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209 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram Austdel 185, PARIS, 8 November 1948, 3.03 p.m.

Following is text of resolution on Administrative Union adopted by Fourth Committee 6th November by 25 to 12 with 10 abstentions.

The General Assembly,
1. Mindful that one of the basic objectives of the trusteeship system is to promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the Trust Territories and their progressive development towards self-government or independence,
2. Noting that the trusteeship agreements for some of these territories authorize the administrative authority concerned to constitute the territory into a customs, fiscal or administrative union or federation with adjacent territories under its sovereignty or control and to establish common services between the Trust Territory and such adjacent territories where such measures are not inconsistent with the basic objectives of the trusteeship system, and with the terms of the Trusteeship Agreement,
3. Recognising that, in certain circumstances such unions may be in the interests of the inhabitants of the territory concerned,
4. Noting further that the three types of unions or federations referred to in the trusteeship agreements namely customs, fiscal and administrative union or federation clearly exclude any kind of political union,
5. Recalling that the General Assembly approved these agreements upon the assurance of the administrative powers that they do not consider the terms of the relevant Articles in the trusteeship agreements 'as giving powers to the administrative authority to establish any form of political association between the Trust Territories respectively administered by them and adjacent territories which would involve annexation of the Trust Territories in any sense or would have the effect of extinguishing their status as Trust Territories',
6. Having considered the observations of the Trusteeship Council contained in the report covering its second and third sessions on the existing or proposed administrative unions between certain Trust Territories and the adjacent territories under the sovereignty or control of the administrative authority,
7. Notes the observations of the Trusteeship Council on such administrative unions in particular,
8. Endorses its observation that an administrative union 'Must remain strictly administrative in its nature and its scope and that its operation must not have the effect of creating any conditions which will obstruct the separate development of the Trust Territory in the fields of political, economic, social and educational advancement as a distinct entity',
9. Is of the opinion,
(a) that the present status and identity of the Trust Territories must be carefully maintained until, in accordance with provisions of Article 76 of the Charter the inhabitants of the Trust Territories reach a state of political advancement enabling them to assume the responsibility of determining for themselves the form of their Government and the political associations if any, into which they may wish to enter and,
(b) that the establishment of these unions raises questions of fundamental importance affecting the political status of the Trust Territories and the attainment of the basic objectives of the trusteeship system in regard to these territories,
10. Recommends accordingly that the Trusteeship Council should,
(a) Investigate these questions in all their aspects with special reference to such unions already constituted or proposed and in the light of the terms of the trusteeship agreements and assurances given by the administrative authorities in this connection,
(b) In the light of this investigation, recommend such safeguards as the Council may deem necessary to preserve the distinct political status of the Trust Territories and to enable the Trusteeship Council effectively to exercise supervisory functions over such territories,
(c) Request, whenever appropriate, an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice as to whether such unions are within the scope of, and compatible with the stipulations of the Charter and the terms of the trusteeship agreements as approved by the General Assembly,
(d) Invite the administrative authorities to make available to the Council such information relating to administrative unions as will facilitate the investigation by the Trusteeship Council referred to above, and,
(e) Report specifically to the next regular session of the General Assembly on the results of its investigations and the action taken by it.

11. Recommends further,
(a) That, before constituting any customs, fiscal or administrative union or federation of a trust territory with adjacent territories or extending the period or scope of any existing union or federation the administrative authority concerned should consult the Trusteeship Council, and,
(b) that no administrative union or federation should be such as to hinder the Trusteeship Council in obtaining information clearly showing the exact situation in the Trust Territory and should it become impossible to furnish separate financial, statistical and other data relating to the Trust Territory, then the administrative authority should submit the unified administration to such supervision by the Trusteeship Council as the latter may consider necessary for the effective discharge of its responsibilities with respect to the Trust Territory.

[AA : A1838, 301/2/3]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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