreement. The principal issues between us, therefore, are clear. Firstly, we accept and assert the authority of the United Nations. The Communists repudiate and reject the authority and competence of the United Nations in Korea and have labelled the United Nations itself as the tool of aggression. Were we to accept this position of the Communists, it would mean the death of the principle of collective security and of the United Nations itself. Secondly, we desire genuinely free elections. The Communists insist upon procedures which would make genuinely free elections impossible. It is clear that the Communists will not accept impartial and effective supervision of free [Page 386] elections. Plainly, they have shown their intention to maintain Communist control over North Korea. They have persisted in the same attitudes which have frustrated United Nations efforts to unify Korea since 1947.
We believe, therefore, that it is better to face the fact of our disagreement than to raise false hopes and mislead the peoples of the world into believing that there is agreement where there is none.
In the circumstances we have been compelled reluctantly and regretfully to conclude that, so long as the Communist delegations reject the two fundamental principles which we consider indispensible, further consideration and examination of the Korean question by the Conference would serve no useful purpose. We re-affirm our continued support for the objectives of the United Nations in Korea.
In accordance with the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations of August 28, 1953, the member states parties to this declaration will inform the United Nations concerning the proceedings at this Conference.
Geneva, June 15, 1954.
For The Netherlands:
For New Zealand:
For The Philippines:
For The United Kingdom:
For The United States of America:
- The source text, a signed original of the Declaration, was transmitted to the Department of State under cover of despatch Secto 4, June 25, from Geneva.↩