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III, PROPOSALS NOT REQUIRING CHARTER CHANGE
12. The United Nations Development Program. The strengthening and expansion of the United Nations Development Program as a result of recent studies is welcome. The enhanced potential of UNDP as an agent for economic and social development programs should be an encouragement for industrially developed States to channel larger contributions and a greater proportion of their economic assistance through UNDP. The important advantages of multilateral as opposed to bilateral aid have become more apparent both to donors and to recipients. In connection with achievement of the goals of the Second Development Decade, States should substantially increase their contributions to the UNDP.
13. A World Environmental Agency. The United Nations Environment Program should eventually become a global authority with the responsibility for dealing effectively with the problems of the environment, and in particular should become the co-ordinating and expediting body for international standards: and guidelines for control of the contamination of the environment.
14. An Ocean Space Regime.-For the protection of the environment, the marine food chain, rights of navigation, the rational exploration and exploitation of the sea-bed, and peaceful relations between all users of the world's waters, the United Nations should establish a Regime to control the use of the sea-bed and the waters beyond the limits of national jurisdiction both as regards their mineral and living resources. The maximum possible area of the sea-bed should be reserved to international jurisdiction.
The United Nations should ensure the development and protection of the oceans as the common heritage of mankind. A substantial portion of the revenues from the exploitation of the resources of the sea-bed should accrue to budgetary and economic development needs of the United Nations. For these purposes it is necessary to specify a form of organization with effective jurisdiction, and to specify its relationship to the other organs of the United Nations system.
15. Relief in International Disasters.—In order to supplement and strengthen the action of the United Nations establishing the post of Disaster Relief Coordinator, and in order to provide a prompt international response in situations arising from catastrophes both natural and man-caused, we propose setting up under the auspices of the United Nations a Disaster Relief Agency, equipped with materiel and personnel means necessary for rapid and efficient intervention in disaster situations, and for the purpose of co-ordinating the efforts of relevant United Nations agencies, national governments and voluntary groups.
POSITION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ON THE QUESTION OF UNITED NATIONS CHARTER REVIEW, MAY 23, 1975
The United States reaffirms its basic position concerning review of the Charter set forth in its note of 14 September 1972 (A/8746/Add. 1). We are convinced that the most urgent need of the international community is for Member States to strengthen their resolve to bring national policies and actions more into line with their obligations under the Charter. Observance of these obligations is essential if the United Nations is to fulfil the purposes laid down by the Charter of maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations based on equal rights and self-determination, international cooperation in resolving economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems, and harmonizing national actions to realize these shared goals.
The United States believes that the Charter constitutes for Member States the principal bond creating a world-wide community of nations despite the existence of widely differing views, and philosophies of government. Consequently, any serious effort to reconsider or revise the Charter must be looked at with great care lest the basis for the sometimes fragile ties among Member States be weakened. We see no evidence of agreement now among the United Nations membership on even, the broad objectives of over-all review.
The United States is not in principle opposed to changes in the Charter but considers that such changes can wisely be approached only on a case-by-case basis. Only when there is a reasonable prospect for the development of necessary agreement on the specific amendment concerned should such efforts be pursued. This was the case some time ago when we supported amendments involving the appropriate enlargement of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. If evidence emerges that agreement is possible on other specific changes that should be made in the Charter, the United States will explore them seriously. We believe that the United Nations overriding need at present is to function as a "centre for harmonizing the actions of nations" as stipulated by the Charter itself. We believe that the rededication to this objective and the taking of practical steps to encourage respect for both assenting and dissenting views in the decision-making process is the most important contribution that could be made to move the United Nations toward the ideal of international cooperation that the Charter was designed to attain.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS of the Group of ExpeRTS ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM- FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION, May 20, 1975
United Nations, New York-The Group of high-level Experts appointed by Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim to propose structural changes in the United Nations economic system has completed its work with a unanimous report signed by all 25 members. The report entitled “A New United Nations Structure for Global Economic Co-operation", was submitted to Secretary-General Waldheim at 4:00 p.m. on May 20 and released to the press at noon on May 21.
The report proposes a number of major changes in the economic activities of the United Nations which account for 85% of the Organization's budget:
The post of Director-General for Development and International Economic Co-operation would be created, second in rank only to that of the SecretaryGeneral himself, to provide leadership to the central Secretariat and the entire United Nations economic system. The Director-General would be a national of a developing country so long as the Secretary-General was a national from a developed country.
All special purpose United Nations funds for preinvestment activity (except UNICEF) would be consolidated into a single United Nations Development Authority, headed by an Administrator who would be one of two Deputies to the Director-General. The separate identity of the funds would be maintained to allow donors to continue earmarking for special purposes like population, environment, narcotics, etc. The Administrator of the UNDA would be a national from a developed country. He would be responsible to an Operations Board of between 18 and 27 members equitably balanced between net donors and net recipient countries. The Operations Board would report to ECOSOC which would conduct a general policy review of UNDA activities once a year.
The Department of Economic and Social Affairs would be reorganized under a second Deputy to the Director-General to be known as the Deputy DirectorGeneral for Research and Policy so that it could do high-level research, policy planning, and analysis for ECOSOC and the entire United Nations system. To assist in this effort, a small joint research, planning and programming staff would be established under the Director-General composed of outstanding professionals seconded from the various organizations of the United Nations system and from the outside. The Deputy Director-General for Research and Policy would be a national from a developing country.
An Advisory Committee on Economic Co-operation and Development would be created, which would be chaired by the Director-General and composed of the heads of the major specialized agencies and the regional economic commissions to provide an integrated system-wide approach to economic problems. The Administrative Committee on Co-ordination would continue to perform normal co-ordination functions.
The Economic and Social Council would be reorganized to permit it to exercise its Charter mandate of providing central policy guidance on economic and social affairs. Most of ECOSOC's commissions and subordinate bodies would be abolished and ECOSOC would assume direct responsibility for the work of these groups, thus avoiding unnecessary duplication of debate at two intergovernmental levels. ECOSOC would adopt a biennial calendar, beginning in January of the first year with an organizational session and proceeding to specialized sessions on natural resources, environment, population, social problems, etc., with appropriate senior officials from capitals. ECOSOC's calendar would also include an annual one week ministerial session, possibly at the end of June, focusing on current world economic questions, which would submit a policy statement to the General Assembly for its consideration. ECOSOC would also
hold each July two 2-week sessions devoted to: (a) a review, in alternate years, of the programme budgets and medium-term plans, respectively, of the entire United Nations system, and (b) a general review of operational activities, including those of the United Nations Development Authority.
The Human Rights Commission would be maintained but its work would be reviewed by the General Assembly, not ECOSOC. Another possibility mentioned in the report but not unanimously agreed to was to adopt a Charter amendment transforming the Trusteeship Council into a Human Rights Council, thus raising human rights issues to a political level comparable to that of the Security Council and ECOSOC.
The Second Committee of the General Assembly would be renamed the Committee on Development and International Economic Co-operation and certain social, development items now in the Third Committee would be transferred to it. The Third Committee would be renamed Committee on Social Problems, Human Rights and Humanitarian Activities. The Second Committee agenda would be organized more realistically around meaningful clusters of issues and ECOSOC would be given a new role in preparing Second Committee work. In place of the increasing resort to ad hoc world conferences, some with fixed periodicity, the General Assembly would, after careful preparation, hold special sessions itself. UNCTAD, including its Conference, Trade Board, secretariat and other organs, would gradually phase out, subject to the establishment of a comprehensive new International Trade Organization. Similarly, its non-trade functions would be assumed by the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the new central Secretariat.
The Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme would be abolished. Its policy functions would be assumed by ECOSOC and its role in administering the Environment Fund would be taken over by the new Operations Board of the UNDA.
A new system of consultative procedures would be established under the General Assembly and ECOSOC to promote agreed solutions on controversial economic questions. Under these procedures, ECOSOC would establish small negotiating groups on particular issues to work for one to two years in an attempt to find agreement under a full-time Chairman, with the responsibility for defining issues for consideration, structuring the discussion, and working with the parties in search of an agreed solution. The negotiating groups, consisting of countries principally interested in the subject matter and broadly representative of United Nations membership, would operate on the basis of unanimity. Upon successful completion of their work, their agreed solutions could then be voted by ECOSOC and the General Assembly, which would remain free to debate and vote on issues under consideration in negotiating groups. However, the General Assembly and ECOSOC would take into account the progress of the negotiations when deciding whether to vote on a particular resolution.
The United Nations agencies would move toward a unified personnel system, including a common system of salaries, grading, conditions of service and recruitment, with additional powers to the International Civil Service Commission. Member States and those responsible for managing the International Civil Service would rededicate themselves to Charter requirements of efficiency, competence and integrity and various reforms in personnel recruitment, training and promotion would take place in pursuit of this end.
Major reforms would be introduced at the interagency, intergovernmental and secretariat levels toward more rational system-wide programming and budgeting, including strengthening of the Committee for Programme and Co-ordination and steps by United Nations and specialized agencies to synchronize budget cycles, exchange information, and adopt comparable programme-budget presentations. A small body of independent experts should be created, functioning on a fulltime basis to evaluate the implementation of United Nations programmes and projects.
The specialized agencies should he gradually redirected toward their original research and standard-setting functions and UNDA should have greater freedom to choose alternative instruments for the implementation of projects, including government agencies, universities, private contractors and regional commissions. In separate chapters on institutional issues in particular sectors, the report identifies a large number of issues which will require consideration in appropriate forums and makes the following specific recommendations :
(a) GATT and the United Nations should enter into a mutually satisfactory agreement providing for a formal relationship including exchange of information and clearer administrative collaboration;
(b) as a long-term objective there should be an evolution toward the creation of an International Trade Organization to deal with trade issues in a comprehensive manner, but no structural change in the field of trade should be allowed to interefere with the multilateral trade negotiations;
(c) the distribution of voting rights under the weighted voting system in the IMF and IBRD should be revised to reflect the new balance of economic power and the legitimate interest of developing countries in a greater voice in the operations of those institutions; and
(d) the proposed "Third Window" in the World Bank should be established under which funds could be borrowed from OPEC countries at market rates of interest and re-lent to developing countries at concessional rates, with the help of an interest subsidy subscribed by developed and OPEC countries.
The proposals for restructuring should be implemented in stages over a five year period to assure at every stage that the interests of all countries are being served. A Committee on the Structures of the United Nations system should be established to follow-up on the restructuring proposals and provide advisory opinions on other institutional proposals to ensure their compatibility with the agreed design. Two complex "insurance policies" are included in the report to reassure developed and developing countries, respectively, that their interests will not be sacrificed in implementing the above proposals concerning UNCTAD and the UNDA.
The Director-General for Development and Interational Economic Co-operation would be elected for a five year term at the same time as the Secretary-General was elected for his five year term in the Fall of 1976. However, the Group recommends that an interim appointment be made for the Director-General's post by the General Assembly in 1975.
The letter of transmittal to the Secretary-General from the Group of Experts explains that the experts have signed the report in their individual capacities and that their signatures do not commit the governments of their respective countries. At the same time, the letter states that the experts have unanimously approved the report and its recommendations, even though not necessarily endorsing all the reasoning or the points of view expressed.
In their Introduction to the report the Group of Experts declared:
In its 30th anniversary year the United Nations has reached a turning point. In one direction lies the prospects of new capacity to cope with the central issues facing mankind in the decisive last quarter of the twentieth century. In the other direction lies the danger of a decline in the effectiveness of the United Nations. Which direction the Organization takes will be significantly influenced by the decisions on policy and structural questions which its Member States take in the months ahead.
The proposals in this report are designed to assist in rectifying certain weaknesses in the United Nations structure which we sought to identify and which we believe are preventing it from becoming a more effective instrument for the promotion of international economic and social co-operation and development. The Chairman of the Group of Experts was H.E. Mr. Al Noor KASSUM, (United Republic of Tanzania), Minister of Finance and Administration to the East African Community.
The Rapporteur was Mr. Richard N. GARDNER (USA), Professor of Law and International Organization of Columbia University.
The other members were:
Abdel-Hamid ABDEL-GHANI (Egypt), Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Adebayo ADEDEJI (Nigeria), Federal Commissioner for Economic Development and construction.
Abdelaziz BENNANI (Morocco), Ambassador of Morocco to Poland.
Wilmot BLYDEN III (Sierra Leone), Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Sérgio CORREA DA COSTA (Brazil), Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Juan M. FIGUERERO (Argentina), Ambassador, Permanent Representative: to the United Nations.
Peter HANSEN (Denmark), Senior Research Fellow, University of Aarhus. Paul-Maré HENRY (France), President of the Development Centre, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Axel HERBST (Federal Republic of Germany), Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Geneva.