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and Miami, the committee heard testimony. In every region of the country it consulted public officials and representatives from the widest range of business and professional groups, of labor and agricultural associations, of churches and religious organizations, and of private organizations concerned with national and international affairs. It heard a representative group of experts in their individual capacities and interested private citizens from every walk of life. Concurrently, the committee published thorough staff studies on various aspects of the question.1

The United States believes that a review conference should be held. The United Nations has become a new and vital force in world affairs. Now a period of trial has elapsed and a body of valuable experience has been built up. Much good can come from a collective scrutiny at the proper time of the role, accomplishments, shortcomings, and potentialities of this great instrument. We do not conceive of the task as merely the narrow consideration of specific verbal changes. Neither do we conceive of the task as one of rewriting the charter or changing the basic character of the organization.

Article 109 directs our attention to review rather than to revision of the charter. A review of the charter could usefully determine whether or not improvements in the United Nations machinery are desirable and feasible. We believe it would be valuable to examine procedures and operations within the charter framework as well as to review the charter itself. We need, it seems to us, to take time out from the urgencies of specific problems before us at a regular session to study, reflect, and consult on the United Nations system as a whole. We need to consider the machinery, evolution, and potentialities of the United Nations not in the short range as they relate to items on our agenda but in the long range as they relate to the effectiveness of the organization in the achievement of its basic purposes. The charter has, to the credit of the founders of the United Nations, proved its practicality and workability to a remarkable degree. It has, in such advances as the Uniting for Peace resolution,2 proved its flexibility under changing circumstances. But, as the Secretary of State has reminded us, "Few would contend that it is a perfect instrument, not susceptible to improvement.'


Secretary Dulles has called to our attention at this session the epochal developments in the atomic and disarmament fields. These developments would seem to justify the reexamination of a charter drafted when the possibilities of atomic warfare were not known as they are today.

Not only have there been new developments in the momentous years since the charter was signed, but some of the expectations and assumptions upon which the charter was based have not been fulfilled.

1 See Review of the United Nations Charter: Compilation of Staff Studies Prepared for the Use of the Subcommittee on the United Nations Charter of the Committee on Foreign Relations, S. Doc. No. 164, 83d Cong., 2d sess.

2 General Assembly resolution of Nov. 3, 1950; supra, pp. 187-192. 3 Address of Sept. 22, 1955; infra, pp. 370-380.

Certain powers in the charter have never been utilized. Other provisions have operated in a way that was not anticipated. In these respects, too, new comparisons between charter goals and available powers and machinery for their fulfillment deserve our mature consideration.

Another pressing reason for such a conference would be, in the view of the United States, to reconsider the method prescribed by the charter for the admission of new members. If, however, as we hope, it now becomes possible to admit a number of states as new members, a conference to review the charter would enable these new members to share with us their wisdom in the improvement of the instrument that defines their obligations.

Good may also come, we believe, from our studying and consulting together on the purposes of the charter in the light of experience and conditions in the world today. At the conference at San Francisco in 1945, deliberations on the fundamentals of peace and justice under a regime of law resulted in a consensus of unprecedented breadth. By its focus on fundamentals, a conference of the kind envisaged in the charter, if held at the proper time, might likewise serve to broaden that consensus. It might serve to strengthen the ties between us and to emphasize the depth of our common needs and purposes.

The United Nations, a decade of experience has shown, derives its greatest strength from the support and understanding of the peoples of the world. The organization occupies a unique position in relation to the moral force of world opinion. It is, in the words of the late Senator Vandenberg, "the town meeting of the world." It is our belief that a conference to review the charter could greatly strengthen that public understanding. We believe, as well, that the weight of informed public opinion based upon such a conference might prove to be a constructive influence in the achievement of agreement to recommended improvements.

If a conference to review the charter is to be successful in broadening our areas of agreement and understanding, if it is to result in improving and strengthening United Nations machinery and processes, two prerequisites would seem to be essential.

In the first place, the conference should be held under favorable international circumstances. Dangers and tensions continue to exist today. If optimum results are to be achieved from charter review, there is need for a more favorable political climate.

In the second place, adequate time must be allowed for the completion of careful and thorough preparatory work. The problems confronting a charter review conference will be Herculean. Patience, wisdom, and statesmanship will be required in making the fullest prior preparations and studies, if we are not to do harm to the United Nations and to relations among states.

The resolution before us, cosponsored by Canada, Ecuador, Iraq, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, makes ade

1 Phrase employed by Senator Vandenberg in a special statement released Mar. 29, 1945; Arthur H. Vandenberg, Jr., ed., The Private Papers of Senator Vandenberg (Boston, 1952), pp. 160-161.

2 U.N. doc. A/L. 197/Rev. 1.

quate provision, we believe, for both of these prerequisites. It recognizes that a review conference such as contemplated in article 109 of the charter should be held under auspicious international circumstances; it decides that such a conference shall be held; and it establishes a broadly representative committee to report to the Twelfth Session of the General Assembly with recommendations relating to the time and place of the conference and to its organization and procedures. The committee as proposed will have the task of laying the procedural and organizational groundwork for a successful conference. It will have the further duty of feeling the pulse of international developments to find the propitious time when the conference will be most productive in improving the charter and broadening the consensus among us. Adoption of this resolution by the General Assembly would, in our view, constitute a decision in principle to hold a review conference and contemplates parallel action in the Security Council at an early date, as provided in the charter.

The farseeing men who drafted the charter at San Francisco had no illusions that it was an immutable document. The provisions for amendment were obviously put into it for a purpose. The charter and the procedures under it have served remarkably well. We recognize to the full that there are dangers in any attempt at revision, but we do not see such dangers in a review to determine whether there are any changes that could usefully be made in the charter or in the procedures that have developed under it. This Tenth General Assembly offers an opportunity with the least possible difficulty of instituting the review process. We urge that the Assembly seize this opportunity.

We commend this action to your consideration as the fulfillment of the expectations of our founders and of the peoples of the world. and as a milestone in the forward movement of the United Nations.


The General Assembly,

Mindful that paragraph 3 of Article 109 of the Charter of the United Nations provides that if a General Conference of the Members of the United Nations for the purpose of reviewing the Charter has not been held before the tenth annual session of the General Assembly, such a conference shall be held if so decided by a majority vote of the Members of the General Assembly and by a vote of any seven members of the Security Council,

Believing that it is desirable to review the Charter in the light of experience gained in its operation,

Recognizing that such a review should be conducted under auspicious international circumstances,

1 General Assembly, Official Records, Tenth Session, Supplement No. 19 (A/3116),

1. Decides that a General Conference to review the Charter shall be held at an appropriate time;

2. Further decides to appoint a Committee consisting of all the Members of the United Nations to consider, in consultation with the Secretary-General, the question of fixing a time and place for the Conference, and its organization and procedures;

3. Requests the Committee to report with its recommendations to the General Assembly at its twelfth session;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to complete the publication programme undertaken pursuant to General Assembly resolution 796 (VIII) of 23 November 19531 and to continue, prior to the twelfth session of the General Assembly, to prepare and circulate supplements, as appropriate, to the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs;

5. Transmits the present resolution to the Security Council.

Admission of New Members


The General Assembly,

Noting the growing general feeling in favour of the universality of the United Nations, membership in which is open to all peace-loving States which accept the obligations contained in the Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out those obligations,


Having considered the report of the Committee of Good Offices established by General Assembly resolution 718 (VIII) of 23 October 1953,*

Noting that, notwithstanding the best endeavours of the Committee of Good Offices, the problem remains unresolved,

Further noting the views recorded by the Committee of Good Offices that possibilities of reaching an understanding remain and that "differ

1 General Assembly, Official Records, Eighth Session, Supplement No. 17 (A/2630)' p. 31.

2 Ibid., Ninth Session, Supplement No. 21 (A/2890), p. 8.

By 1954 only nine states had been admitted to U.N. membership since 1946. Applications of 19 others were pending. The Soviet veto had been used 22 times to block the admission of 14 of the candidates. Efforts to break the deadlock had been unsuccessful. A Special Committee on Admission of New Members (established by the seventh session of the General Assembly; Res. 620A (VII), Dec. 21, 1952) studied the problem and reported to the eighth session. The Ad Hoc Political Committee considered the report (A/2400) in Oct. 1953. The General Assembly then established the Committee of Good Offices (Res. 718 (VIII) of 23 Oct. 1953), which reported to the ninth session.

3 Ibid., Annexes, agenda item 21 (A/2720).

4 Ibid., Eighth Session, Supplement No. 17 (A/2630), p. 5.

ent views may eventually be harmonized within the spirit of the Charter",

1. Expresses appreciation of the work and efforts of the Committee of Good Offices;

2. Decides to send back to the Security Council the pending applications for membership, together with a full record of the discussions at the present session of the General Assembly, for further consideration and positive recommendations;

3. Suggests that the Security Council consider the desirability of invoking the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 28 of the Charter to help resolve the problem;

4. Requests the Committee of Good Offices to continue its efforts; 5. Requests the Security Council and the Committee of Good Offices to report to the General Assembly during the present session if possible and in any event during the tenth session.



On this question of the admission of new members, the United States is guided by three basic principles:

1. To bring into membership all qualified states which apply; 2. To follow the provisions of the charter as to judging the qualifications of the applicants;

3. To avoid thwarting the will of a qualified majority by use in the Security Council of the veto, a voting privilege given to five nations in the expectation that it would only be used in exceptional circumstances. The United States recalls that the Vandenberg resolution,2 overwhelmingly adopted by the United States Senate in June 1948, expressed the view that there should be agreement never to use the veto to prevent the admission of new members.

Consistent with the foregoing principles, we shall continue to seek the admission of all qualified states which have applied. They would be members already if the great majority had its way. Only the Soviet veto, or threat of veto, bars them.

The recent statement of the Soviet delegate which was carried in an Associated Press dispatch of November 17 that the Soviet Union would "categorically refuse to consider any proposal" other than one for 18 applicants 3 is an example of a rigid, inflexible attitude which, if adopted by all nations, would make it impossible for the United

1 Department of State Bulletin, Dec. 26, 1955, pp. 1068-1069; see also Ambassador Lodge's statements of Nov. 13, 1955 (ibid., pp. 1067-1068) and Dec. 13, 1955 (ibid., pp. 1069-1070).

2 Resolution of June 11, 1948; A Decade of American Foreign Policy, p. 197. • Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Ceylon, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Outer Mongolia, Portugal, Rumania, and Spain.

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