« ÎnapoiContinuați »
eral Assembly has established a special committee to examine the information received on the administration of non-self-governing territories and to make appropriate recommendations thereon.
The United States played an important role in formulating the declaration and the two trusteeship chapters of the Charter and has consistently and actively supported the principles upon which the trusteeship system is based. Its record of achievement in the administration of its own non-self-governing territories has continued to receive favorable comment. The influence which the United States has thus gained was used effectively in the discussions of the Trusteeship Council, the Special Committee on Information, and the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly.
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF
By the Charter, the International Court of Justice is designated the "principal judicial organ of the United Nations”. It functions in accordance with a statute which is annexed to, and forms an integral part of, the Charter.
Parties to the Statute
All Members of the United Nations are ipso facto parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice. A state which is not a Member of the United Nations may become a party to the Statute on conditions determined in each case by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Security Council.
In response to an inquiry of the Swiss Federal Government, the General Assembly, on December 11, 1946, on a recommendation of the Security Council of November 15, 1946, determined the conditions on which Switzerland might become a party to the Statute. The conditions would be fulfilled by deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of an instrument containing: (a) acceptance of the Statute; (6) acceptance of all the obligations of a Member of the United Nations under article 94 of the Charter; and (c) an undertaking to contribute to the expenses of the Court such equitable amount as the General Assembly shall assess from time to time after consultation with the Swiss Government. On July 28, 1948, the Swiss Fed
eral Council, duly authorized, deposited an instrument dated July 6, 1948, declaring that the Swiss Confederation accepted the three conditions. The General Assembly on October 8, 1948, adopted without objection the recommendations of the Security Council laying down the formal conditions for the participation of such nonmember states in the election of the judges of the Court. Switzerland, accordingly, participated in the election held at the Third Regular Session of the General Assembly.
Cases Before the Court
During the year the International Court of Justice gave an advisory opinion on a question relating to admission of new Members which had been requested by the General Assembly at its Second Regular Session in 1947. In effect the Court said that a Member of the United
a Nations called upon to express itself on the admission of an applicant state for membership was not juridically entitled to make its consent dependent on conditions not expressly provided by the membership article of the Charter.
The Corfu Channel case was also before the Court during 1948. The case arose out of the fact that on October 22, 1946, two British destroyers struck mines in Albanian territorial waters in the Corfu Channel. The explosions caused damage to the vessels and loss of life. Certain preliminary questions were disposed of by the Court during the year. In November, at The Hague, the Court opened public hearings on the merits of the case.
In 1948 the following states accepted general compulsory jurisdiction of the Court (in some instances a renewal of a previously existing declaration), as provided in article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute: Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Pakistan, and Switzerland.
Election of Judges
On October 22, 1948, the General Assembly and the Security Council, by an absolute majority of votes, re-elected the following five judges of the Court, whose initial terms of three years expire February 5, 1949: Abdel Hamid Badawi Pasha of Egypt, Hsu Mo of China, John Erskine Read of Canada, Bohdan Winiarski of Poland, and Milovan Zoricic of Yugoslavia.
The success of the United Nations is in the hands of its Members, working together through the General Assembly, the Councils, and the International Court. The role of the Secretariat in achieving success, while subordinate, is by no means passive and is an indispensable factor. Without conscientious service by the Secretariat the organization would be paralyzed. The Secretariat cannot resolve basic differences among Members in the General Assembly and in the Councils. That is not its task. But it can prepare the way for and facilitate discussions and negotiations and assist in the carrying out of recommendations and decisions.
The Secretariat is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. It is the central point of contact on United Nations affairs between Members themselves, between Members and the principal organs, between the public and the organization, and between the organization and the specialized agencies.
The Secretary-General, Trygve Lie of Norway, is the chief administrative officer. He and his staff provide secretariat services for the other principal organs, except for the International Court of Justice, which has its own administrative body at The Hague known as the “Registry”.
The staff of the Secretariat may be regarded as an international civil service, resembling in many respects the permanent career service of a national government. Nationals of about sixty countries including a few nonmember countries are employed in the Secretariat. During 1948 the total number of employees increased from approximately 3,600 to about 3,980-an increase due primarily to the staffing of overseas offices. The headquarters staff in New York increased from 3,000 to 3,044. The staff is comprised of persons with a wide variety of training and skills and includes political scientists, historians, economists, lawyers, journalists, mimeograph operators, translators, librarians, and secretaries, as well as general administrators.
The Secretariat differs in two important aspects from the career services of national governments. A unique characteristic of the Secretariat is that its staff is drawn from all over the world and represents diverse cultures and customs. This basic characteristic creates problems which are not encountered in a national civil service whose staff is drawn from a fairly homogeneous group.
The second marked difference between the Secretariat and national administrations is the the fact that staff members are bound by an oath of loyalty to a nonnational body. In the performance of their duties
the Secretary-General and his staff are proscribed by the Charter from seeking or receiving instructions from any government or from any other authority external to the United Nations, and each Member has agreed to respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Secretary-General and his staff and not to seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities.
The oath of loyalty to the United Nations is, of course, not inconsistent with an individual's loyalty to his own government.
A member of the staff serves the highest interests of his own country best by faithfully working for the success of the United Nations. The efficiency and success of the organization are hampered to the degree that the loyalty of an employee toward the United Nations is open to doubt, either on the part of other staff members or on the part of Member governments.
The United Nations Charter stipulates that the paramount consideration in the employment of personnel “shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity”, due regard being paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible”. As.reported last year, the
, General Assembly in 1947 requested the Secretary-General to review the qualifications of the existing staff with a view to replacing those who did not reach the high standards fixed by the Charter and to take all practical steps to insure the improvement of the then existing geographical distribution of the staff. The Secretary-General reported progress to the Third Session of the General Assembly with respect to both of these considerations.
Geographical distribution is a consideration only for the so-called “internationally recruited” staff, i.e. persons serving in the top 12 of the 19 grades. Except for posts which require special language qualifications, the first 7 grades are recruited on a local or noninternational basis. The Secretary-General reported that, whereas in 1946 nationals of the 11 most substantially represented Members comprised 84 percent of the internationally recruited staff and in August 1947 comprised 80 percent of such staff, by September 1948 the proportion had decreased to 71 percent. Thirty-one countries out of 57 were clearly underrepresented on the Secretariat in 1947, whereas by September 1948 only 7 members out of 58 could be regarded as being -underrepresented.
“Overrepresentation” and “underrepresentation" are, of course, arbitrary concepts based on a preconceived formula. The Secretariat has devised a formula which adopts the percentage scale of Member contributions to the organization as a rough guide to the desired percentage of nationals from any one country. This formula contains provision
for variations which are necessary to insure the flexibility essential to good administration and to assure that it is not applied in any case at the expense of the personal and professional qualifications which are fixed by the Charter.
The Secretariat has four major tasks. The first, an undramatic but vital responsibility, is the servicing of meetings of the other principal organs (except the International Court of Justice) and of their many subsidiary bodies. For the period July 1, 1947, to June 30, 1948, the Secretariat arranged for and serviced about 3,200 meetings for more than 100 United Nations bodies, plus about 1,800 meetings in Geneva, where it maintains a branch office. Such service includes the provision of physical arrangements and of such technical services as translating and interpreting, the preparation of minutes of the meetings, and the procuring of documentation. The Department of Conference and General Services produced 220,000,000 impressions of more than 27,000 documents. The Secretariat is also called upon to provide services and expert staff for the increasing number of operating commissions, such as the Commission for India and Pakistan, the Conciliation Commission for Palestine, and the Trusteeship Council's missions to trust territories.
The second task of the Secretariat, the preparation of studies and background material for meetings of the several organs and their subsidiary bodies, is an important function. These papers are circulated to Members in advance, when practicable, for the assistance of the representatives of governments in discussing the questions at issue.
In exercising its third function, the Secretariat is the executive agent of the other principal organs. For example, the Secretary-General negotiated the agreement with the United States Government for the loan for the construction of the permanent headquarters in New York. It is he who is charged with the direction and administration of the relief program for Palestine refugees. And he plays an important role in the development of arrangements with specialized agencies for the coordination of activities and administrative and financial practices.
A fourth major function is to give information concerning the purposes and daily activities of the United Nations. The Department of Public Information utilizes the services of the press, radio, and other mass media, prepares and distributes pamphlets and posters, and provides speakers and assistance for private groups here and abroad. Information centers are located in several foreign capitals.