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At its regular session in 1947 the General Assembly, in line with its responsibilities for the encouragement of the progressive development and codification of international law, adopted a resolution creating the International Law Commission. This resolution provided for a commission of 15 individuals of recognized competence in international law and representative of the chief forms of civilization and the basic legal systems of the world.

Under the resolution Members of the United Nations were entitled to nominate four candidates for election to the Commission, of whom not more than two could be nationals of the nominating state. The United States nominated Prof. Manley O. Hudson of Harvard University, together with Alberto Ulloa Sotomayor (Peru), and Jean Spyropoulos (Greece). Including these three, a total of 74 candidates appeared on the ballot submitted by the Secretary-General to the Assembly's Third Regular Session. The elections took place in Paris on November 3, 1948.

Under the terms of the Commission's statute, adopted by the General Assembly at its Second Session in 1947, the 15 candidates obtaining the greatest number of votes and not less than a majority of the number of votes of the members present and voting are elected. Two ballots were necessary to complete the composition of the Commission. The following individuals were elected to serve for a term of three years: Shuhsi Hsu (China), Gilberto Amado (Brazil), Sir Benegal Narsing Rau (India), James L. Brierly (United Kingdom), Georges Scelle (France), Roberto Cordoba (Mexico), Manley 0. Hudson (United States), J. P. A. François (Netherlands), Vladimir Mikhailovich Koretsky (U.S.S.R.), Jean Spyropoulos (Greece), Ricardo J. Alfaro (Panama), Jesus María Yepes (Colombia), A. E. F. Sandstrom (Sweden), Faris Bey el-Khoury (Syria), and Jaroslav Zourek (Czechoslovakia).

It is anticipated that the Commission will meet early in 1949 to begin its work. This work is expected to include the preparation of draft conventions in line with its responsibility for the development of international law, and it will also engage in activities relating to the codification of international law. In addition, the General Assembly at its Third Regular Session invited the Commission “to study the desirability and possibility of establishing an international judicial organ for the trial of persons charged with genocide or other crimes over which jurisdiction will be conferred upon that organ by international conventions."


Under article 102 of the Charter, every treaty and every international agreement entered into by any Member of the United Nations after the entry into force of the Charter must be registered with the Secretariat and published by it as soon as possible. In a report dated August 17, 1948, the Secretary-General gave the General Assembly an account of the progress made and the technical difficulties met during the year in connection with this matter.

The General Assembly adopted a resolution proposed by the Belgian Delegation which stressed the importance of the publication of treaties with the least possible delay.

The Delegation of the United States proposed a resolution drawing the attention of Member states to their obligation under article 102 of the Charter and requesting them to take immediate steps to fulfil this obligation. This resolution was also approved by the General Assembly.


In his report of September 7, 1948, the Secretary-General brought to the attention of the Assembly information concerning the implementation of articles 104 and 105 of the Charter, which deal with the privileges and immunities of the United Nations, and, more particularly, information concerning the developments in this field since the last session of the Assembly.

The report was divided into two parts. The first related to the agreement between the United Nations and the United States regarding the headquarters of the United Nations, while the other dealt with the general convention on the privileges and immunities of the United Nations. In connection with the former, it was stated that in the course of the negotiations between the United States and the United Nations concerning the implementation of the headquarters agreement “the United Nations received from the United States authorities the fullest cooperation.” The report also pointed out that the convention had not yet been ratified by certain states.

The General Assembly approved a resolution in which it noted with satisfaction” the steps taken with a view to implementing the agreement between the United Nations and the United States. The resolu

tion invited states which had not acceded to the general convention to do so at the earliest possible moment. The Representative of the United States abstained from voting on this resolution on the ground that it raised a matter within the exclusive congressional prerogative of the United States Government.

The General Assembly adopted a resolution approving supplementary agreements between the United Nations and the International Civil Aviation Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, respectively, entitling the officials of those organizations to the use of United Nations laissez-passer.



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