Question of Palestine home
9 May 1949
Held at Lake Success, New York,
on Monday, 9 May 1949, at 3 p.m.
General Carlos P. ROMULO
57. Application of Israel for admission
to membership in the United Nations (
Mr. SUNDE (Norway) recalled that, at the outset of the discussion, doubts had been cast upon the validity of the Security Council’s resolution recommending the admission of Israel (A/818). Although he realized that the Iraqi draft resolution on that matter (A/AC.24/64) had been temporarily withdrawn, he wished to comment on the subject, since Norway was a member of the Security Council.
He expressed full agreement with the statement made in that connexion by the representative of the United Kingdom (43rd meeting), adding that in abstaining from voting on the application of Israel at the 414th meeting of the Council, the latter had certainly been fully aware of the existing agreement among the five permanent members, which had become and established practice whereby such an abstention was not considered as involving a veto. By abstaining from voting, therefore, the representative of the United Kingdom had quite clearly signified that he did not wish to avail himself of his privilege under Article 27, paragraph 3, of the Charter, thus depriving himself of the opportunity to invoke the provisions of that Article with regard to the resolution at a later time. In view of the general desire to limit the application of the right of veto, other Members should be careful not to extend the scope of its application beyond the wishes of the permanent members of the Council themselves.
On the substance of the question under consideration, the representative of Norway stated that his Government welcomed the creation of the State Israel and had recognized Israel
. It also favoured, in principle, the admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations. The Norwegian representative on the Security Council, while expressing doubts concerning the timeliness of recommending the admission of Israel at that time, had voted in favour of the recommendation to that effect at the Council’s 414th meeting.
With regard to the three main points raised in the course of the discussion, Mr. Sunde expressed the view that the Israeli representative’s statement at the 45th meeting concerning the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte and Colonel Sérot was hardly satisfactory. The Norwegian delegation did not feel that sufficient measures had been taken to discover and bring to justice the perpetrators of the crime and those responsible for its instigation; it believed, moreover, that the assassination had been made possible partly by the negligence of the Jerusalem authorities, who had failed to provide a normal measure of protection.
The Israeli representative’s statement regarding the Holy Places in Palestine might well serve as a basis for further discussion; the Norwegian delegation maintained, however, that any final settlement should be in conformity with resolutions of the General Assembly.
With regard to the refugee problem, the delegation of Norway was still not entirely satisfied by the Israeli representative’s statement, and agreed with the remarks of the representative of China on the subject (48th meeting). Without entering into the question of responsibilities, it stressed the Israeli Government’s obligations in the matter, and hoped that Israel would take an active part in working out a settlement which would fully ensure the legitimate rights and interests of the refugees, including their right to return to their homes. The Norwegian delegation noted the Israeli representative’s formal declaration on the subject of compensation, and took that declaration to be a pledge to fulfil the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948. If the General Assembly were to decide in favour of the admission of Israel, it should do so on the assumption that that State would do its utmost to arrive at a solution of the problem of Arab refugees which would be equitable not only from the political but also from the humanitarian point of view.
The Norwegian delegation firmly hoped that the negotiations under the auspices of the Conciliation Commission would make it possible to solve all outstanding controversial issues between Israel and the neighbouring States, and that the resulting agreements would be capable of full endorsement by the General Assembly.
Mr. Sunde disagreed with the Lebanese representative’s view (50th Meeting) that by admitting Israel to membership at the present session, the General Assembly would implicitly endorse all the statements made by Israel. Israel would be well advised to bear in mind during future negotiations the views expressed in the Committee both by those in favour and those opposing its admission to membership.
The Norwegian delegation would vote in favour of the admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations, and would therefore support the seven-Power draft resolution (A/AC.24/68).
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