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[casi] Re: Legal issues and the SC

Dear List,

Discussions have concentrated on whether or not an abstention from voting by a
permanent member of the SC should bar the adoption of a resolution. Counter
arguments have been presented, including the ruling by the ICJ regarding South
It has been pointed out that the Charter does not require the concurring vote
of ALL permanent members. I disagree with that.

I will take an example. The problem with implementing resolution 242
(Arab-Israeli conflict), was due to interpretation of the text, where the
resolution demands Israeli withdrawal from "Arab lands" and not from "The Arab
lands". This was interpreteed to mean "any Arab lands", and thus Israel (supported
by the US) explained it had implemented the resolution by withdrawing from Sinai.
In the instance of the voting, article 27 of the Charter requires "THE
concurring votes of THE permanent members". Can one draw a parallel with this,
since the issue hinges on interpretation?

In 1945, when the invitations were sent out to 39 nations "to send
representatives to a conference at San Francisco in the United States of America
to prepare a charter for a general international organization for the maintenance
of international peace and security",  the text of the voting procedure was also
included with the invitation.

The explanatory Statement by Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.
issued on March 5, 1945 included the following:

"Where the Council is engaged in performing its political functions of action
for maintenance of peace and security, a difference is made between the permanent
members of the Council and other nations for the practical reason that the
permanent members of the Council must, as a matter of necessity, bear the
principal responsibility for action. Unanimous agreement among the permanent
members of the Council is therefore requisite. In such matters, therefore, the
concurrence of all the permanent members would be required. Examples are:
(A) Determination of the existence of a threat or breach of the peace;
(B) Use of force or other enforcement measures;
(C) Approval of agreements for supply of armed forces;
(D) Matters relating to the regulation of armaments; and
(E) Matters concerning the suspension and expulsion of members, and the
admission of new members. "

This, in my opinion, goes to show the intention expressed by the inviting
nations to the nations of the world.

The full text can be found at:


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