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The Secretary-General is assisted by eight Assistant SecretariesGeneral, each of whom is in charge of a major department in the Secretariat. The departments and Assistant Secretaries are as follows: Department of Security Council Affairs, A. A. Sobolev (U.S.S.R.) Department of Economic Affairs, David Owen (United Kingdom) Department of Social Affairs, Henri Laugier (France) Department of Trusteeship and Information from Non-Self-Govern

ing Territories, Victor Hoo (China) Department of Public Information, Benjamin Cohen (Chile) Department of Conference and General Services, Adrian Pelt (Nether

lands) Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Byron Price

(United States) Legal Department, Ivan Kerno (Czechoslovakia)


The United Nations In World Politics, 1948




OLITICAL and security problems of varied character occupied the attention of the Security Council and the General Assembly

during 1948. These specific problems are, for convenience in presentation, grouped into the following general categories : security problems, efforts at peaceful settlement of disputes and situations, and organizational problems of a political nature.

Security Problems

In 1948 there were two significant developments in the United Nations negotiations for international control of atomic energy. The first was the General Assembly approval of the plan of international control developed in the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission during its two years of work. The second was the clear recognition of the impasse in these negotiations created by the refusal of the Soviet Union to accept this plan—the only workable and effective system of control it has been possible to devise.

In its First Report to the Security Council, dated December 31, 1946, the Commission presented proposals and general principles with respect to the establishment of a system for the international control of atomic energy. In its Second Report, dated September 11, 1947, the Commission presented specific proposals covering the operational and developmental functions of a proposed international control agency.

In voting for the “General Findings and Recommendations” of the First Report and the “Specific Proposals" of the Second Report, the General Assembly in 1948 found that these proposals constitute "the necessary basis for establishing an effective system of international control of atomic energy to ensure its use only for peaceful purposes and for the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons in accordance with the terms of reference of the Atomic Energy Commission".

In the Political and Security Committee (First Committee) of the General Assembly and in the plenary session, 46 member governments voted to approve the plan and proposals of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission for the control of atomic energy and the prohibition of atomic weapons. These governments expressed deep concern at the impasse reached in the work of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission as shown in its Third Report, which states:

in the field of atomic energy, the majority of the Commission has been unable to secure the agreement of the U.S.S.R. to even those elements of effective control considered essential from the technical point of view, let alone its acceptance of the nature and extent of participation in the world community required of all nations in this field by the First and Second Reports of the Atomic Energy Commission.” Only the six members of the Soviet bloc voted against these reports.

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Reconsideration of Soviet Proposals

The Soviet Union had introduced proposals for control on June 11, 1947. These were given prolonged consideration by the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission. This consideration took place in connection with the development of the specific proposals of the Second Report and throughout a number of meetings of the Commission in 1948. On April 5, 1948, the Working Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission adopted a report analyzing these proposals which found that they "ignore the existing technical knowledge of the problem of atomic energy control, do not provide an adequate basis for the effective international control of atomic energy and the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons, and therefore, do not conform to the terms of reference of the Atomic Energy Commission.”

The Working Committee also concluded that "no useful purpose can be served by further discussion of these proposals in the Working Committee."

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Third Report of Atomic Energy Commission

In the winter and spring of 1948 the majority members of the Atomic Energy Commission, after prolonged and repeated efforts, were forced to recognize that the Soviet Union was unwilling to accept any of the basic elements of control considered necessary by the majority. It became evident, in the words of the Third Report, "that agreement on effective measures for the control of atomic energy is itself dependent on co-operation in broader fields of policy.” The Commission was

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