S.S.R.' She was strongly backed by the representatives of the United States, Prance and the Philippines who protested against the 'unparliamentary

In document The United Nations' Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) and India : a study in the politics of economic co-operation and initiative in Asia (Page 93-102)

GROWTH OF ECAFE MEMBERSHIP

U. S.S.R.' She was strongly backed by the representatives of the United States, Prance and the Philippines who protested against the 'unparliamentary

form' of the Soviet proposal and demanded that the proposal be ruled out of order as the Commission was not competent to take a decision on the matter. Relying on their support Thailand moved that the matter should be decided by a higher body of the United Nations. They were aided by the Chairman, (a national of the Philippines) who ruled that the Thai proposal was an amendment to the Soviet proposal and, therefore, should be voted first. (To which the Soviet representative protested that the Chairman violated the Commission's rules). The Thai amendment was adopted by 8 votes to 3 with 2 abstentions. Australia, China, Prance, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand and the United States voted in favour; India, Burma and the Soviet Union voted against; the United Kingdom and Pakistan, who had recognised the Communist regime but did not want to embarrass the United States, took refuge in abstention. By a

Ibid. , pp.4-10.

s i m i l a r v o tin g , th e S o v ie t r e s o l u t i o n , as amended o r in f a c t n u l l i f i e d , v;as

r e j e c t e d by th e Commission. The S o v ie t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e t h e r e a f t e r w alked

o u t o f th e Commission f o r th e r e s t o f th e day.

At th e Commission’s fo llo w in g s e s s i o n , th e S o v ie t Union once a g a in moved f o r e x c lu s io n o f th e Kuomintang r e p r e s e n t a t i v e from th e Commission. T h a ila n d c a l l e d upon th e c h a ir to r u l e i t o u t o f o r d e r as th e G en eral

Assembly was a lr e a d y s e iz e d upon w ith t h i s q u e s tio n . The a c ti n g ch airm an ,

a Burm ese, r u le d t h a t i t was in o r d e r . I n s p i t e o f a v ig o ro u s d e fe n ce

o f th e r u l i n g by th e B r i t i s h , In d ia n and Burmese d e le g a tio n s , th e r u l i n g ,

when c h a lle n g e d by T h a ila n d , was o v e r r u le d by 8 v o te s ( A u s t r a l i a , C h in a,

P ra n c e , th e N e th e rla n d s , New Z e a lan d , th e P h i l i p p i n e s , T h a ila n d and th e U n ited S t a t e s ) to 5 (Burma, I n d i a , th e U .K ., th e S o v ie t Union and

P a k is ta n - th e l a s t d id n o t q u e s tio n th e s u b s ta n c e o f th e T hai view b u t

2

d o u b ted w hether th e r u l i n g co u ld be c h allen g e d ).^ "

I n December 1950, th e G en eral Assembly r u l e d , i n o rd e r to av o id c o n f l i c t i n g d e c is io n s by v a rio u s U.N. o r g a n s , t h a t whenever more th a n one governm ent claim ed to r e p r e s e n t a member s t a t e i t sh o u ld be c o n sid e re d

3

by th e G en eral Assembly. Even th e n th e S o v ie t Union c o n tin u e d , up to

1957j to fo rm a lly p ro p o se e v ery y e a r th e e x c lu s io n o f th e d e le g a te o f th e

N a t i o n a l i s t China and i t s s e a t to be o c c u p ie d by a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f th e

_

I b i d . , p p .10-17*

2

U.N. Doc. E /C N .1 1 /S .R .7 9 , 1951, ECAFE, S . R .,7 t h s e s s i o n , pp.3-7*

G .A .O .R ., 5th s e s s i o n , 195°> S u p l t .2 0 , p.24*

Communist Government. The p a ttern o f vote fo llo w ed a p r e d ic ta b le lin e : I n d ia , In d o n esia , Burma, A fghanistan and Ceylon (v o c a l only under the

B an d arn aik e Government) s u p p o rte d th e S o v ie t U nion. Cambodia re f u s e d to

ta k e s id e s a c c o rd in g to i t s own i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f s t r i c t n e u t r a l i t y . A fte r th e d e f e a t o f th e la b o u r governm ent o f th e U n ite d Kingdom i n 1951» t h a t c o u n try abandoned i t s su p p o rt f o r Communist C h in a 's e n tr y in to ECAFE. Both th e U n ited Kingdom and P a k is ta n , who fo rm a lly r e c o g n is e th e communist re g im e , s id e d w ith th e U n ited S t a t e s , N a t i o n a l i s t C hina, F ra n c e , th e

N e th e r la n d s , A u s t r a l i a , New Z e a la n d , T h a ila n d , th e P h i l i p p i n e s , th e R e p u b lic o f K orea and th e R ep u b lic o f Vietnam i n o p p o sin g th e e n tr y o f

Communich China i n th e Commission. T h a ila n d (and a t tim es th e P h i l i p p i n e s )

would ev ery y e a r propose adjournm ent o f th e d e b a te f o r one y e a r ( th e

U n ite d S t a t e s p r e f e r r e d t h a t th e S o v ie t Union be opposed by an A sian member) w hich would be adopted and th e S o v ie t p ro p o s a l a u to m a tic a lly r e j e c t e d (a s

a c c o rd in g to th e r u l e s o f p ro c e d u re an adjournm ent m otion has p r i o r i t y ) .

The debates on th e q u estio n o f th e r e p r e se n ta tio n o f China have been

somewhat montonous in view o f th e f a c t t h a t th e outcome u s u a ll y was a

fo reg o n e c o n c lu s io n . In 1956, how ever, th e q u e s tio n had g a in ed momentum,

fo llo w in g Prime M in is te r N e h ru 's in a u g u r a l rem ark t h a t i t was 'v e r y o d d ', even from an economic p o in t o f v iew , t h a t ECAFE seemed to th in k t h a t A sia

2

d id n o t c o n ta in th e huge t e r r i t o r y c a l l e d C hina. S p u rred up by t h i s

1

I b i d . , E /C N .11/S .R .363, 1953, p .2 9 ; S .R .38 9, 1954, p p.3 7 -9 ; S .R .4 0 8,

1955,

p p .39-41; S .R .4 3 1 , 1956,

PP.44-8; and

S .R .4 5 3 ,

1959,

p p

-39-42.

2 ECOSOC, O .R ., 22nd s e s s i o n , s u p l t . n o .2 , R ep o rt o f ECAFE f o r A p r il 1955 - Feb. 1956, Annex 1, p p .4 4 -6 .

rem ark th e S o v ie t Union and th e n o n -a lig n e d s t a t e s v ig o ro u s ly arg u ed t h a t th e Commission adm it Communist C hina to do av/ay w ith an atm osphere o f u n r e a l i t y and a se n se o f in c o m p le ten e ss i n th e p la n s and a c t i v i t i e s o f th e

Commission. A ll th e se d id n o t c u t much i c e w ith th e d e term in e d a n t i ­

communist d e le g a tio n s . Having re c o g n is e d th e f u t i l i t y o f h e r a tte m p ts to

u n s e a t N a t i o n a l i s t C h in a, th e S o v ie t Union d id n o t move a f t e r 1958» any r e s o l u t i o n to t h a t e f f e c t , h u t c o n tin u e d to p le a d P e k in g ’s cau se d u rin g

ECAFE’s an n u al d e h a te s on th e economic s i t u a t i o n i n A s ia . To what e x te n t

t h i s i s due to S in o -S o v ie t r i f t i s y e t d i f f i c u l t to d e te rm in e , a lth o u g h t h i s re a s o n can n o t he r u le d o u t.

S im ila r has been th e f a t e o f th e S o v ie t e f f o r t s to u n s e a t th e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f th e R ep u b lics o f Vietnam (S o u th )a n d K orea (S o u th )

and to s e a t in s te a d t h e i r r i v a l communist regim es in ECAFE. At th e

Commission’s se v e n th s e s s io n i n F e b ru a ry , 1951? "the S o v ie t Union d u ly moved t h a t ECAFE ex clu d e ’ th e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f Syngman Rhee and Bao D a i’ from among th e a s s o c ia te members o f th e Commission as th e y d id n o t

r e p r e s e n t Korea and Vietnam.

As ex p ected th e In d ia n r e p r e s e n t a t i v e urg ed t h a t n e i t h e r governm ent s h o u ld be e x p e lle d b u t N orth K orea and N orth Vietnam sh o u ld a ls o be a d m itte d - a t h e s i s which ap p ea le d n e i t h e r to th e S o v ie t Union no r

to th e W estern powers (and t h e i r A sian f r i e n d s ) . Opposing th e S o v ie t

m o tio n , th e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f th e U n ite d Kingdom, F ran ce and New Z ealand

U.N. Doc. E/CN.11/S.R.79» 1951» ECAFE, S . R . , 7th s e s s i o n , p*9*

pointed, out that only two years ago the Republic of Korea and the State of Vietnam had been admitted and since then nothing had happened to

warrant reconsideration by the Commission. On this ground, the Netherlands representative proposed that the discussion on this question be ruled out of order. The acting chairman (a Burmese), however, refused to oblige as there was nothing in the rules of procedure against the reversal of a previous decision. When challenged by the Netherland's representative the chairman's ruling was overruled by 7 votes (Australia, China, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Phillipines, Thailand and the United States) to 5 (Burma, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the U.S.S.R) with 2 abstentions (the U.K. and Frence). Pakistan voted against for reasons explained a

little earlier. Similarly France and the United Kingdom, confident of their majority, did not wish to challenge the ruling as a matter of courtesy to the chairman.

The question was raised once again by the Soviet Union at the Commission's folloviing session. As suggested by the Philippines, the

Chairman (also a Filipino), ruled the Soviet draft resolution out of order. When challenged by the Soviet representative the ruling was upheld by 9 votes to 2 (Pakistan, for reasons explained earlier, and the Soviet Union)

2

with three abstentions (India, Burma and Indonesia). Recognising the futility of its attempts in this respect the Soviet Union thereafter did _

I bid., pp#10.

Ibid., E/CN.11/S.R.344, 1952, pp.22-4-

not formally move a resolution on the subject but continued, for some years, to draw the attention of the delegation to the ’illegal presence* of the ’representatives of Syngman Rhee and Bao Dai'.

Of late the Soviet attitude has slackened and since 1958 she is eager, without prejudicing the political aspects of the problems, to see North Korea and North Vietnam represented in ECAFE along with the

representatives of their rival regimes. The motivations behind this attitude seem to be to make these communist regimes more respectable among the Asian countries, as also to enhance their international status by securing recognition from a United Nations body.

Looking back upon the sixteen years of debates on admissions it becomes clear that ECAFE has been struggling hard, and is yet to go a

long way, to truly reflect the changing system of international authority in Asia. The Commission has been operating in an area which has been a nerve centre of post-war international tensions arising out of clashes between forces of Asian nationalism and declining colonialism, and between

the opposing forces of the Cold War. It is not surprising that the

Commission has been called upon to participate in or mirror the process of changing political realities in Asia.

Like any other contemporary inter-governmental organisation, ECAFE has naturally been utilised by its interested members as an instrument of their national diplomacies. In it India found a valuable means to

1

U.N. Doc. E/CN.11/483, 1958, ECAFE, S.R., 14th session, p.

58

; Ib i d . , E/CN.11/594, 1962, ECAFE, S.R., 18th session, p.

87

.

p u rsu e h e r p o l i c i e s o f cham pioning th e cau se o f n a t io n a l independence movements i n A s ia , and rem oving o r c u r t a i l i n g non-A sian in f lu e n c e s from

A s ia . The a s s o c i a t i o n o f n o n - s e lf- g o v e r n in g t e r r i t o r i e s w ith ECAFE w as,

In document The United Nations' Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) and India : a study in the politics of economic co-operation and initiative in Asia (Page 93-102)