Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

c. Those primarily concerned with public opinion and the dissemination of information.

Consultative arrangements may vary according to these categories. Because of the broad scope of the interests of the organizations placed in category a, more fully developed arrangements were made for consultation with this group. In particular, representatives of these organizations may be invited to consult with a standing committee of the Council appointed for that purpose and, upon the recommendation of that committee, to appear before the Council for the purpose of expressing their views. Adequate arrangements were made, however, to enable all organizations accredited by the Council and placed in categories b and c to communicate their views to the Council and its commissions.

More than 150 organizations have applied to the United Nations for consultative status. Their applications will be evaluated during the ensuing months by the Council's Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, and a recommendation made to the Council's fourth session. The Council decided that, in general, national organizations would be expected to make their voice heard through their own national delegations rather than directly to the Council or its commissions.

Business of the Council 1. REFUGEES AND DISPLACED PERSONS

The most pressing of the substantive problems before the Council throughout its first year has been that of refugees and displaced persons victims of the war. With the imminent liquidation of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, it has been the United States position that a new specialized agency dealing only with the problem of repatriation and resettlement of the refugees and displaced persons should be promptly created. It was realized that the cost of helping more than 800,000 persons would be large, but the United States proposed that this cost should be apportioned equitably and emphasized the dangers of not settling this tremendous human problem as quickly as possible.

At its first session the Council appointed a Special Committee on Refugees to study this problem and to make recommendations on methods for dealing with it. The report of the Committee to the Council's second session proposed the establishment of an International Refugee Organization and suggested a constitution for it. A

See chap. I, General Assembly.

Committee on Finance was appointed by the Council at its second session to work out a budget for the proposed organization. Both the constitution and the budget for the organization came in for detailed examination at the third session.

The chief points which arose in the discussions of the constitution were :

a. The extent to which repatriation or resettlement elsewhere of refugees should be deliberately influenced by information programs, by regulations, by definitions, by grants of food or other assistance, or by other methods;

b. The amount of information the International Refugee Organization should be obligated to give governments regarding persons under its care;

c. The relative authority in the International Refugee Organization of the proposed executive committee and the Director General.

By and large the United States views favoring a strong organization were upheld. The many amendments offered which tended to restrict the authority of the new organization failed of adoption by the Council, and the constitution was approved subject to General Assembly confirmation. The Assembly approved the constitution, with certain other amendments, during the Second Part of its First Session."

The budget for the first year of the new organization, as it was reported by the Finance Committee, involved approximately $258,000,000. The size of this figure, despite the importance of the ends to be achieved, was viewed with concern by many of the delegations and after critical examination it was reduced by the Council to $156,000,000. Final approval of this budget and the allocation of contributions were left to the General Assembly along with plans for interim arrangements. 2. ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION

The Council at its second session established a Temporary Subcommission on the Economic Reconstruction of Devastated Areas. The members of this Subcommission of the Economic and Employment Commission were instructed to survey the actual areas involved, obtain information on their reconstruction needs, and render a preliminary report thereon to the Council at its September session. In view of time limitations, the Subcommission has so far concentrated its work on Europe but has made preparations for work in the Far East.

. See chap. I, General Assembly.

Its report included a number of general recommendations for action that should be taken on such subjects as food, housing, manpower, coal, allocation of materials in world short supply, transportation, finance, and so forth. In order to implement these recommendations the Subcommission transmitted to the Economic and Social Council a proposal that an Economic Commission for Europe be established. This proposal envisaged a Commission which would be charged with the task of “facilitating concerted action for the economic reconstruction of Europe, and of initiating and participating in measures necessary for the expansion of European economic activity and for the development and integration of the European economy.” To this end it would have the task of merging or coordinating existing agencies such as the European Control Inland Transport Organization, the European Coal Organization, and the Emergency Economic Commission for Europe. In view of the importance and scope of the question the Council deferred action on this proposal until its next session, at which time it would have the benefit of the views of the General Assembly. Since the recommendations on the other matters above largely depend for their implementation on the creation of some such body, they were referred to the interested governments and specialized agencies as a basis for action which might be undertaken by them.

3. INTERNATIONAL TRADE

The Economic and Social Council, at its first session, considered the steps already taken by the United States Government toward the establishment of an International Trade Organization, among whose purposes would be the reduction of trade barriers of all kinds, the control of restrictive business practices, the setting up of intergovernmental commodity arrangements on a basis fair to consumers as well as producers, and assistance in the general economic development of its members. The Council decided to call an International Conference on Trade and Employment to further this end, and constituted a Preparatory Committee of 18 members to prepare for the Conference by drawing up a draft annotated agenda and a draft charter for the proposed organization.

The Preparatory Committee met in London on October 15, 1946 and discussed in detail a draft charter for the International Trade Organization prepared by the United States Government. The Committee reached a very large measure of agreement on the text of the charter and will meet again in Geneva in April 1947 to complete its work prior to the convening of the general International Conference.

See chap. I, General Assembly.

4. HEALTH AND WELFARE

Health and welfare problems were among the most urgent faced by the Economic and Social Council in 1946. Political boundaries have never had significance before the ravages of disease, and in a world weakened by war, famine, and homelessness, the United Nations have recognized as one of their prime responsibilities the prevention of world epidemics or pestilence, and the maintenance of world health at a high level.

At its first session in London the Economic and Social Council decided to call an international conference on health matters and appointed a Technical Committee to prepare for it. As a result of this Committee's work, the World Health Conference, which met in New York in June, had before it a draft constitution for a World Health Organization. It was contemplated that this Organization should have a wide membership; should, in general, act as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work and should provide or assist in such activities as research, interchange of information, drafting of international conventions, standardization of nomenclatures, diagnostic practices and pharmaceutical standards, and so forth.

The Conference agreed on a constitution for this proposed World Health Organization, which is now before the participating governments for approval. The United Nations Secretariat, in reporting the results of this Conference at the third session of the Council, suggested that the United Nations advance funds in 1946 and 1947 to finance the World Health Organization, and to the Interim Commission. The General Assembly acted on these proposals during the Second Part of its First Session."

Also in this general field, the Council, at its third session, had before it the question of arranging for the continuity of the Narcotics Conventions entered into by various nations under the aegis of the League of Nations. At its first session, as mentioned above, the Council had created a Narcotics Commission on which the United States is represented. No objection was raised in the debate on these Narcotics Conventions about the substance of the proposed protocol on this subject, but the propriety of the United Nations forwarding this protocol to the Franco Government in Spain for signature was questioned. It was agreed, the United States assenting although opposed in principle, to eliminate Spain from the list of proposed signatories to the protocol, and with this revision the proposal was approved and forwarded to the General Assembly for confirmation. The action

. See chap. I, General Assembly.

taken by the Economic and Social Council was confirmed by the General Assembly

During its third session the Council took steps to ensure that certain of the welfare activities being carried on by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration would not lapse with the dissolution of that organization in June 1947. It directed the Secretary-General to consult with officials of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration regarding immediate steps to be taken, and requested the Social Commission of the Council, at its first session, to make recommendations on continued action which should be undertaken to carry on the social welfare functions of UNRRA.8 In addition the Council requested approval by the General Assembly of the setting up of an International Children's Emergency Fund to carry on the work which the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration has been doing in this field.

5. DANUBIAN SHIPPING

At the third session of the Economic and Social Council the Yugoslav and Czech Delegations introduced claims for restitution of certain Danubian barges which, it was argued, United States authorities were holding. The United States welcomed discussion on this matter, agreeing freely that ultimate title to the barges lay with Yugoslav and Czech owners, but pointing out that restitution in itself would not meet the difficulties of which these Governments complained. The Czech and Yugoslav resolutions were not approved by the Council. To meet the basic problem the United States proposed convening, at as early a date as practicable, a conference in Vienna to consider the establishment of a working basis for resumption of navigation on the Danube. While this proposal for a conference was approved by the Council, the conference was not convened, as contemplated, after the Secretary-General ascertained that less than a majority of the states concerned would participate.

The United States subsequently returned the barges to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and to other nations. It should be pointed out that the discussion of this matter before the Economic and Social Council was distinct from the prior and subsequent consideration by the Council of Foreign Ministers of the broader question of a new international regime for the Danube.

[ocr errors][merged small]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »