239. Position Paper Prepared in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs for the Delegation to the Eleventh Session of the General Assembly1



The Problem

Three applicants have been recommended for United Nations membership by the Security Council since the Tenth Session of the General Assembly—the Sudan, Morocco, and Tunisia. These three states were admitted without difficulty at the opening plenary of the Eleventh Session.2

Three other applicants found qualified for admission to the United Nations by the General Assembly remain outside the Organization because of Soviet vetos in the Security Council. These are Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Viet-Nam. A fourth applicant, Outer Mongolia, has never received the separate endorsement of the General Assembly, although it was included in the membership [Page 480]“package” proposal adopted by the Assembly in 1955. It has never been recommended for admission by the Security Council. The United States considers Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Viet-Nam well qualified for membership and has urged their admission. We oppose the admission of Outer Mongolia, which we do not regard as an independent state. Outer Mongolia has recently renewed its application, and the USSR may again tie its admission to that of Japan. It may also seek to link the admission of the Republic of Korea and of Viet-Nam with the admission of the Viet Minh and North Korean regimes.

United States Position

When Japan is prepared to press its application for admission, the United States in consultation with Japan should be prepared to initiate or support a proposal that the Security Council be convened without delay to recommend admission of Japan.
The United States should seek an appropriate occasion as early in the session as possible to make a brief statement reaffirming its belief that Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Viet-Nam are well qualified for membership and deploring their continued exclusion.
Following Security Council consideration of the Japanese application, the United States should co-sponsor 1) either a resolution admitting Japan to membership if the Security Council has so recommended; or 2) if the USSR, despite any commitment to Japan, again vetoes the Japanese application in the Security Council because of the Council’s failure to act favorably on Outer Mongolia and unless Japan desires otherwise, a resolution reaffirming the Assembly’s previous endorsements of the Japanese candidacy and deploring the repeated Soviet vetoes.
The United States should consult with other delegations to ascertain their views on an Assembly resolution again endorsing the applications of the Republic of Korea and Viet-Nam. The delegation should then consult the Department on whether the United States should take the initiative toward co-sponsoring a suitable resolution; otherwise the United States should limit itself to making clear, in an appropriate statement under this item, its support of these two applicants.
In the event any action on Outer Mongolia is proposed, the United States should oppose General Assembly endorsement of the Outer Mongolian application. The United States should seek to avoid Assembly action that would couple Japan and Outer Mongolia in a “package” recommendation.
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Under Article 4(2) of the United Nations Charter, new members are admitted to the United Nations by decision of the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council. Soviet vetoes in the Security Council prevented the admission of any new members from 1950 until 1955, when during the Tenth General Assembly sixteen new members were admitted. The USSR, however, again vetoed the applications of three states previously found qualified for membership by the General Assembly—Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Viet-Nam.

Since the Tenth Session of the Assembly, the Security Council has acted favorably on the applications of three newly independent states—the Sudan, Morocco, and Tunisia. These states were admitted at the opening plenary of the Eleventh Session.

The recent agreement between Japan and the USSR states that the “U.S.S.R. will support Japan’s request for admission to membership in the United Nations,” but this commitment does not appear to become effective until ratifications have been exchanged. Japan has indicated that it does not desire Security Council consideration of its application before this exchange can take place. Therefore the addition of Japan to the group of states being admitted under Item 5 appears to be precluded by the fact that the Japanese Diet is not scheduled to meet to consider the agreement until November 12. There is, however, a second agenda item on the admission of new Members, and the Assembly can act at any time to admit Japan pursuant to a Security Council recommendation.

In the Security Council in 1955 after an 18 member package failed of adoption following Soviet vetoes of free world candidates and a Chinese veto of Outer Mongolia, a 16 member package which did not include Japan and Outer Mongolia was approved. At that time the U.S.S.R. delegate voiced “the expectation that the question of the admission of Japan and the Outer’ Mongolian People’s Republic’ …3 will be referred to the next session of the General Assembly”. The U.S.S.R. vetoed a United States proposal recommending Japan’s admission and a subsequent United States proposal recommending Japan’s admission at the 11th General Assembly. A Soviet proposal recommending both Japan and Outer Mongolia for admission at the 11th General Assembly then failed of adoption with only the U.S.S.R. voting affirmatively and all other Council members abstaining. The U.S.S.R. had also vetoed Korea and Viet-Nam. We cannot be sure that the U.S.S.R. may not connect the Japanese application with Outer Mongolia in some form.

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If the U.S.S.R. should again veto the Japanese application, despite any commitment of support, the United States should be prepared to take the necessary initiative to obtain a reaffirmation by the Assembly of its findings that Japan is qualified for membership and should promptly be admitted. Since there is widespread support among United Nations Members for Japan’s admission, an Assembly resolution to this effect would serve to underscore Soviet responsibility for its continued exclusion and to keep pressure on the U.S.S.R. However, in view of the importance attached to United Nations membership by both the Government and the people of Japan, the United States should, before taking such an initiative, consult with Japan and should only proceed if Japan concurs. Otherwise, a United States initiative might be prejudicial to United States-Japanese relations.

The Republic of Korea has been pressing for renewed consideration of its application, and the Republic of Viet-Nam also, though to a lesser extent, is eager for admission to the United Nations, and regardless of the status of the Japanese application, a reaffirmation of United States support of their candidacies as early as possible is desirable. However, so long as the Republic of Korea and Viet-Nam continue to be divided states, another Soviet veto in the Security Council appears inevitable, and it was the majority view at the Tenth General Assembly that under these circumstances their applications should not be pressed. This may well be the view of the Eleventh Session also. Refusal of the United States to be guided by the consensus would be badly received under the circumstances as divisive rather than constructive in intent. Moreover, such an item would open the way for consideration of Outer Mongolia’s application and for the U.S.S.R. possibly to raise the questions of the North Korean and Viet Minh regimes.

On the other hand, Korea and to a lesser extent Viet-Nam, attach considerable importance to General Assembly consideration of their membership applications and the political consequences of a failure by the General Assembly to discuss the applications would have to be carefully considered.

The decision whether the United States should take the initiative in looking toward reaffirmation by the Assembly of its finding that both the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Viet-Nam are qualified for membership should be taken in the light of the degree of support among United Nations members generally and of the wishes of the Korean and Vietnamese Governments.

The United States is opposed to the admission of Outer Mongolia. However, in 1955 the United States abstained first in the General Assembly on the “package” proposal which included Outer Mongolia and then in the Security Council votes on Outer Mongolia, in [Page 483]accordance with the spirit of the 1948 Vandenberg Resolution calling for voluntary agreement among the permanent members of the Security Council to remove the veto from the admission of new Members. Since the last General Assembly, we have consistently and successfully opposed the admission of Outer Mongolia to other organizations and agencies. The deadlock on the admission of new members to the United Nations no longer presents a serious problem, and it should be possible to assure that any Assembly consideration of Outer Mongolia’s application this year is not tied in with its consideration of other applications. Forthright opposition to Outer Mongolia at this Assembly is consistent with the position we have taken in other organizations and with our well-known views on this subject, and does not require us to shift from an abstention in the Security Council consistent with the Vandenberg Resolution. Moreover, it is to our interest to make clear our firm opposition to Outer Mongolia with a view to forestalling the build-up of pressures that might again lead to a Chinese veto of Outer Mongolia in the Security Council. As China exercised its veto last year under circumstances in which its United Nations position was involved and despite appeals from the President and the Secretary, we can definitely anticipate that China will again veto Outer Mongolia if that candidacy should receive seven affirmative votes in the Security Council.

  1. Source: Department of State, IO Files: Lot 71 D 440, 11th GAP Books, Committees 1-6. Confidential.
  2. On November 12, at the first plenary meeting of its Eleventh Session, the General Assembly unanimously adopted three separate draft resolutions, submitted by 23 nations, admitting the Sudan, Morocco, and Tunisia, respectively, to membership.
  3. Ellipsis in the source text.