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2. APPROVAL AGREEMENTS WITH SPECIALIZED
AGENCIES Pursuant to the terms of articles 57 and 63 of the Charter, the Economic and Social Council had negotiated agreements during the year bringing four specialized intergovernmental agencies into working relationship with the United Nations—the International Labor Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the International Civil Aviation Organization. All four agreements were approved by the General Assembly; but in the case of the agreement with the International Civil Aviation Organization, which was created with the participation of Spain, the Organization is called upon to comply with the Assembly's resolution barring the Franco regime from membership in agencies affiliated with the United Nations.
In approving the resolution concerning these agreements, the General Assembly called upon the Economic and Social Council to report within three years on the progress of coordination of the policies and activities of the specialized agencies.
The United States voted in favor of all these decisions.
3. RELATIONS With NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZA
TIONS The question of the type of relationship which should exist between the Economic and Social Council and the World Federation of Trade Unions—a matter raised at the San Francisco conference, the General Assembly in London, and at each of the first three sessions of the Economic and Social Council-received renewed attention during the session in New York. Although the president of the WFTU had expressed satisfaction with the broad arrangements worked out for consultation with the Economic and Social Council in accordance with article 71 of the Charter, Leon Jouhaux, Delegate of France and a vice president of the WFTU, requested that the Federation be granted additional privileges. In a letter to the president of the General Assembly, signed by himself and by another vice president of the WFTU, he urged the Assembly to recommend that the Economic and Social Council grant the Federation (1) the right to submit to the Council questions for insertion in its provisional agenda, in line with the procedure applicable to specialized intergovernmental agencies and (2) the right to make written and verbal statements to the Council on all matters of concern to the Federation. These two proposals were subsequently embodied in a resolution presented by the Soviet Delegation.
The United States Delegation strongly opposed any change in the arrangements already made by the Economic and Social Council on the grounds that these arrangements should afford ample opportunity for consultation between the WFTU and the Council, that there had been no opportunity to test these arrangements in actual practice, and that the additional privileges sought raised serious constitutional questions. The changes asked, it was pointed out, would give a single non-governmental organization privileges equal or superior to those of the specialized agencies and Member governments of the United Nations not sitting on the Economic and Social Council, and would jeopardize the Council's control over its own agenda.
Nevertheless the General Assembly adopted, by a vote of 25 to 22, the recommendation that the Economic and Social Council should grant to the WFTU the right to place items on the Council's provisional agenda. But the Assembly also approved by a large majority a United States resolution reaffirming the principle that all nongovernmental organizations in Category A (those with a general interest in all the work of the Council) should be accorded equal privileges in regard to arrangements for consultation with the Council. This group of organizations now includes the American Federation of Labor, the International Cooperative Alliance, and the International Chamber of Commerce, as well as the WFTU.
Headquarters of the United Nations
When the General Assembly met in October 1946, it received a committee report recommending five areas in Westchester County, New York, as possible sites for the permanent headquarters of the United Nations. At an early stage in the consideration of the report, the United States announced that in response to the desire of other Members it had abandoned its previous position of neutrality on the subject and would take an active part in assisting the United Nations to reach a decision. The General Assembly thereupon voted to consider other areas in the United States, and its Headquarters Committee decided to narrow the field to the areas of New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Philadelphia. A rapid survey of sites in these areas was made by a subcommittee which recommended the Belmont-Roxborough site offered as a gift by the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Presidio, a military reservation in San Francisco, as of equal merit, with the White Plains site in Westchester County as second choice.
In the discussion which followed in the full Committee, Senator
Austin, speaking for the United States but without indicating any preference among the areas suggested, announced that, subject to Congressional consent, the United States would make the Presidio available without cost. When the time came for announcing the United States position, however, he supported the view of those Delegations, especially from Europe and including both the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, who felt that the United Nations could operate more effectively, on the Atlantic seaboard where it would be closer to most of the capitals of Member nations.
During the session there had been a marked shift of sentiment away from a suburban site and in favor of one within very easy access of a metropolitan center. The Philadelphia and San Francisco sites filled this requirement, but there had been virtually no opportunity to consider such sites in the Boston and New York areas. For this reason the United States moved to postpone the final decision until the next session.
In the last days of the session, however, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., offered to give the United Nations $8,500,000 to acquire almost six blocks of land (approximately 17 acres) on the East River between Forty-second and Forty-eighth Streets in New York City. The City of New York agreed to donate the streets traversing this area and also to acquire by condemnation and give to the United Nations some parcels needed to round out the area of the site. The Headquarters Committee immediately appointed a subcommittee which examined the site and found it excellently suited for a skyscraper type of development. The General Assembly accepted the offer and requested the Secretary-General to take steps for the preparation of the necessary plans and estimates prior to the next session, with the assistance of an advisory committee of 16 Member nations including the United States.
Administrative and Budgetary Matters 1. UNITED NATIONS FINANCES
The principal administrative and budgetary accomplishments of the General Assembly were the review and approval of budgets for the financial years 1946 and 1947 and the further development of the permanent financial system and general organization of the Secretariat.
The budgets for 1946 and 1947 were fixed at $19,390,000 and $27,740,000 respectively. The 1946 budget replaces the provisional budget of $21,500,000 adopted at the London session. The Organization's working capital fund was reduced to $20,000,000 from the provisional figure of $25,000,000 established at the London session.
A scale of contributions was also set for the 1946 and 1947 budgets and the working capital fund. This scale, which is to be reviewed at the 1947 session of the General Assembly, fixes the United States contribution at 39.89 percent of the total, a reduction from the 49.89 percent originally recommended by the Committee on Contributions. It is recognized that the United States quota includes a substantial temporary assessment because of direct war damage suffered by a number of other Members. On this basis the United States share of the 1947 budget is $11,065,486 and of the 1946 budget, $7,734,671, while the United States advance to the working capital fund is $7,978,000. (The United States has already appropriated $5,300,000 of its contribution to the 1946 budget and has advanced $6,153,500 toward its share of the working capital fund.) The floor for contributions by the individual states was set at a minimum of .04 percent of the total.
Senator Vandenberg, who represented the United States on the Administrative and Budgetary Committee of the General Assembly, was instrumental in securing a downward revision of the original proposal, pointing out that it was not only statistically inadequate in certain respects, but that under its terms of reference the Committee on Contributions had not found it possible to consider the vital principle of the sovereign equality of the Members of the United Nations, which might be jeopardized if one state were to dominate the Organization's finances. A reservation by the United States was incorporated in the General Assembly resolution on contributions as follows: "Under no circumstances do we consent that under normal conditions any one nation should pay more than 333 percent in an organization of 'sovereign equals'". The figure of 39.89 percent for the United States contribution was accepted temporarily only on the distinct understanding, as expressed in the same reservation, “That the difference between 3313 percent and 39.89 percent is voluntarily assumed by us for (1946 and] 1947 and for the Working Capital Fund because we recognize that normal post-war economic relationships have not yet been restored and we are willing to accept this added, temporary assessment to assist the United Nations in meeting the emergency". The entire scale will be subject to review in 1947.
In the course of consideration of the United Nations budget and its financial regulations, the United States Delegation expressed the view that ultimately a central financial control must be established over the expenditures of the United Nations and the specialized agencies, in order to insure proper balance between programs and the financial solvency of the specialized agencies. The Assembly directed the Secretary-General to consult with the specialized agencies on this
subject. It also established a procedure for post-audit of the Organization's accounts and adopted revised provisional financial regulations.
Two United States nationals were elected as individuals to membership on expert advisory and standing committees of the General Assembly and the Organization: Mr. James Webb, Director of the Budget, to the Committee on Contributions; and Mr. Donald C. Stone, Assistant Director of the Bureau of the Budget, to the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.
2. PROGRESS OF THE SECRETARIAT
The examination by the General Assembly of the administrative structure of the United Nations disclosed that the Secretariat of the Organization had evolved in less than one year from a small temporary staff into a going concern capable of carrying the heavy load thrust upon it by the volume of United Nations business.
In compliance with the provisions of the Charter, the SecretaryGeneral has assembled an international staff which, although still largely temporary, already includes nationals of over forty countries. United States nationals, the most numerous group in the Secretariat, are particularly predominant in the lower grades which, to date, have been recruited largely, and of necessity, on a local basis. Recognizing that the present staff had had to be assembled in haste and that some lack of geographic balance was therefore inevitable, several delegations expressed the hope that, in replacing the temporary staff the Secretary-General would improve the quality of personnel and place greater emphasis on a world-wide recruitment program designed to provide a more equitable geographic representation in the Secretariat. Steps are being taken by the Secretary-General with these ends in view. The total personnel of the Secretariat now consists of more than 2,500 employees in New York and almost 500 in Geneva, London, and other field offices. • At its session in New York the General Assembly established a provisional staff retirement and insurance scheme for the Secretariat, reviewed the progress of the Secretariat in the recruitment and training of staff, and approved a program for dissemination of information about the United Nations.
Pending legislative action by several Member states, including the United States, it proved impossible to arrive at a final decision regarding the problem of tax equalization (the elimination of net salary inequalities arising from different rates of income taxation in different countries) among the staff of the Secretariat. The General