112. Position Paper Prepared for the Geneva Summit Conference, July 18–23, 19551


Recommended US Talking Points

We support the admission of fourteen of the present applicants (Austria, Cambodia, Ceylon, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal and Vietnam). Large majorities in the General Assembly and the Security Council have endorsed their qualifications, and only the Soviet veto has blocked their admission.
We continue to oppose the admission of Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Rumania, and Outer Mongolia because they have yet to show that they are qualified. None of them has ever been found qualified by a requisite majority in the Security Council or General Assembly.
We oppose the Soviet package proposal for the admission of the five Soviet-sponsored applicants along with nine others because it includes five applicants which we believe are not qualified, because it excludes five others which in our opinion are qualified (Japan, Republic of Korea, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam), and because [Page 284] the Charter, as interpreted by the International Court of Justice, requires separate consideration of each application on its own merits. For the same reasons and also because of the invidious distinctions it would involve among qualified applicants, any smaller package including both Soviet-sponsored and qualified applicants would likewise be unacceptable.
If the USSR wishes to make a genuine effort to alleviate international tension and to settle the membership question, it could cease to demand the admission of applicants which have never been found qualified as the price for the admission of those which have. It could permit admission on their own merits of the fourteen qualified applicants mentioned in 1 above.
If the USSR proposes the immediate, unconditional admission of Austria, we should agree, but, without conditioning the agreement in any way, we should also point out that we continue to favor the admission of Italy, Japan and all other qualified applicants and should challenge the USSR to refrain from vetoing them.

Anticipated Position of Other Governments

France and the United Kingdom are generally bearish on enlarging UN membership since it would increase the number of anti-colonial Members. They would probably agree to consider a membership deal as one item in a comprehensive agreement with the Russians involving a number of issues.
The USSR may propose (a) a membership deal involving some or all of the Communist and non-Communist applicants, or (b) unconditional, immediate admission of Austria, and possibly Japan.



Charter Provisions of Membership

The qualifications for new members and the procedures for their admission are governed by Article 4 of the Charter.

Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.
The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.

The International Court of Justice has given two advisory opinions on Article 4. In the first, it said that a Member, while recognizing that a state fulfills the conditions of Article 4, cannot subject its favorable vote on the admission of that state to the additional condition that other states be admitted simultaneously. In the second, [Page 285] the Court advised that the General Assembly cannot admit a state in the absence of a favorable Security Council recommendation. It has been generally understood that a Security Council recommendation to admit a state is subject to the veto.

Current Situation
Only nine states have been admitted as new members since the founding of the Organization. These nine are: Afghanistan, Burma, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Sweden, Thailand, and Yemen. Indonesia was the last member admitted—in 1950.
Nineteen other candidates have applied. The USSR has used its veto 28 times to block the admission of fourteen of these candidates (Austria, Cambodia, Ceylon, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal, and Vietnam), all of which the Assembly has determined to be qualified. The remaining five, which are Soviet-sponsored (Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Rumania, and Outer Mongolia), have never received the seven votes required for a Security Council recommendation or been found qualified by the Assembly. Spain and the Federal Republic of Germany have not applied.
The Soviet Union has proposed the simultaneous admission of nine of the non-Soviet applicants (including Austria, Ceylon, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Libya, Nepal and Portugal but not Cambodia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Laos and Vietnam) and of the five Soviet-sponsored candidates. The majority of Security Council members, including the United States, United Kingdom and France, have not accepted this package deal because it is contrary to the International Court’s opinion that each applicant should be considered separately, and because it includes applicants not considered qualified while excluding certain qualified applicants. The membership question has therefore remained deadlocked, the Soviet Union vetoing the non-Soviet applicants and the majority rejecting the Soviet-sponsored candidates or a package deal.
The large majority of UN members have become increasingly concerned over this stalemate. The Eighth Session of the General Assembly unanimously decided to establish a Committee of Good Offices, composed of Egypt, Netherlands and Peru, to consult with members of the Security Council to explore the possibility of reaching an understanding which would facilitate the admission of new members in accordance with Article 4 of the Charter. This Good Offices Committee was continued by unanimous action of the Ninth Session. Currently it has been seeking through extensive consultations to develop proposals for admission of a limited number of applicants who might be acceptable to both the Soviets and ourselves by reason of the fact that they are not clearly committed [Page 286] either to the Soviet bloc or to the free world (e.g. Austria, Finland, Libya).
At San Francisco our delegation reported that the Chairman of the Good Offices Committee had received the impression from a conversation with Molotov that the USSR would be willing to add Laos and Cambodia to the old Soviet package of 14. There was also a report that Molotov suggested a package deal including Austria, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Outer Mongolia and Rumania.
The final communiqué of the Bandung Conference called for the admission to the UN of Cambodia, Ceylon, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, and a “unified Vietnam.” The Prime Minister of Ceylon has suggested to the Prime Minister of Indonesia2 (in his capacity as Chairman of the Bandung Conference) that he get in touch with the heads of other states in the area which are UN members with a view to action in the UN to obtain the admission of all the above-listed states except a “unified Vietnam” which has still to come into existence. Copies of the Ceylonese Premier’s letter went also to the other Bandung participants.
Pursuant to action at the Ninth Session of the UNGA the Security Council is expected to meet sometime before the 10th session of the Assembly to reconsider all pending applications. In order of application, these are Albania, “Mongolian People’s Republic”, Jordan, Portugal, Ireland, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Rumania, Bulgaria, Finland, Ceylon, Republic of Korea, Nepal, Vietnam, Libya, Cambodia, Japan and Laos.
  1. Source: Department of State, UNP Files: Lot 59 D 237, Membership. Confidential. Drafted by Brown.
  2. Sir John Lionel Kotelawala, Prime Minister of Ceylon, and Dr. Ali Sastroamidjojo, Prime Minister of Indonesia; see infra .