Presentation on theme: "Chp. 3 The Genesis of the United Nations. Just as WWI led to the formation of the League of Nations, World War II led to the establishment of the United."— Presentation transcript:
Just as WWI led to the formation of the League of Nations, World War II led to the establishment of the United Nations. In each case, both states-people and scholars tried to develop ways of maintaining peace and stability when the war ended. Despite the desire for peace, there were many conservative elements working to prevent the creation of an international organization radically different from any that existed before the war: nationalism, existing international relationships, the desire to continue and promote national and individual economic, social, political and ideological interests; and suspicion and fear of alien political and cultural system in a hostile world climate.
The Genesis of the United Nations The United Nations is a balance of conservatism and change. Because the League of Nations had failed to prevent war, the UN Charter sought to correct the League Covenant’s deficiencies. The architects of the UN also wanted to convince others that the UN was a new creation and not just a revised League. At the same time however, the negotiators were unwilling, and perhaps unable to think in terms other than those of nationalism, national sovereignity, national interests and established patterns of international relationships. The result was no more radical than a new automobile model might be, in which the lines and trim are different, but basic engineering is the same.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning With much of Europe overrun by Axis military forces or under the threat of annihilation by bombing, a greater proportion of postwar planning was concentrated in the United States during the World War II than during World War I. Dozens of private organizations in the United States generated ideas and plans for a peace-maintaining organization and reacted to proposals from other sources. The State Department created some modest planning machinery by January 1940 and gradually intensified postwar planning efforts as the deadline approached for translating ideas into a finished Charter.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning A number of American civil society organisations have been involved in the planning stage. This high degree of interest of concerned citizens in setting up a new international organization was sustained throughout the period of the drafting of the UN charter at San Francisco and continued into the initial years of the new organization. The impetus for a postwar international organizations was not confined to the United States. Similar initiatives were undertaken in Britain and Canada too.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning From this review of planning activities, it is evident that government agencies could draw upon a wide cross section of concerned and informed opinions in formulating postwar organization plans. The US State Department gathered, organized, and analyzed the proposals from dozens of Department gathered, organized and analzed the proposals from dozens of Department gathered, organized and analyzed the proposals from dozens of sources and incorporated some of the ideas into the official planning process.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning The willingness of American leaders to help create and to play a leading role in a general international organization represented a significant departure from the refusal of the United States to join the League of Nations. President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull were committed to the establishment of a general international organization and were determined to avoid the disillusioning experience of President Wilson with the League of Nations. Congressional leaders of both major political parties declared their support for a postwar organization.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning In September 1943, the House of Representatives passed the Fullbright Resolution, favouring the creation of postwar international peace-maintaining machinery and participation therein by the United States. A corresponding resolution sponsored by Senator Connally was adopted by the Senate in early November.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning Although the State Department initiated postwar planning activities in January 1940, the most intensive and important work in this area began after US involvement in the war against the Axis. A new Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policy, with an elaborate system of subcommitees was established, in 1942 within the department. Most of the personnel for these committees were co-opted from both public and private sectors outside the State Department.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning During the period 1940-43, the pressures for a postwar organization of a regional or a decentralized nature seemed dominant. During these years President Roosevelt favoured a decentralized system of agencies for nonsecurity matters and advocated “great power” responsibility for curbing agression. Winston Churchill leaned toward a regional approach to peace maintenance, and early British plans reflected this bias. By late 1943 a global approach seemed assured, with accomodation within the comprehensive organization for separate and cooperating regional and functional organizations.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning World attention was focused upon postwar planning through a series of meetings of the major Allied states. Each of these meetings resulted in the signing and proclamation of a document declarative of postwar goals: Inter-Allied Declaration signed in London in June 1941 by representatives of British Commonwealth governments and European governments-in exile. Without referring specifically to the establishment of an international organization, the signatories pledged their cooperation in working for the elimination of the threat of agression and in striving for economic and social security for all free people.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning Two months later President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill met and agreed upon the terms of a document referred to as the Atlantic Charter. Churchill was persistent in pushing for a reference to the establishment of an “effective international organization”. Roosevelt considered the phrase too strong but finally accepted the principle that aggressor nations should be disarmed “pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security”.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning The Atlantic Charter was promulgated before the United States entered the war, but in January 1942 the representatives of 26 nations allied against the Axis powers signed the Declaration by United Nations in Washington, D.C. This document included the first use of the term United Nations, and in it the signatories subscribed to the principles of the Atlantic Charter as their war-and-peace aims, in addition to a pledge of full cooperation and effort in defeating the Axis states. As they later became involved in the war, a score of additional states adhered to the declaration.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning On October 30, 1943, the foreign ministers of the USSR and the United Kingdom, US Secretary of State Hull, and the Chinese ambassador to the Soviet Union issued a declaration in Moscow that, for the first time, clearly pledged their efforts for the establishment of a general international organization. One month after the Moscow Declaration, President Roosevelt, Premier Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill, meeting in Teheran announced that they recognize their responsibility and the responsibility of all the United Nations to banish the terror of war and make peace.
Preliminary Stages of Postwar Planning From this series of declarations it is apparent that by the end of 1943 the leaders of the major powers were committed to the establishment of a postwar general international organization. The task that remained was the formulation of detailed plans to which a large number of governments could subsribe. This process involved not only compromise among the divergent views and interests of the big powers but also the eventual resolution of some of the differences between the goals of the small and the large states.
The Dumbarton Oaks Conversations By 1944, there was a decision to organise a conference amongst the big powers. The purpose of this conference would be to produce a tentative or preliminary draft of a constitution for a postwar international organization, subject to further elaboration and modification by an expanded conference of Allied and neutral states. The meetings were held at Dumbarton Oaks, an extensive estate in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. US, Britain, Soviet Union and China took part. The informal conversations at Dumbarton Oaks may be characterized as a working conference of a technical nature at a fairly higly diplomatic level.
The Dumbarton Oaks Conversations The Dumbarton Oaks conversations brought about substantial agreement on the major elements of a plan for an international organization. The final document published in October 4, 1944 was not complete, but it served as the fundamental framework of the emerging United Nations. The dominance of great powers in the war effort was to be carried over into the peace maintenance measures for the postwar period. The central organ for this purpose was to be a Security Council in which the US, Great Britain, France, The Soviet Union and China would have permanent membership.
The Dumbarton Oaks Conversations The agreements provided for three other major organs: a General Assembly, a Secretariat, and a Court. Except for the incorporation of the Court into the general organization, the basic structure was similar to that of the League of Nations. Yet there were a number of gaps to be filled yet.
Yalta Conference In early 1945, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin accompanied by their foreign ministers, met at Yalta in the Crimea to discuss both a wide range of subjects relating to the war and postwar plans. The most important decision regarding the United Nations was the acceptance of the US proposals for the voting formula in the Security Council. Under this formula, unanimity of the big powers would be required on substantive matters, including any enforcement action in response to a breach or threat to the peace or act of agression, but none of the permanent members could use the power of veto to block a procedural vote and a party to dispute was required to abstain on a decision by the Security Council to discuss the dispute.
Discontent with the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals Rumblings of discontent with the Dumbarton Oaks proposals became apparent soon when the Latin American representatives expressed their criticisms at a special Inter-American Conference on Problems of Peace and War held in Mexico City from February 21 to March 8, 1945. The attitudes expressed gave notice of the battles to come between the large and smaller states regarding the structure of the UN.
The San Francisco Conference The United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO) opened in San Francisco on April 25, 1945. All 46 states that had adhered to the UN Declaration and that had declared war on one or more Axis powers accepted the limitation to participate and by agreement of the participants, Argentina, Byelorussia, the Ukraine and Denmark were added to the roster.
The San Francisco Conference In this conference, the smaller states made their most concerted attack on the voting formula in the Security Council. The attack was led by H. V. Evatt, Australian Minister for External Affairs, and was joined by spokepersons from most of the other medium and small states. The objections were both to the principle of a privileged position for the five permanent members of the Security Council and to the lack of clarity concerning the application of the veto in specific situations.All attempts at modification of the formula were rebuffed by the major powers. In the end the smaller states had to accept the formula without change. The applicability of the veto even outside the strict areas of peace and security, such as Charter amendment, admission of members, and selection of a Secretary-General, withstood all attacks and remained a bastion great-power privilege.
The San Francisco Conference Although the smaller states were unsuccesful in removing the veto power from the process of amending the Charter, they received some concessions toward calling a review conference to revise the Charter. A provision was made that such a conference could be called at any time by a two-thirds vote in the General Assembly and by a vote of any seven members of the Security Council.
The San Francisco Conference The chapter on regional arrangements was redrafted at San Francisco to strengthen the emphasis on the importance of regional organizations in the peaceful settlement of disputes and in enforcement actions. The most significant change resulting from small scale pressure was the recognition in Article 51 of the Charter of the right of collective self defense in cases in which the Security Council was immobilized.
The San Francisco Conference One of the greatest accomplishments of the small states in San Francisco was the drafting of Chapter XI of the Charter, entitled “Declaration Regarding Non Self Governing Territories”. This unprecedented statement has been hailed as a bill of rights for all politically dependent peoples. It contained the key principle that in the administration of such territories the interests of the inhabitants’ political, economic, social and educational welfare. It further obligated the administering states to transmit regular reports to the Secretary-General on the economic, social and educational conditions in these territories. (Eventually, the General Assembly adopted a declaration stating that all peoples have a right to independence and self- determination in 1960).
The Charter provided that it would become effective upon ratification by the five permanent members of the Security Council and by a majority of the other signatories. The Charter was signed by representatives of all the participating states on June 26, 1945. By October 1945, the required number of ratification had been deposited with the US government, and the Charter came into force.