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Convening of the meeting by the Secretary-General.................................... Pg. 1
Agenda item 1:
Opening of the session by the Chairman of the delegation of New Zealand..............Pg. 1
Agenda item 2:
Minute of silent prayer or meditation.................................................Pg. 1
Statement by the President............................................................Pg. 1
Agenda item 3:
Appointment of a Credentials Committee................................................Pg. 2
Agenda item 4:
Adoption of the agenda................................................................Pg. 2
Agenda item 5:
Questions considered by the Security Council at its 838th meeting on 7 August 1958....Pg. 3
Statement by the Secretary-General....................................................Pg. 4
After the close of the session, collated sets of fascicles will be Placed on sale for the general public.
Convening of the meeting by the Secretary-General
Sir Leslie Munro took the chair.
AGENDA ITEM 1
Opening of the session by the Chairman of the delegation of New Zealand
AGENDA ITEM 2
Minute of silent prayer or meditation
The representatives stood in silence.
5. In assuming my duties, I am heartened by the belief that in this Assembly there exists a genuine and a strong desire to see the United Nations take further practical measures to safeguard peace in the Middle East.
6. None of us will wish to minimize the difficulties we confront. All of us are aware that the basic problems admit of no easy solution. We in the United Nations have lived with those problems long enough to know the measure of the effort that must be made to maintain any kind of stability in this important region. If the countries of the area are denied that stability, progress towards political settlements becomes impossible. Tension and distrust block the way to a region-wide assault on poverty and want. Failing co-operation in the joint measures which the welfare of the area so urgently demands, national advancement will remain partial and haphazard. In this area, as in the world at large, the peaceful challenges are enormous. In this area, as in the world at large, it is tragic that unrest and hostility should impair the joint capacity to face those challenges.
7. When we review the record of the United Nations in the Middle East, we must admit that, although much has been accomplished, very much remains to be done. In recalling what we have accomplished, let us also recall, with admiration and gratitude, the great contribution which has been made by our distinguished Secretary-General and his most able staff. In a very real sense, we have been able to do what has been done because we have had the services of a Secretary-General who possesses long experience, diplomatic skill of the highest order and a unique knowledge of the constructive capabilities of this Organization. In discharging the responsibilities which have been placed upon him in respect of the problems of the Middle East, Mr. Hammarskjold has demonstrated a deep and compassionate understanding of the human issues and an admirable executive ability. We can, I know, in approaching our present discussions, repose our complete confidence in our Secretary-General.
8. We are meeting today in an emergency special session against a background of debate in the Security Council and of regrettably inconclusive exchanges among the great Powers, looking towards a meeting of Heads of Government within the framework of the United Nations.
9. The peoples of the world will, in the present situation, look to us to intensify the efforts we are committed to make and are already making to reduce tension and strengthen security in the Middle East. The peoples of the world will also expect us, at the very least, to renew our search for agreements on what should be done to settle the many remaining problems.
10. In talking up its work, the General Assembly will, I am sure, act in full awareness of the heavy responsibilities resting upon it, It must, of course, be understood that the United Nations is only in a very limited sense a legal entity separate from its Members. In the introduction to his annual report to the twelfth session of the General Assembly [A/3594/Add.1], the Secretary-General reminded us that the United Nations is not endowed by the Charter with any of the attributes of a super-State or of a body active outside the framework of decisions of Member Governments. In the Middle East, a solution of present difficulties depends primarily on Member States in that area. I would also emphasize the important role of the great Powers, whose policies and relationships inevitably bring consequences from which no country and no region can stand aloof. But no Member of the United Nations, great or small, can afford to divest itself of its obligation to assist in the search for a settlement. If through the United Nations we fail in this high endeavour, the blame will fall upon those, great and small, primarily responsible for the stability and progress of the area.
11. In our deliberations, let us endeavour to reach a dispassionate and objective understanding of the origins of the present tension and anxiety. I earnestly hope that all delegations can refrain from making unworthy propaganda and will be scrupulous to avoid polemics or abuse. Let us he guided by the duty we owe to the United Nations Charter and to the people we represent to devote our energies to constructive purposes.
12. I shall not speak to you in terms of drama. There is no need for drama where urgency is so great and insistent. All the events of the past few weeks at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa and amid the treasures and the poverties of the peoples in this vital area, point to the overwhelming necessity for full, free and informed debate, for the removal from our decisions or recriminations over the past and passions over the future, and for practical proposals for the solution of manifold problems.
13. If, in all this, I am an optimist and an idealist, then I accept the appellation, for the past weighs too heavily on the Middle East, and its future is pregnant with significance for the whole world. Surely all the peoples of the Middle East, whatever their origin, need and deserve a secure and fruitful future in an area which can flower like man's original paradise, if only he can learn to live with his neighbours.
14. Before proceeding to the appointment of the Credentials Committee, I would like to draw the Assembly's attention to the note circulated by the Secretary-General, entitled "Summoning of the third emergency special session of the General Assembly" [A/3866]. This note sets forth the resolution adopted by the Security Council at its 838th meeting on 7 August 1958 by which the Council decided to call an emergency special session of the General Assembly. The ''. note by the Secretary-General also confirms the telegram which was sent to all Members notifying them that the third emergency special session would convene at Headquarters on 8 August 1958 at 5 p.m.
Appointment of a Credentials Committee
16. It would, it seems to me, be appropriate and indeed in keeping with the spirit of the rules to suggest that the Credentials Committee for this special session should have the same composition as that which was appointed for the twelfth regular session. The Credentials Committee would then be composed of the following members : Burma, Canada, Iceland, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America. Unless there are objections, I shall take it that this proposal is adopted.
It was so decided.
17. The PRESIDENT : May I add that the Secretary-General in his telegram of convocation indicated that the credentials of those delegates who are not already authorized to represent their Governments in the General Assembly should be issued in accordance with rule 27 of the rules of procedure and may be presented to him by cable.
Adoption of the agenda
19. Rule 65 of the rules of procedure provides that the Assembly, in case of an emergency special session, shall convene in plenary session only and proceed directly to consider the item proposed for consideration in the request for the holding of the session, without previous reference to the General Committee or to any other committee.
20. If there is no objection I shall take it that the Assembly now agrees to convene only in plenary session for the consideration of the item proposed.
21. The PRESIDENT : Item 5 of the provisional agenda reads as follows : "Questions considered by the Security Council at its 838th meeting on 7 August 1958". I assume that there is no objection to the inclusion of the item in the agenda.
The item was included in the agenda.
The agenda was adopted.
Questions considered by the Security Council at its 838th meeting on 7 August 1958
23. The General Assembly must bring about the rapid and complete cessation of armed intervention in the Near and Middle East and the establishment of conditions in that area which would protect its peoples against foreign interference in their domestic affairs. In the first place, measures must be taken for the immediate withdrawal of United States forces from Lebanon and of United Kingdom forces from Jordan, as their presence there constitutes a continuing threat to the peace and independence of the peoples concerned and a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, which cannot be condoned by any State Member of the United Nations.
24. As we know, the Security Council, owing to its present composition and to the policy pursued by the United States in respect of the Council, has been unable to take effective measures to check the deepening military conflict in the Arab East. Accordingly, the Security Council has been unable to fulfil the responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security conferred on it by the Charter.
25. In these circumstances, the General Assembly, in well large and small nations alike are represented, is called upon to settle the problem of the urgent withdrawal of United States forces from Lebanon and of United Kingdom forces from Jordan in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter. That would help to remove the real danger of an extension of the military conflict, thus bringing tranquillity to the area of the Near and Middle East and relaxing tension throughout the world.
26. The Soviet delegation expresses the hope that the action and decisions of the third emergency special session of the General Assembly will lead to the easing of international tension, the strengthening of peace and the removal of the threat of a new world war. Aggression against the countries of the Arab East must be halted ; peace must prevail.
27. Mr. LODGE (United States of America) : I think it is regrettable that the Soviet representative should begin this special session with an attack on the Government of my country. I had hoped for a good atmosphere. We had a unanimous vote last night in the Security Council [838th meeting] which I worked hard to try to bring about. It would have been a good omen if this special session could have begun not in an atmosphere of recrimination but in a spirit of forward-looking constructiveness. But all of us, whenever our Governments are attacked, have no choice of course but to defend our Governments. I am sure that any one of you, if you were in my place, would undertake to do what I am doing-doubtless much better than I will do it.
28. The United States has from the very beginning made clear its intention to withdraw its troops whenever the Government of Lebanon desired it and whenever the United Nations was able to function effectively to serve to ensure Lebanon's independence. That of course is not the heart of the problem before us and the Soviet representative knows it.
29. I will not dwell on the astonishing spectacle of the representative of a Government which has for two years spurned United Nations requests to withdraw its troops from Hungary speaking as Mr. Sobolev has just done. In any case, it has become clear that the Soviet Union was pressing for a special session of the General Assembly because of the chance which it thought such a session would afford to attack the United States.
30. But that was clearly not the purpose of the Security Council yesterday when it voted for the United States draft resolution, under the terms of which this session of the General Assembly is being held. It was clearly not in the minds of those sitting in the Security Council when no one raised any objection to the Soviet representative's action last night in withdrawing his own draft resolution and not even letting it come to a vote. Certainly the purpose of the United States in introducing a draft resolution for a special session of the General Assembly was to promote a chance for constructive action on the Middle East and not another forum for invective. As I said in the Security Council [838th meeting] and I should like to repeat it now because it is what the United States deeply believes: