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Soviet wife of the son of the Chilean Ambassador to Moscow to leave the U.S.S.R. with her husband. The United States Delegation joined other delegations in censuring the Soviet Union particularly since Soviet wives of American nationals have been similarly denied the right to leave the Soviet Union. From the time of the recognition of the Soviet Government by the United States in November 1933 to the present time, only about 50 of the Soviet wives of American citizens have been permitted to leave the Soviet Union. There are now 350 Soviet wives and 65 Soviet husbands of American citizens who have applied for permission to depart from the Soviet Union without success; 97 of this group are the wives of American war veterans. Although repeated representations have been made by the

. United States Government to the Soviet Government for permission to enable the Soviet wives and husbands of Americans to leave the Soviet Union to join their spouses abroad, the Soviet Government has been adamant in refusing to permit them to leave.

The resolution approved by the Sixth Committee of the Generai Assembly will be considered by the plenary session of the General Assembly when it reconvenes at Lake Success in April 1949.


A report on the political rights accorded women throughout the world was prepared by the Secretariat of the United Nations for the General Assembly in 1948. It showed that, although women vote and hold office on the same terms as men in most countries, there are still more than twenty nations which discriminate against women in this regard. The purpose of the report was to evaluate progress in this field since the First Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1946, which had passed a resolution referring to the statement in the United Nations Charter reaffirming faith "in the equal rights of men and women” and recommending that all Member states which had not already done so grant women equal political rights. It was found that seven countries had extended such rights to women between 1945 and 1948 and that others are at present considering measures to achieve this purpose. The Economic and Social Council, in authorizing the report to the General Assembly, directed that similar material be circulated annually to Members of the United Nations "until all women throughout the world have the same political rights as men.” The Economic and Social Council reviewed various aspects of the status of women and recommended among other matters that the Commission on the Status of Women give special attention to conflicts in nationality laws which create hardships for women who marry men from other countries.

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Genocide, which is the destruction of national, ethnical, racial, or religious groups as such, was declared to be a crime under international law by the General Assembly resolution 96 (1) of December 11, 1946. The Delegation of the United States took an early, active, and leading part in the effort of the United Nations to outlaw this unspeakable offense.

The Economic and Social Council was instructed by the General Assembly to undertake the necessary studies with a view to drawing up a draft convention on the subject. The Council set up an Ad Hoc Committee on Genocide, which met at Lake Success from March 3 to April 5, 1948, and prepared a draft convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime. At its Third Session the General Assembly, on December 9, 1948, unanimously approved a revised draft of this convention which had been recommended to it by the Sixth (Legal) Committee. The convention was signed by the representatives of 20 nations, including the United States, on December 11. The convention is subject to ratification and will come into force 90 days following its ratification by 20 nations.

The convention provides that genocide is a crime under international law which the contracting parties undertake to prevent and punish. Genocide is defined as the destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group. Attempt and conspiracy to commit genocide as well as direct and public incitement to commit the crime are made punishable acts. Persons committing genocide are liable to punishment whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials, or private individuals.

The contracting parties undertake to enact, in accordance with their respective constitutions, the necessary. legislation to give effect to the convention. Persons charged with any of the punishable acts may be tried by a competent tribunal of the state in the territory in which the act was committed or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect to those contracting parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.

The convention provides also that the contracting parties agree to grant extradition in accordance with their laws and treaties in force. Genocide is not to be considered as a political crime for the purpose of extradition. Any contracting party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of the acts which are made punishable by the convention.

Disputes between the contracting parties relating to the interpretation, application, or fulfilment of the present convention, including those relating to the responsibility of states for genocide or any of the other acts made punishable by the convention, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.

The General Assembly approved also a resolution, submitted by the Sixth Committee, by which the International Law Commission is invited 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 would be conferred upon that organ by international conventions.

Finally, the Assembly approved a resolution recommending that the parties to the convention which administer dependent territories should take such measures as are necessary and feasible to enable the provisions of the convention to be extended to those territories as soon as possible.



The Charter of the United Nations contains specific provisions for the promotion of the well-being and advancement of dependent peoples. According to chapter XI, Members having responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants are paramount and accept the obligation to promote their well-being. Futhermore, chapters XII and XIII provide for the establishment of an international trusteeship system for the administration of territories placed thereunder by individual trusteeship agreements. Consideration of matters arising under these three chapters constitutes annually a significant portion of United Nations business having wide implications and long-range importance.

Trusteeship Activities

Members of the United Nations in 1948 devoted increasing attention to the problems of 15,000,000 inhabitants of 10 trust territories under the international trusteeship system. During its 71 meetings the Trusteeship Council carefully examined three annual reports submitted by administering authorities and considered thirteen petitions. The Council also dealt with two special questions referred to it by the General Assembly—the City of Jerusalem and South West Africa.

The Trusteeship Council's conclusions and recommendations were further debated for several weeks in the Fourth Committee and in the plenary meetings of the Third Session of the General Assembly. Four resolutions designed to promote the progress of the trust territories were unanimously adopted by the Assembly on November 18, 1948. Meanwhile, between July 20 and September 21, the Trusteeship Council's first regular visiting mission had observed conditions in an area containing nearly two thirds of the total population under the trusteeship system, the two East African trust territories of Tanganyika and Ruanda-Urundi. The mission's recommendations, embodied

430-page report, will be studied at the Fourth Session of the Trusteeship Council in 1949.


The examination of annual reports submitted by administering authorities is one of the most important functions of the Trusteeship Council. Based on an exhaustive provisional questionnaire prepared by the Council, these reports give a detailed picture of conditions in the trust territories. Three reports, covering the British, Australian, and Belgian trust territories of Tanganyika, New Guinea, and Ruanda-Urundi, were examined during the Second and Third Sessions. To supplement this information the members of the Trusteeship Council questioned a special representative sent from each trust territory by the administering authority.

The United States, along with the United Kingdom and the Philippines, was assigned to devote special attention to the field of educational advancement. Keen interest was shown in the Council, and subsequently in the Assembly, in the need for additional educational facilities in trust territories. Several Council representatives commented on the small number of children in school and the low proportion of the total budget spent on education. The Philippine Delegate stressed the need for higher education in order to accelerate political, economic, social, and educational progress by training indigenous leaders. According to the report of the Trusteeship Council the allocation for education was 7.34 percent of the total budget in Ruanda-Urundi, 1.59 percent in the combined territories of New Guinea and Papua, and 9.2 percent in Tanganyika. The Philippine Delegate pointed out in contrast that “from the very start of American administration in the Philippines no less than 33 percent of the entire budget was allotted to education."

The role of missionary schools in the educational system of the three territories was also discussed. A number of representatives contended that missionary schools should be replaced or supplemented as rapidly as possible by government schools. The United States Representative and others, while pointing out the contributions of the mission schools to education, held that the administering authority should supervise and set standards for the entire educational system, a view which was accepted by the Council.

In the discussion of political advancement, the major issue was a dispute over administrative unions between trust territories and territories under the sovereignty of the administering authorities. The debate on administrative unions centered around the establishment of an interterritorial organization linking Tanganyika with the British territories of Kenya and Uganda, and the “Papua and New Guinea Act, 1948”, a bill proposing joint administration under a single administrator for New Guinea and the Australian territory of Papua. Several members of the Council expressed the fear that these administrative unions might lead to the obliteration of the boundaries of the trust territories and to the loss of their political identities. The administering authorities concerned, however, renewed their assurances that the identity of the trust territories would be maintained. They also contended that the establishment of administrative unions was fully within their powers under the terms of the trusteeship agreements.

After extensive discussion, the Council decided that it would be premature to form a definite opinion regarding the interterritorial organization in East Africa but welcomed the assurance given by the United Kingdom that the existing status and identity of Tanganyika would be maintained. The proposed administrative union between New Guinea and Papua was more sharply criticized. The Council questioned whether the proposed union would not "compromise the preservation of the separate identity of the trust territory.” Accordingly, it recommended that the administering authority “review the matter of administrative union

The Australian Government subsequently announced that, in the light of the Trusteeship Council's comments, it was prepared to make certain changes in the text of the Papua and New Guinea Act.

During the debate on administrative unions disagreement also arose as to whether an administering authority must inform or consult the Trusteeship Council before establishing an administrative, fiscal, or customs union, or federation, or extending any such arrangement already in existence. The Belgian, French, United Kingdom, and Australian Representatives contended that by insisting on advance

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