1 For a perceptive insider’s view see Lord Hannay, New World Disorder (London: I B Tauris, 2008).
2 It is generally accepted that the word ‘charter’ originated in the group in the United States State Department engaged, under the supervision of Dr Leo Pasvolsky, in the preparation of documents and drafts for the Dumbarton Oaks talks. The alternative word ‘covenant’ was rejected as reminiscent of the failure of the League of Nations. See Chapter 36, paragraph 36.4.
4 Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.
5 The effect of the limitations on the powers of the Assembly to act in a situation in which the Security Council may not be able to do so is referred to in paragraphs 18.9 et seq.
8 Selection of Vice-Chairmen of the Assembly and Chairmen of Committees is carried out by negotiation, first within and then between ‘blocs’. The electoral process starting with the President may be protracted. The Assembly specified in resolution 33/138 of 19 December 1978 that the number of vice-presidents should in future be twenty-one, distributed in agreed proportions between African, Asian, Eastern European, Latin American, Western European, and other Groups, and permanent members of the Security Council. A comparable system has also been worked out for the choice of the six chairmen of the Main Committees.
9 The Soviet Draft Resolution on non-self-governing territories of 1960 was a case in point.
11 The United Nations Assembly records are full of examples of the mutual influence of politics, law, institutional theory and practice, etc. A classic instance is the debate on the position of South Africa recorded in A/PV 2281 of 12 November 1974.
12 Art 17.2 reads: ‘The expense of the Organisation shall be borne by the Members as apportioned by the General Assembly.’
13 The discussions, voluntary initiatives, and expedients accompanying this main question were of immense length and complexity and can only be studied completely by reference to United Nations documents. A good background can be obtained from S D Bailey, The General Assembly of the United Nations (rev edn, New York: Praeger, 1964) and S C Xydis in The United Nations, Past, Present and Future, ed James Barros (New York and London, 1972).
14 The best way to approach a more detailed knowledge of this subject is undoubtedly to use the latest edition of the United Nations Yearbook as a starting-point. Research into the more detailed or more controversial activities can then follow.
15 The Soviet Union applied to this ‘thesis’ the term ‘hidden veto’.
16 Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly, United Nations (New York, 1970) 18: Rule 128 prescribes the same procedure for the Main Committees of the Assembly.
17 General Assembly resolution 1991 (XVIII) of 17 December 1963. The resolution came into force on 31 August 1965 on receipt of the necessary ratifications.
18 In 1976 Angola was admitted despite abstention by the United States.
19 General Assembly resolution 2758 (XXVI) of 25 October 1971: ‘Restoration of the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations.’
20 Resolution 377 of 3 November 1950.
21 On how the ‘Uniting for Peace’ procedure has operated in practice, see D Zaum, ‘The Security Council, the General Assembly, and War: The Uniting for Peace Resolution’, in V Lowe, et al. (eds), The United Nations Security Council and War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) 154–74.
22 UN Security Council resolution 143 (1960) adopted on 14 July 1960.
23 Any serious study of the question owes the highest debt to Sydney D Bailey, both for his general work on the United Nations, and, in this present context, for his careful, informative, and sensitive work Voting in the Security Council (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1969), and his later work The Procedure of the Security Council (Oxford: Clarendon, 1975).
24 There was, for instance, criticism of the failure of the Security Council in 1976 to take active cognizance of the intervention of Cuban troops in the civil war in Angola; and of the civil war in the Lebanon in the same year.
25 The resolution left behind one ambiguity for which, in the view of the Israelis and some others, a solution is required. The English text of the first ‘affirmation’ in the resolution contains the following principle: ‘(i) withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict… … ’ The French text (‘des territoires’) does not admit the narrow distinction between ‘territories’ and ‘the territories’ implied in the English, and this distinction may require final compromise—and statesmanship. The interpretation of the formula by the majority of delegations was that the text meant a wholesale restoration of occupied territories qualified only by small agreed modifications where experience and good sense indicated that these would help secure agreement.
26 ‘2005 World Summit Outcome’, General Assembly resolution 60/1 of 16 September 2005.
28 Full text in Arts 100 and 101.
29 Resolution 152 (II) of 15 November 1947.
30 It is, however, pleasant to record that the end of the era of consecutive system in the United Nations had its glorious moment. The noted Latin-American statesman and orator Señor Fernando Belaúnde of Peru made at the General Assembly a long political speech in Spanish which was translated into French by one of the famous Kaminker brothers. M. Kaminker reproduced every significant phrase, every telling pause, every emotional tone and even every dramatic gesture, and, having used no notes at all, sat down amid a thunder of applause.
31 Resolutions 3189 (XXVIII) and 390 (XXVIII). See also Chapter 7, paragraph 7.9.
32 See Art 73, Chapter XI of the UN Charter.
33 Art 2.7 reads in part: ‘Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorise the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter… … ’ (The remaining language removes this limitation in cases arising under Chapter VII which deals with threats to the peace, etc.).
34 This Article of course excluded Trusteeship territories for which provision is made in Chapter XII of the Charter.
35 Professor David A Kay, University of Wisconsin, in his essay ‘Colonisation and Decolonisation’, in James Barros (ed), The United Nations, Past, Present and Future (New York: The Free Press and London, 1972), writes (at 168, n 20) ‘significantly for later developments, this provision was sponsored at the San Francisco Conference by the Soviet Union’.
36 In the original Soviet draft, the introduction was violent in tone, containing old-fashioned phrases such as: (in the colonial territories) ‘the swish of the overseer’s lash is heard; there heads fall under the executioner’s axe’. (Ibid, 149). The declaration as adopted by the General Assembly was of course less intemperate.
37 General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960.
38 General Assembly resolution 1654 (XVI) of 27 November 1961.
39 As a minor example, a sub-committee of the main committee visited Aden (South Yemen) in 1967. They correctly called in London on their way and saw the Foreign Secretary, George Brown, who explained the local situation to them. When they reached Aden, the situation was disturbed; the sub-committee stayed in their hotel and refused even to meet members of the local administration. After a few days they went back to New York and (with the tacit acquiescence of the Secretary-General, U Thant) did not return to Aden.
40 In this connection William Wallace’s observations are valuable. See The Foreign Policy Process in Britain (London: Oxford University Press for Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1975), especially 261 et seq.
41 See K V Laatkainen, ‘Multilateral Leadership at the UN after the Lisbon Treaty’ (2010) 15 European Foreign Affairs Review 475, at 479–80.