IO Files:US/A/C.4/24

United States Delegation Working Paper


Philippine Resolution on the Holding of a Conference To Implement the Provisions of Chapter XI of the Charter Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories 1

summary of philippine proposal

The Philippine Delegation proposes that in order to implement Chapter XI of the Charter, the General Assembly of the United Nations should:

authorize the holding of a world conference of non-self-governing peoples.2
request the Economic and Social Council to convoke such a conference in accordance with the following guiding principles:
that it be purely informative.
that its discussions should enable the Economic and Social Council to fromulate proper recommendations.
that the General Assembly be enabled to take appropriate action to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations assumed under Chapter XI.
that the Delegates to such a conference be selected by the representative organs of each territory or in a manner to ensure proper representation.
urge the Economic and Social Council to initiate studies and formulate recommendations so that this world conference might become a permanent body.

action already taken

The General Assembly on November 9 adopted the recommendation of the general committee that this proposal be referred simultaneously to the Trusteeship Committee and the Legal Committee.


The Philippine proposal is, in a number of particulars, incompatible with the provisions of the Charter and recommend that our Delegate on the Legal Committee examine it particularly from this point of view.
The proposal on its merits is premature and that any attempt to salvage any of the ideas contained therein would be likely to create difficulties for us in future Assemblies.
It is proposed, therefore, that in opposing the Philippine resolution, the Delegation should base itself on the following position:

that, because of the wide diversity of conditions and problems in non-self-governing territories, priority should be given at this time to a continuation and extension of the very promising efforts now being made on a regional basis, such as the Caribbean Commission.3

  1. For text, see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, First Session, Second Part, Fourth Committee (hereafter cited as GA (I/2), Fourth Committee), Part I, p. 289, annex 21 (part III).
  2. For a discussion and analysis by the Secretariat of the United Nations of territories falling within the scope of Chapter XI of the Charter of the United Nations (Non-Self-Governing Territories), see ibid., pp. 273 ff. annex 19. This includes extracts from answers sent by concerned governments in reply to a query from the Secretary General to them in June 1946 as to what constituted a non-self-governing territory, together with a comprehensive list of such territories compiled by the Secretariat from information submitted by the governments.

    The statement submitted by the United States Government read:

    “In determining which are the Non-Self-Governing Territories referred to in Chapter XI of the Charter, it is noted that this Chapter relates to ‘Territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government’. Chapter XI would thus appear to apply to any Territories administered by a Member of the United Nations which do not enjoy the same measure of self-government as the metropolitan area of that Member.…” (ibid., p. 275)

  3. Subcommittee 2 of the Fourth Committee submitted the Philippine resolution to the Sixth Committee for consideration, and in that Committee the Philippine delegate submitted a new draft resolution. The new draft called for the holding of regional representative conferences “such as in the Caribbean area” so as to extend to other areas “the provisions and the spirit of Chapter xi of the Charter.…” (GA (I/2), Fourth Committee, Part I, p. 290).

    For the legislative history of this resolution, see GA (I/2), Fourth Committee, Part I, pp. 289 ff., and United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, First Session, Second Part, Plenary Meetings, pp. 1561–1563, annex 77. For text of the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on December 14, 1946, see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, First Session, Second Part, Resolutions, p. 126.