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Northern Marianas are to be terminated, and all right, title, and interest of the TTPI in and to real property as to which the United States enjoys rights are to be transferred to the Northern Marianas Government. The Government of the United States at the time of such transfer is to be assured the continued use of the real property then actively used by it for civilian governmental purposes on terms comparable to those presently enjoyed. Facilities at Isely Field are to be available for use by military and naval aircraft, in common with other aircraft, without charge, except for a reasonable share of operating and maintenance costs to be established by mutual agreement. Until 25 years after termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, and possibly thereafter, the Northern Marianas Government will regulate the alienation of permanent and long term interests in real property so as to restrict its acquisition to persons of Northern Mariana Islands descent. That Government may also regulate the extent to which a person may own or hold land which is now public land.
The United States Government is committed under Section 806 to a policy of seeking to acquire only the minimum area necessary to accomplish the public purpose for which it may need to acquire any additional interest in real property, and to attempt to acquire such property by voluntary means before exercising the power of eminent domain. Congressional authorization and appropriations will be a prerequisite to any acquisition of real property.
Article IX calls for appointment or election under the Constitution or laws of the Northern Mariana Islands of a Resident Representative to the United States with a two-year term, unless otherwise determined by local law, entitled to official recognition by all departments and agencies of the United States Government.
Consultation between the two Governments is to be conducted regularly on all matters affecting their relationship. On request of either Government, and at least every ten years, special representatives are to meet to consider such issues as either Government may designate. In any event special representatives will be appointed to consult on future multi-year financial assistance.
Section 903 recognizes that cases or controversies arising under the Covenant may be presented to courts established by the Constitution or laws of the United States. It expresses the intention of the parties that any such cases or controversies will be justiciable in such courts and that the undertakings by the two Governments in the Covenant will be enforceable in such courts. For the text of Section 903, see post, Ch. 13, § 3, p. 765.
Under Section 904 the United States Government is committed to give sympathetic consideration to the views of the Northern
Marianas Government on international matters directly affecting it and to provide opportunities for such views as in the case of other territories and possessions in like circumstances. The Northern Mariana Islands may participate, on request, in regional and other international organizations concerned with social, economic, educational, scientific, technical and cultural matters to the extent authorized for other territories and possessions under like circumstances.
The United States has undertaken negotiations with the Joint Committee on the Future Status of the Congress of Micronesia, looking toward a future political relationship of free association between the United States and other districts of the Trust Territory.
The full text of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, the Technical Agreement Regarding Use of Land to be Leased by the United States in the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Report of the Joint Drafting Committee on the Negotiating History may be found in the Cong. Rec., Vol. 121, No. 43, Mar. 17, 1975, pp. 4083-4091 (daily ed.), and U.N. Doc. T/1759, Mar. 10, 1975. President Ford's message to Congress, dated July 1, 1975, requesting approval of the Covenant and attaching its text as at H. Doc. 94–207, 94th Cong., 1st Sess.
On May 28, 1975, President Ford signed Public Law 94–27, providing an increase in the budget ceiling for the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands from $ 60 million to $75 million in the current fiscal year, including $1.5 million for transition money to commonwealth status, subject to approval by Congress of final agreement between the Marianas Political Status Commission and the United States.
In a memorandum dated March 5, 1975, to Ambassador F. Haydn Williams, the President's Personal Representative to the Micronesian Status Negotiations, O. Thomas Johnson, Special Assistant to the Legal Adviser, outlined the legal considerations which support the consistency of commonwealth status for the Northern Mariana Islands with the obligations of the United States under the Trusteeship Agreement (TIAS 1665; 61 Stat. 3301; entered into force July 18, 1947) to "promote the development of the inhabitants of the territory toward self-government or independence.” The following are excerpts from his memorandum:
Both under Article 6 of the Trusteeship Agreement and under Article 76(b) of the United Nations Charter, the United States is under an obligation to promote the development of the inhabitants of the Trust Territory toward "self-government or independence.” That self-government is something other than independence seems obvious, in that it is presented as an
alternative to independence in both the Trusteeship Agreement and the U.N. Charter.
... This difference between self-government and independence was recognized by the General Assembly in 1960 when, in its Resolution 1541, it defined three ways in which a dependent territory could reach self-government. These were:
(1) emergence as a sovereign independent state;
(3) integration with an independent state. The commonwealth status proposed for the Northern Mariana Islands would appear to fall within the third category.
Further, as to whether commonwealth status constitutes "selfgovernment" for purposes of the Trusteeship Agreement and the United Nations Charter, Mr. Johnson's memorandum noted that General Assembly Resolution 748 of November 27, 1953, may usefully be cited. The memorandum states:
This resolution, which had the effect of terminating Puerto Rico's status as a non-self-governing territory under Chapter XI of the Charter, recognized:
“that, in the framework of their Constitution and the compact agreed upon with the United States of America, the people of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have been invested with attributes of political sovereignty which clearly identify the status of self-government attained by the Puerto Rican people
as that of an autonomous political entity." Inasmuch as the political status of the Northern Mariana Islands will be, under the Covenant, identical in all important respects with that of Puerto Rico, the conclusion is inescapable that in bringing the Northern Marianas to commonwealth status the United States will have discharged its obligation under both Article 6 of the Trusteeship Agreement and Article 76 of the U.N. Charter to promote the development of the inhabitants of the trust territory toward “self-government or independence.”
The memorandum notes that the legal conclusion reached presumes approval of the Covenant in a plebiscite which constitutes a valid exercise of the people's right of self-determination.
At the Eighth Consultative Meeting under the Antarctic Treaty (TIAS 4780; 12 UST 794; entered into force for the United States June 23, 1961), held at Oslo June 9-20, 1975, the principal item on the agenda was the question of Antarctic mineral resources. The Treaty contains no specific reference to mineral resource activities, and the matter of dealing with the possibility of attempted exploration for and exploitation of such resources had arisen at two previous consultative meetings under Article IX of the Treaty, held in 1970 and 1972. It was decided at the 1972 meeting that governments should study the subject for consideration at the Eighth Meeting.
Ambassador Thomas F. Byrne, United States Representative to the Eighth Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, in his opening statement on June 9, 1975, summarized the preliminary views of the United States on the mineral resource question as follows:
During this meeting, we will be seized with a matter of unusual complexity-the question of Antarctic mineral resources. In many respects, we are dealing with unknownsresources which may or may not exist in commercially attractive quantities; technology for their possible recovery which is still nonexistent though possibly on the horizon, and no crystal ball which will tell us what the world market picture for such resources, if they exist in commercially attractive quantities, might be in 5, 10, or perhaps more years hence. This problem, however, is before us and will not disappear of its own accord. We are prepared to address this question in a spirit of candor and cooperation, confident that we can, in time, find a solution to the conundrum which will be satisfactory to all.
In this connection, let me share with you our preliminary views: -Mineral resource activities in Antarctica should not become
the object of significant international discord. -Exploration for and exploitation of Antarctic mineral re
sources should not disrupt the continued implementation of
the Antarctic Treaty. -The sensitive Antarctic environment must be protected from
harm caused by any mineral resource activities.
On June 12, 1975, Dr. Robert E. Hughes, representing the United States at the Oslo meeting, further delineated the United States views on the mineral resources question, as follows:
The Antarctic Treaty does not refer to the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources. Such activities, in our view, are a permitted peaceful use of the area. Certain provisions of the treaty would, of course, apply. Nonetheless, it can be expected that, in the absence of a shared understanding on the mineral resources question, governments will respond to any mineral resource activities in Antarctica in accordance with their underlying juridical positions.
The views of my government in this connection are well known. We, as well as several other states, do not consider that any part of Antarctica is subject to the sovereignty of any state.
The views of some other governments . . . are clearly contrary to the views of my government. The situation is further complicated by overlapping and conflicting claims.
These contrary views would result in serious problems should mineral resources be found in commercially attractive quantities. In the absence of a shared understanding, those countries who do not recognize claims to sovereignty would surely have to assert the right to commence mineral resource activities at their will, subject only to applicable provisions of the Antarctic Treaty. Those who have made claims to sovereignty would contest that view.
Such a result would not be a happy one from the standpoint of our mutual concerns. In the absence of a “common understanding without preconceived ideas," . .. the environmental risks from mineral resources activities, which are of greatest direct concern to those nearest Antarctica, could threaten our mutual interests in preserving the Antarctic environment. The precious scientific laboratory which the Antarctic Treaty was intended to preserve could be destroyed. Living organisms in the region that are of commercial or scientific interest would be placed in jeopardy.
My delegation is prepared to consult on the concrete principles and objectives which should guide our future consideration of this issue. . .
The operative paragraphs of the recommendation on mineral resources adopted by the Eighth Consultative Meeting and referred to the Consultative Governments for their approval follow:
ANTARCTIC RESOURCES_EFFECTS OF MINERAL EXPLORATION
Recommend to their governments that:
1. The subject “Antarctic Resources—The Question of Mineral Exploration and Exploitation” be fully studied in all its aspects in relation to the Treaty and be the subject of consultation among them with a view to convening a special preparatory meeting during 1976, the terms of reference of which will be determined precisely through diplomatic channels; the special preparatory meeting to report to the Ninth Consultative Meeting;
2. They undertake to study the environmental implications of mineral resource activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area and other related matters, including joint studies among them, and that they exchange the results of such studies; 3. They invite SCAR through their National Antarctic Committees to: (i) make an assessment on the basis of available information of the
possible impact on the environment of the Treaty Area and other eco-