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Article 26 of the Charter of the United Nations, must limit armaments and armed forces to those which are consistent with and indispensable to the maintenance of international peace and security. Such armaments and armed forces should not exceed those necessary for the implementation of members' obligations and the protection of their rights under the Charter of the United Nations.
5. A system for the regulation and reduction of armaments and armed forces must include an adequate system of safeguards, which by including an agreed system of international supervision will ensure the observance of the provisions of the treaty or convention by all parties thereto. A system of safeguards cannot be adequate unless it possesses the following characteristics:
(a) it is technically feasible and practical;
(b) it is capable of detecting promptly the occurrence of violations; (c) it causes the minimum interference with, and imposes the minimum burdens on, any aspect of the life of individual nations.
6. Provision must be made for effective enforcement action in the event of violations.
253. DEFINITION OF ARMAMENTS
Resolution of the Commission for Conventional Armaments, August 12, 19481
The Commission for Conventional Armaments resolves to advise the Security Council:
1. that it considers that all armaments and armed forces, except atomic weapons and weapons of mass destruction, fall within its jurisdiction and that weapons of mass destruction should be defined to include atomic explosive weapons, radio active material weapons, lethal chemical and biological weapons, and any weapons developed in the future which have characteristics comparable in destructive effect to those of the atomic bomb or other weapons mentioned above. 2. that it proposes to proceed with its work on the basis of the above definition.
254. ARMS CENSUS 2
(a) Resolution of the General Assembly, November 19, 1948
The General Assembly,
Desiring to establish relations of confident collaboration between the States within the framework of the Charter and to make possible a general reduction of armaments in order that humanity may in future be spared the horrors of war and that the peoples may not be overwhelmed by the continually increasing burden of military expenditure,
Considering that no agreement is attainable on any proposal for the reduction of conventional armaments and armed forces so long as each State lacks exact and authenticated information concerning the conventional armaments and armed forces of other States, so long as
1 Department of State Bulletin of August 29, 1948, p. 268.
2 United Nations, Official Records of the Third Session of the General Assembly, Part I, Resolutions, pp. 17, 18.
no convention has been concluded regarding the types of military forces to which such reduction would apply, and so long as no organ of control has been established,
Considering that the aim of the reduction of conventional armaments and armed forces can only be attained in an atmosphere of real and lasting improvement in international relations, which implies in particular the application of control of atomic energy involving the prohibition of the atomic weapon,
But noting on the other hand that this renewal of confidence would be greatly encouraged if States were placed in possession of precise and verified data as to the level of their respective conventional armaments and armed forces,
Recommends the Security Council to pursue the study of the regulation and reduction of conventional armaments and armed forces through the agency of the Commission for Conventional Armaments in order to obtain concrete results as soon as possible;
Trusts that the Commission for Conventional Armaments, in carrying out its plan of work, will devote its first attention to formulating proposals for the receipt, checking and publication, by an international organ of control within the framework of the Security Council, of full information to be supplied by Member States with regard to their effectives and their conventional armaments;
Invites the Security Council to report to the Assembly no later than its next regular session on the effect given to the present recommendation, with a view to enabling it to continue its activity with regard to the regulation of armaments in accordance with the purposes and principles defined by the Charter;
Invites all nations in the Commission for Conventional Armaments to co-operate to the utmost of their power in the attainment of the above-mentioned objectives.
Hundred and sixty-third plenary meeting, 19 November 1948.
(b) Resolution of the General Assembly, December 15, 1949 1
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
RECALLING its resolution 192 (III) of 19 November 1948, and in particular its recommendation that the Commission for Conventional Armaments, in carrying out its plan of work, devote its first attention to the formulation of proposals for the receipt, checking and publication, by international organ of control within the framework of the Security Council, of full information to be supplied by Member States with regard to their effectives and their conventional armaments,
Having examined the records of the discussions in the Security Council and in the Commission for Conventional Armaments regarding the implementation of the above-mentioned recommendation,
1. APPROVES the proposals formulated by the Commission for Conventional Armaments for the submission by Member States of full information on their conventional armaments and armed forces and the verification thereof, as constituting the necessary basis for the implementation of the above-mentioned recommendation;
1 General Assembly Roundup, Fourth Regular Session, Press Release GA/600, Part II, pp. 15–16.
2. CONSIDERS that the early submission of this information would constitute as essential step towards a substantial reduction of conventional armaments and armed forces and that, on the other hand, no agreement is likely to be reached on this matter so long as each State lacks exact and authenticated information concerning the conventional armaments and armed forces of other States;
3. NOTES that unanimity among the permanent members of the Security Council, which is essential for the implementation of the above-mentioned proposals, has not yet been achieved;
4. RECOMMENDS therefore that the Security Council, despite the lack of unanimity among its permanent members on this essential feature of its work, continue its study of the regulation and reduction of conventional armaments and armed forces through the agency of the Commission for Conventional Armaments in accordance with its plan of work, in order to make such progress as may be possible; 5. CALLS UPON all members of the Security Council to co-operate to this end.
ARMED FORCES FOR THE UNITED NATIONS
255. WORK OF THE MILITARY STAFF COMMITTEE Speech by Herschel V. Johnson, Deputy United States Representative, June 4, 1947 (Excerpt)1
One vital organizational task remains undone. Article 43 of the Charter imposes upon the Security Council the responsibility for negotiating "as soon as possible" special agreements under which the Member States will make available to the Security Council, on its call, "armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security." Until those agreements have been concluded and put into force, the Security Council will be unable to fulfil its responsibilities as the enforcement agency of the United Nations. Chapter VII of the Charter, insofar as it relates to military enforcement measures, will remain inoperative.
It was about fourteen months ago that the Security Council, at the end of its first meetings in London, requested the representatives of the five permanent members who compose the Military Staff Committee to study Article 43 from the military point of view and to make recommendations to the Security Council.
The Military Staff Committee made little progress until the meeting of the General Assemble last fall. The General Assembly in its resolution on the principles governing the general regulation and reduction of armaments recommended that the Security Council should "accelerate as much as possible the placing at its disposal of the armed forces mentioned in Article 43 of the Charter". The Security Council, acting on this recommendation, directed the Military Staff Committee to report by 30 April 1947 on its progress.2
1 Security Council, Official Records, Second Year, No. 43, pp. 953-957. See Official Records of the Security Council, Second Year, No. 13.
The recommendations which are before us-"The general principles governing the organization of the armed forces made available to the Security Council by Member nations of the United Nations"—are the result of those unanimous requests of the General Assembly and the Security Council.
The United States has been disappointed by the slow pace at which the work has progressed. Those recommendations do however represent a measure of progress. We believe that the Security Council should now exert every effort to complete the task that is imposed by Article 43 of the Charter upon the Council collectively and upon the Members of the United Nations individually.
As the next step in that direction, the United States believes that the Security Council should proceed today and in succeeding meetings to a full and public examination and debate on the recommendations contained in this report and on related problems concerning implementation of Article 43, and should seek to reach decisions that will advance our work.
The Members of the United Nations and their peoples should know and understand all of the problems involved and the reasons for the decisions that we shall make. We must never forget that all of the Members of the United Nations have conferred on the Security Council, under Article 24, "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf".
The peoples of the world look to this Council to fulfil this responsibility and they should be fully informed of the manner in which we discharge our obligation to establish the peace forces called for in the Charter.
The report before us represents wide areas of unanimous agreement. Unfortunately, however, some of the most important principles did not secure unanimity in the Military Staff Committee. As the report itself makes clear, the United States supports the majority position in every case in which unanimity was not secured.
I do not desire in this opening statement to enter into a detailed discussion of the articles of the report of the Military Staff Committee. I do, however, wish to make clear the fundamental understanding of my Government concerning the obligations imposed upon the Security Council and upon the United States as a Member nation in the establishment of the armed forces of the United Nations.
The United Nations is not a world government. It is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members. Therefore, it could not have a permanent standing armed force of its own in the same sense that individual nations possess such forces.
On the other hand, the founders of the United Nations decided at San Francisco that the United Nations should not repeat the experience of the League of Nations, which relied solely upon the individual action of Member States to carry out the sanctions provided in the League Covenant. It was therefore decided that each nation should agree in advance to provide forces and facilities upon which the Security Council could call to prevent or suppress any act of aggression or breach of the peace. Those national contingents are to be under the strategic direction of the Military Staff Committee whenever they are called into action by the Security Council.
The decision at San Francisco was a long step forward in the direction of enforceable world law against war. Nothing like it has ever been attempted before. That forward progress would, however, be largely lost if we failed to draw up agreements of such a nature that the world will be certain that the Security Council can bring to bear, against any breach of the peace anywhere in the world, balanced striking forces drawn from the most powerful and best equipped forces that could be provided by the Members.
Our concept of the nature and strength of the United Nations armed forces is based to a very considerable extent on the experience of the last war. We found that it was not only possible but practical to combine the armed forces of two or more nations. We found that such combinations immeasurably increased the strength and effectiveness of our efforts. As a result, we have faith that national contingents of the Members of the United Nations can be moulded into effective armed forces serving the United Nations under the control of the Security Council.
We learned other strategic lessons which should guide us in the organization of the United Nations armed forces. We learned that an attempt to stop an aggressor after he has succeeded in a fait accompli is infinitely more difficult than to stop him at an earlier stage. We are seeking, therefore, to provide arrangements under which the Council could bring its forces to bear in the shortest possible time. That objective will be aided by the fact that the contingents of the Member nations will normally be maintained, as they are at the present time, in various parts of the world. This natural advantage accruing to the United Nations should be seized on and promoted and not limited by artificial restrictions on the location of the contingents made available by Members.
We also learned that the tremendous forces which my country mobilized for one war could not be moved into a position to strike at the enemy without bases near to the enemy, and that intermediate staging and supply bases were of vital importance to all three elements of our armed forces. In the Pacific, when we were unable to obtain adequate land bases, we found it necessary to develop floating bases for our fleet operations. We therefore recognize that if the United Nations armed forces are to be effective at all, the Member nations must make available to the Security Council a system of bases in various parts of the world from which they could operate.
An outstanding feature of the last war, and one which in our view proved decisive, was the development of new and powerful striking forces combining all three elements of the allied armed forces: army, navy and air. We remember that Japan was brought to her knees by the striking power of long range air forces, amphibious operations, and powerful carrier and other naval task forces. In the European war, likewise, the enormous striking power of those new developments greatly hastened the day of victory. We do not believe that the United Nations can have an effective armed force unless it contains the components of these modern forces, which have proved of infinitely greater mobility and striking power than any previously developed. In fact, it seems to us that this type of force is most suitable to the requirements of the United Nations.
The problem facing the United Nations is not to defend any Maginot Line. Its problem is to enforce peace in all parts of the world. There