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services; for the further training of qualified social welfare officials; and for advice and demonstrations in connection with the manufacture and use of artificial limbs and the vocational training of physically handicapped persons. The services, training, and supplies are to be furnished only to those governments which specifically request them. A budget of $670,000 has been provided. The project was fully supported by the United States.
The second project proposed by UNRRA and favorably received by the General Assembly was the proposal for an International Children's Emergency Fund, designed to provide assistance to children in war-devastated countries during the next few years.
On the initiative of the United States the scope of the Fund was expanded to include not only children in countries which had been victims of aggression-although these will enjoy priority—but also children in countries receiving UNRRA assistance and in others requiring assistance "for child health purposes generally”. The Fund will be administered by an executive director to be chosen by the Secretary-General in consultation with an executive board composed of 25 countries, including the United States. The board will have final responsibility for determining programs and making allocations. Finances are to be provided by voluntary contributions from countries, organizations, and individuals. The Fund is authorized to accept any assets made available by UNRRA, and the sum of $550,000 was immediately turned over by UNRRA as a nucleus.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
In another resolution the General Assembly recommended that all Members of the United Nations accept the Constitution of the new World Health Organization at the earliest possible date. The Assembly acted to facilitate the establishment of the Organization by approving a loan by the United Nations of a maximum sum of $300,000 to finance the activities of the Interim Commission of the World Health Organization in 1946, together with an additional loan of a maximum of $1,000,000 for the Interim Commission or the Organization itself in 1947.
The Economic and Social Council had proposed that the funds be made available either as a loan or as a grant. The Assembly, however, accepted the United States view that it would in the final analysis be sound to establish the principle that all specialized agencies should finance themselves. The alternative of an outright grant of funds was accordingly eliminated.
CONTROL OF THE NARCOTICS TRAFFIC
Under the League of Nations there has been built up a system of control of the traffic in narcotic drugs. The uninterrupted continuation of this system is important for the welfare of all countries. Since the League has now ceased to function, the General Assembly, acting on a recommendation of the Economic and Social Council, decided that the United Nations should assume the duties and powers formerly exercised by it. The transfer of authority is being made through a protocol amending the pre-war narcotics agreements. On December 11, 1946 the protocol was signed by representatives of 36 governments, including the United States (subject to legislative approval); and later signatures, many of them subject to subsequent approval, have brought the total to about 50.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS Besides the decisions of the General Assembly on the treatment of Indians in South Africa, the Constitution of the IRO, and the crime of genocide, which are described elsewhere in this chapter, four other resolutions—all of them supported by the United States-reflected the interest of the United Nations in human rights and fundamental freedoms. In a general resolution, the General Assembly called upon governments to take steps to put an immediate end to religious and so-called racial persecutions and discrimination in conformity with the letter and spirit of the Charter.
In a second resolution the Assembly authorized the holding of a conference on freedom of information in 1947. The conference will be convoked by the Economic and Social Council to formulate views concerning the rights, obligations, and practices which should be included in the concept of freedom of information, and the participating Delegations are to include persons actually engaged or experienced in press, radio, motion pictures, and other media for the dissemination of information. This resolution was the outgrowth of a Philippine proposal for an international press conference. Its scope was broadened with the full support of the United States Delegation.
A third resolution, submitted by the Danish Delegation and unanimously adopted, recommended that “all Member States which have not already done so, adopt measures granting to women the same political rights as men”.
Finally, in conformity with the United States views, the General Assembly referred a draft declaration on fundamental human rights and freedoms, introduced by Panama, to the Economic and Social Council “for reference to the Commission on Human Rights in its preparation of an international bill of rights”.
4. LEGAL QUESTIONS
OF LEGAL PRINCIPLES OF
On October 24, 1946 the Secretary-General pointed out in his oral report to the General Assembly that “in the interest of peace it will be of decisive significance to have the principles which were employed in the Nuremberg trials
made a permanent part of the body of international law as quickly as possible”. In a letter of November 9, 1946 to Justice Biddle, United States Member of the Nuremberg Tribunal, the President stated that “the time is therefore opportune for advancing the proposal that the United Nations as a whole reaffirm the principles of the Nuremberg Charter in the context of a general codification of offenses against the peace and security of mankind”. These principles establish the responsibility and liability to punishment of individuals, as well as of nations, for the waging of aggressive warfare and for crimes against humanity.
The United States Delegation took the initiative in introducing a resolution to this effect. The resolution as passed by the General Assembly was a reaffirmation by all the United Nations of the legal principles recognized by the Nuremberg Charter and confirmed by the judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal. It also directed the committee appointed by the General Assembly on the codification of international law to treat as a matter of primary importance plans for the formulation of these principles, in the context of a general codification of offenses against the peace and security of mankind, or of an international criminal code.
THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE The General Assembly, moreover, adopted a resolution pointing out that punishment of the crime of genocide, which is the denial of the right of existence to entire human groups, is a matter of international concern. The most striking example of such a crime was the murder by the Nazis of all but a few hundred thousand of the seven million Jews in Germany and occupied Europe. The Assembly resolution affirmed that genocide is a crime under international law for the commission of which private individuals or public officials are punishable, whether the crime is committed on religious, racial, political, or other grounds. The General Assembly requested the Economic and Social Council to undertake the necessary studies with a view to drawing up a draft convention on the crime of genocide to be submitted to the next session of the Assembly. The United States took an active part in the formulation of this resolution and supported it in its final form.
CODIFICATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
In accordance with article 13 of the Charter, which provides that the General Assembly shall encourage the progressive development and the codification of international law, the United States Delegation strongly urged the General Assembly to take action in that field as soon as possible. The United States Delegation, together with the Chinese Delegation, submitted a proposal providing that a committee should be established by the General Assembly to study the methods by which the progressive development and codification of international law might be encouraged. It was emphasized that, if codification were to be effective, it would be necessary to plan the entire process with great care.
The Assembly consequently created a committee of 17 members, including the United States, which was instructed to prepare plans during the next year for the codification of the principles of international law. The committee was instructed to regard the codification of the principles of the Nuremberg Charter, mentioned above, as a matter of primary importance. The committee was also given a mandate to report to the next session of the General Assembly upon the comments received from Member states regarding the Draft Declaration of the Rights and Duties of States presented to the General Assembly by the Delegation of Panama.
OTHER LEGAL PROBLEMS
The United States Delegation participated actively in the consideration of a number of other legal matters. It formulated regulations for the registration of treaties and international agreements with the Secretariat, in accordance with the terms of article 102 of the Charter, and secured their adoption by the Assembly. It assisted in the examination and approval of arrangements with regard to the privileges and immunities to be enjoyed by the Members and officials of the International Court of Justice. It introduced and successfully sought the passage of an interpretative resolution containing a necessary clarification of the meaning of the word “meeting” in articles 11 and 12 of the Statute of the Court, dealing with the election of judges. (This resolution requires the concurrence of the Security Council before it becomes effective.) On the advice of its Legal Committee, the Assembly also approved a report of the Security Council establishing the conditions upon which Switzerland might become a party to the Statute of the Court.1
* See chap. VI, International Court of Justice.
With United States support the General Assembly adopted an official emblem for the United Nations and invited the Member states to protect the emblem and the name “United Nations” from exploitation for commercial use within their countries.
The Legal Committee of the General Assembly considered the legal aspects of a number of additional problems. On its recommendations the Assembly authorized the Economic and Social Council to request advisory opinions from the International Court of Justice, and approval was given to provisions in agreements between the United Nations and certain specialized agencies authorizing them also to request advisory opinions from the Court on matters within the scope of their activities.
5. ESTABLISHMENT OF TRUSTEESHIP SYSTEM
The important steps taken by the General Assembly to establish the trusteeship system, as well as the measures adopted with respect to non-self-governing territories, are described in detail in chapter V of this Report.
Important Organizational Decisions 1. ELECTIONS TO UNITED NATIONS COUNCILS
Belgium, Colombia, and Syria were chosen by the General Assembly in New York to occupy seats on the Security Council for a period of two years to fill the expiring terms of Egypt, Mexico, and the Netherlands.
The United States and Lebanon were reelected to the Economic and Social Council, while the Byelorussian S. S. R., New Zealand, Venezuela, and Turkey were selected to replace Colombia, Greece, Yugoslavia, and the Ukrainian S. S. R. on this Council. The Netherlands was elected to the Council in a special by-election to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Belgium.
The establishment of the Trusteeship Council was completed by the election of Iraq and Mexico for three-year terms to achieve the balance between states which administer trust territories and those which do not, required under article 86 of the Charter. Thus the Assembly brought into existence the last of the principal organs of the United Nations for which provision is made in the Charter.
By a decision of the General Assembly, embodying a United States proposal, all Members of the United Nations Councils will henceforth take office on January 1 following their election and will conclude their terms of office at the end of the appropriate calendar year.