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DEPARTMENT OF STATE
PUBLICATION 2 7 3 5
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Letter of Transmittal
To the Congress of the United States:
In accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 I submit herewith my first annual report to the Congress on the activities of the United Nations and the participation of the United States therein.
The Charter of the United Nations came into force as a fundamental law for the peoples of the world on October 24, 1945. The General Assembly convened for the first time in London in January 1916. It elected the Secretary-General and brought into being the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the International Court of Justice.
In December 1946, at the Second Part of its First Session, in New York, the General Assembly completed its main organizational tasks by establishing the Trusteeship Council. Thus all of the principal organs of the United Nations have now been established. All of them, except the Trusteeship Council, have been working on their appointed tasks during most of the past year.
The policy of the United States, as I told the General Assembly in New York on October 23, 1946, is to "support the United Nations with all the resources that we possess .
. not as a temporary expedient but as a permanent partnership."
That policy-in season and out—in the face of temporary failure as well as in moments of success—has the support of the overwhelming majority of the American people. It must continue to have this support if the United States is to fulfill its appointed role in the United Nations, if the United Nations is to fulfill its purposes and if our land is to be preserved from the disaster of another and far more terrible war.
In the work of the United Nations during the past year the United States has sought constantly to carry out that policy. Our representatives have spoken for the whole Nation. They have been Democrats and Republicans, members of both the executive and legis
*On Mar. 19, 1946, I transmitted to the Congress the Report submitted to me by the Secretary of State on the First Part of the First Session of the General Assembly in London.
lative branches of our Government, men and women from private life.
The work of the United Nations during the past year has been the work of building foundations for the future.
First of all, there have been the structural foundations. The Assembly, the Councils, the Court and the Secretariat have had a vast amount of organizational work to do in order to establish themselves as functioning agencies of the international community. Much of this has been pioneering work. The whole structure of the United Nations is a far more extensive endeavor in international cooperation than the nations have ever before attempted.
The essential parts of this structure include not only the principal organs established by the Charter. They include equally the specialized agencies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Labor Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the proposed World Health Organization and International Trade Organization and several others. Each of these specialized agencies operates in a specific field under its own constitution. Each is or will be related to the central tructure of the United Nations through the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly. There is scarcely a field of activity having a common interest for the peoples of the world for which continuing instruments of international cooperation have not been developed during the past year.
Perhaps the most immediately significant development of the past year in this direction was the General Assembly's demonstration of its power to influence the policies of nations and to bring about greater understanding among them. The Assembly possesses few definitive powers. It makes recommendations that can be translated into effective law only by the action of the nations concerned. But the Assembly during its meetings in New York expressed a higher sovereignty of the people's will in a manner which promises much for its development as a dominant power for peace and progress in the world.
The building of the structural foundations of the United Nations during the past year has been accompanied by action over a very broad field toward giving life and meaning to the purposes and principles of the Charter.
There has been progress toward building security from war. Step by step we have advanced the first part of the way toward agreement on the essential principles of a truly effective international system of control over the means of destruction that science has placed in the hands of mankind.
The initiative in the control of atomic energy and other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction was taken by the United States. The resolution creating the Atomic Energy Commission was adopted at the First Meeting of the General Assembly in London. The United States presented in the Atomic Energy Commission last June its proposals for international control of atomic energy. The Soviet Union opposed these proposals, but the Commission worked throughout the summer and fall to build the bases for agreement.
In October the Soviet Union introduced in the General Assembly proposals on the general regulation and reduction of armaments that seemed at first far removed from the United States position. Nevertheless, seven weeks later the Assembly was able to adopt unanimously a resolution reaffirming all the principles of the Atomic Energy Resolution and reflecting for the first time unanimous agreement on the essential principle of a system of international control and inspection established by treaty and not subject to any veto in its operations.
Two and a half weeks later, on December 31, the Atomic Energy Commission transmitted its first report to the Security Council. The Report had been adopted by the Commission by a vote of 10 to 0, the Soviet Union and Poland abstaining.
Many months of hard work and difficult negotiation in the Security Council and the Atomic Energy Commission lie ahead. Not all the essential principles have yet been agreed upon. The problem of enforcement must still be resolved. All the principles must be given specific and practical application in treaties and conventions unanimously agreed upon.
This is one of the main tasks before the United Nations in the coming year. To succeed, we must at the same time build the other essential foundations of a general system of collective security. The nations can safely lay aside their arms only in so far as their security is protected by other means.
An essential element of collective security will be the ability of the Security Council to fulfill its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. In its consideration of international disputes during its first year the Council demonstrated increasing power to ameliorate situations that otherwise might have become dangerous and to influence the policies of nations in the direction of upholding the purposes and principles of the Charter. This was generally true even when the five permanent members failed to reach the required unanimity for definitive action. The Security Council's application on a continuing basis of the public and peaceful methods of the council chamber to the settlement of disputes between nations is a new development in international relations, the signifi
cance of which gives every promise of becoming more apparent in the
Important steps have been taken by the United Nations during the past year toward economic reconstruction and toward establishing the necessary basis for an expanding peace-time trade and employment.
A draft Trade Charter establishing principles and practices aimed at increasing the volume of world trade and employment by reducing or eliminating artificial trade barriers and restrictions has been proposed by the United States and is now being developed by a Preparatory Committee of 18 nations. One of the primary United Nations' tasks of the year ahead is the adoption of such a Charter and the creation of an International Trade Organization to carry it out.
The General Assembly has unanimously asked the Economic and Social Council to act on recommendations for the reconstruction and integration of the European economy and establishment of an Economic Commission for Europe. This Commission would unite all the interested countries, including the Soviet Union on the East and the United States on the West, in a common program. Steps toward economic reconstruction and development in the Far East will also be undertaken by the Economic and Social Council this year.
Progress has also been made by the Economic and Social Council and the specialized agencies during the past year in many other respects. It is not too much to say that the establishment and maintenance of lasting peace will depend in large part upon the ability of the United Nations to carry through to a successful conclusion the work it has begun toward world economic recovery and cooperation.
The promotion and protection of basic human rights for all peoples is a fundamental purpose of the United Nations. Active support for the wider realization of these rights and freedoms has been and should continue to be a primary objective of United States policy in the United Nations.
During the past year our representatives in the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council took the initiative in writing a charter for the International Refugee Organization under which the right to freedom and another chance for a decent life of a million victims of war and racial, political, or religious oppression would be preserved. I shall recommend to the Congress prompt acceptance of the constitution of the IRO and appropriation of our share of the expenses of its program.
The United States believes that freedom of information must be realized on a far wider basis than exists in the world today if the United Nations is to succeed. We have strongly supported the