Provisional Summary Record of the Two Hundred and Sixty-Fourth Meeting Held at Lake Success, New York, on Tuesday, 15 November 1949, at 3 p. m.
|Chairman:||Mr. Carlos E. STOLK||Venezuela|
|Rapporteur:||Mr. Frantisek VRBA||Czechoslovakia|
Any corrections to this record should be submitted in triplicate in one of the working languages (English, French or Spanish), within two working days, to the Director, Official Records Division, Room F-520, Lake Success. Corrections should bear the appropriate symbol number and be enclosed in an envelope marked "URGENT". Corrections can be dealt with more speedily if delegations will be good enough to incorporate them in a mimeographed copy of the record.
REFUGEES AND STATELESS PERSONS: ITEM PROPOSED BY THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (A/971, A/1059, A/C.3/527/Corr.1, A/C.3/528, A/C.3/529, A/C.3/L.25, A/C.3/L.26, A/C.3/L.27, A/C.3/L.28, A/C.3/L.29, A/C.3/L.30, A/C.3/L.31, A/C.3/L.32, A/C.3/L.33) (concluded)
1. The CHAIRMAN said the discussion on the problem of refugees and stateless persons would be resumed. He referred menders to the relevant documents, including the amendments to the joint French-United States draft resolution submitted by Lebanon (A/C.3/L.30), Australia (A/C.3/L.31), the United Kingdom (A/C.3/L.32) and Israel (A/C.3/L.33).
2. Mr. JOCKEL (Australia) suggested that the French-sponsored paragraph 4 (e) of the Annex to the joint draft resolution should be made a separate paragraph 5, beginning with the words "The High Commissioner should distribute...". If that suggestion were adopted, the text he had suggested as a further sub-paragraph (f) would become paragraph 6, beginning with the " The High Commissioner should engage in...".
3. Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) agreed to the Australian representative's suggestion.
4. Mr. BOKHARI (Pakistan) said that the debate so far could be divided into two clearly distinct parts. The first had taken a very long time and had mainly consisted of charges and replies regarding the conduct of the IRO and even of its constituent members. For his part, he had nothing to say on that subject because he did not have all the necessary information and also because his Government had not been a member of the organization. From that part of the debate, however, he had gathered the unfortunate impression that some delegations entertained serious doubts as to the purely humanitarian aspect of the problem of refugees and also that politics had perhaps made an unwelcome intrusion into the question. Furthermore, he deplored a situation in which refugees might find themselves mere pawns on the international chessboard. Such considerations could not fail to influence the approach of some delegations to the problem under discussion.
5. The second part of the debate had finally found its concrete expression in the joint French-United States draft resolution before the Committee. Not unnaturally that part of the debate had been taken up mainly by the statements of the French and the United States representatives. No vigorous support had been expressed for the joint proposal which seemed to have met with lukewarm acquiescence only because of the humanitarian considerations which it involved. The only firm stands had been made by the Indian delegation, which had opposed the draft resolution, and the Mexican and Brazilian delegations, which had expressed grave misgivings about its ultimate implications. Although many had asked very pertinent and relevant questions, no definite answer had been received and the situation was extremely confused. Indeed, never before had the Committee been faced with a proposal which was so vague both in its text and in its implications.
6. It had been asked during the debate whether the future definition of refugees would include people whose plight was much worse than that of the refugees defined in the IRO Constitution. The answer had been both "yes" and "no". It had been said that the High Commissioner would first be concerned with the refugees covered by the IRO Constitution, but that other categories might be added at some later stage. What other categories, or when and how they might so be added had never been made clear. Statements as to whether the IRO had completed its task had also been contradictory in the extreme. Nor had it ever been clearly stated whether the IRO could continue; apparently it could, although it now required a higher international status than that conferred by a membership of only eighteen States. It had also been asked whether the High Commissioner would be concerned with legal protection only or whether he might also provide some form of material assistance t refugees. Again the answer had been both "yes" and "no". He would at first provide only legal protection, but that would not exclude material assistance in the future. As to the financial implications of the proposal, the Secretariat itself had been unable to provide estimates for ht whole scheme. The general impression was of utter confusion.
7. The position, as he saw it, was that the United Nations had received a memorandum from the IRO which made it clear that the IRO proposed to bring its operations to an end on 30 June 1950. The same paragraph of the memorandum, however, also stated that the problem facing the organization "may never be completely resolved". Indeed, it was stated that about 292,000 refugees would still be in need of assistance after the IRO had ceased operation and that, in addition, there would be a very large number of refugees requiring legal protection. Clearly, the proposal under discussion would saddle the United Nations with all the unfinished tasks of the IRO because the organization had apparently come to the conclusion that it was time its work was taken over by someone else. Yet, although paragraph 8 of the memorandum had itself stressed "the need to avoid any break in continuity" in that field, it was alleged that the problem was not one of continuing the work of the IRO. If that was not the problem, what was it?
8. As far as he could see, the tasks which had confronted the IRO in the past could only increase in the future, for paragraph 13 of the memorandum clearly stated that allowance should be made for a "continuous flow of refugees". At the same time, however, it was proposed that the High Commissioner should be concerned only with the refugees covered by the High Commissioner should be concerned only with the refugees covered by the IRO Constitution, namely, the statutory refugees dating from the First World War and those who had been brought into existence by the fascist and Nazi aggression in the Second World War. As for as he knew, the fascist and Nazi regimes no longer existed, and he was somewhat at a loss, therefore, to grasp the full purport of the mysterious reference to a "continuous flow of refugees". The only other refugees in the world were the Jewish, Middle Eastern and Indian refugees. Yet it was not proposed to bring them under the competence of the High Commissioner. Who were then the unknown refugees for whom the Committee was being asked to make provision without even knowing whether they would require legal protection or material assistance or both?
9. The draft resolution contained a very large number of hopes, aspirations and theoretical possibilities which might or might not materialize; if they did materialize, they might do so in some totally unexpected form. Only three clear results would be achieved by the adoption of the draft resolution; a High Commissioner's Office would be established, its main task would be to provide legal protection to refugees, and, at the beginning, it would abide by the definitions of the IRO Constitution. Its competence might extend to some other categories of refugees, but no one knew which. Indeed, the Committee was being asked to make provisions for an unknown number of refugees, over an unknown period of time and at an unknown cost to the United Nations.
10. It was clear from the third paragraph of the preamble to the draft resolution that the main function of the High Commissioner would be to provide the necessary legal protection for refugees. It was true that as a result of certain political upheavals various categories of people had become either refugees or exiles and had thus lost their nationality de facto or de jure. The disabilities entailed by statelessness could only be removed if the people in question acquired a new nationality in their country of residence until which time their situation obviously raised certain legal problems. In his opinion, it was for the countries in which the refugees and exiles resided to grant them naturalization and in the meantime to provide the necessary protection. Yet the Governments concerned seemed to imply that the protection of refugees was the responsibility of the United Nations as a whole, and apparently suggested the appointment of the High Commissioner for the mere purpose of being reminded themselves of their own duty to grant protection and eventually naturalization. That was an utterly unnecessary expense, especially when it was remembered that other countries had much graver problems of their own to consider. As the countries involved were all members of the IRO, he did not see why the organization should not continue as in the past.
11. Regarding the definition of the term "refugee", it was proposed that the matter should be left to the discretion of the General Assembly, which might make appropriate decisions from time to time. It was difficult to vote for hypothetical possibilities. It was true that the General Assembly might one day decide to include the seven million refugees in Pakistan within the High Commissioner's terms of reference. But Mr. Bokhari could not, on that mere assumption, ask the refugees in his own country, who sadly lacked food and shelter and not merely legal protection, to forgo part of the already inadequate help they received for unspecified categories of refugees, over an unspecified period, to be administered by a High Commissioner whose relationship with them also remained unspecified. When he asked that the IRO should continue looking after its own refugees and not burden the whole of the United Nations with that task, he was doing no more than the member States of the IRO themselves when they told Pakistan to look after its own refugees without any help from the United Nations in the guise of the High Commissioner.
12. In view of the above considerations, his delegation would vote against the joint draft resolution before the Committee.
13. Mrs. AFNAN (Iraq) expressed full support for the views outlined by the representative of Pakistan. In her opinion, the Australian amendments carried dangerous political implications and she would have to vote against them. She could only partially support the Byelorussian draft resolution.
14. Mr. AZKOUL (Lebanon) said that, small though his country was, it could not overlook the fact that a certain number of refugees would require legal protection, even if the provision of such protection entailed additional financial burdens. In his opinion, there was nothing vague about the draft resolution; indeed, the duties of the High Commissioner were clearly outlined in paragraph 4 of the Annex. As to material assistance, that problem arose for particular categories in particular circumstances and for particular reasons. It could not be dealt with in a resolution of a general character and should be left to the discretion of the General Assembly whenever the need arose. That consideration determined his attitude to the amendment which suggested that the Economic and Social Council should at that stage make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding the problem of material assistance.
15. He agreed with the amendments proposed by the United Kingdom delegation (A/C.3/L.32). Indeed, he did not feel that the Economic and Social Council should have the authority to give directives to the High Commissioner on questions which might have political implications.
16. The Australian amendments (A/C.3/L.31) introduced an element of great uncertainty regarding the functions and activities of the High Commissioner. He was not prepared to grant him such wide and undefined powers and would, therefore, vote against the amendments.
17. In his opinion, there was no real incompatibility between the joint draft resolution and the Byelorussian draft. He was in full agreement with the preamble to the Byelorussian proposal and would vote in its favour, while abstaining on the operative part, which he felt concerned other countries than his own.
18. Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) would not vote for the Byelorussian draft resolution (A/C.3/L.25), because, by laying stress exclusively on repatriation, it failed to cover all aspects of the problem. Moreover, repatriation could not be the appropriate solution for the Spanish Republican refugees. Provision for repatriation, was, in fact included, along with assimilation and assistance in the countries of refuge, in the annex to the joint French and United States draft resolution.
19. Replying to the representative of Pakistan, he regretted that a confusion between refugees and stateless persons continued, despite the exhaustive discussions on that point in the Economic and Social Council. Stateless persons would be protected by the High Commissioner, only in their character of refugees, since the IRO definitions did not cover stateless persons as such. The French variants in the joint draft resolution went further than resolution 248 (IX) A of the Economic and Social Council, because it made the legal protection of the refugees an international concern, instead of leaving it to the Governments to deliver the requisite documents through their courts.
20. The French delegation could not acquiesce in the proposal that no provision should be made for material assistance. The Norwegian representative had inquired what funds would be forthcoming for that purpose. The fact that the General Assembly would not grant them must be faced; it had undoubtedly already influenced the views of some delegations. Nevertheless, there were the best possible grounds for assuming that European Governments - and perhaps some others - would respond generously to the appeals of the High Commissioner when he pointed out to them that the so-called hard core consisted of the aged and were in dire need of relief. France bordered on Germany and realized only too well - as did others of Germany recovered its full sovereignty. The French delegation had indeed dealt with such a situation in a second draft resolution (A/C.3/L.27), which unfortunately had not been fully discussed.
21. The Third Committee was not called upon to discuss the termination of the IRO; that would undoubtedly give rise to further undesirable controversies. The setting up of a new agency and the finding of a new approach to the problem were its immediate business. That was why the French delegation had proposed that the IRO definitions should only provisionally be applied by the High Commissioner, subject to frequent review by the General Assembly.
22. The Pakistani representative had objected to the resolution on the grounds that it gave no decisive answer to the questions posed by the refugee problem. It was obvious, however, that the Committee was divided about the possible solutions; the joint draft resolution had provided for that by including a number of variants, in order that delegations should be able to express their preferences.
23. The continuous flow of refugees, to which the Pakistani representative had alluded, was, unfortunately, a fact beyond the control of the IRO or the High Commissioner. The High Commissioner's terms of reference should, therefore, not be restricted in such a way as to enable him to protect one category of such refugees but to preclude him from protecting others who had fled their countries because conditions had become intolerable to them. To go even further, and to say that immigration countries which wished to protect refugees might be precluded from doing so on account of their own legal restrictions was as unrealistic ad accusing such countries of exterminating the refugees on their territory. In France before 1947 - later statistics were unavailable - approximately 100,000 refugees per year had been granted citizenship; nevertheless, the French Government could not possibly confer that privilege on all and sundry without due investigation. Many refugees, moreover, were not candidates for citizenship, but hoped to return eventually to their homes. While the French Government willingly accorded them hospitality, their maintenance was the principal problem. Legal protection alone would not solve it.
24. France was not seeking the creation of a High Commissioner's Office for selfish reasons, but because it was, as always, deeply concerned with the problem as one international in character, and had therefore taken the lead in proposing a solution. It regarded it as its sacred duty to grasp a striking opportunity for the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
25. Of the amendments to the joint draft resolution he could accept the Australian (A/C.3/L.31), and he would accept the Lebanese resolution (A/C.3/L.30) to the effect that the High Commissioner should be elected by the General Assembly rather than by the Economic and Social Council. He could also accept the United Kingdom amendments (A/C.3/L.32). He could not, however, accept the second Israel amendment (A/C.3/L.33), because it was obviously merely the United States variant of paragraph 3 (b) in another guise.
26. Mrs. ROOSEVELT (United States of America) said that the proposal that a High Commissioner's Office should be set up had been made a full year before the date when the IRO was to terminate its operations because it was essential that there should be no hiatus during which a certain number of refugees would be without protection. The IRO did not expect to leave any substantial problems behind it. Its achievements would have been considerable; it would have spent 400,000,000 dollars and resettled or repatriated nearly 1,000,000 persons. In addition, it was attempting to resettle or repatriate all those eligible for such treatment and had allocated 22,000,000 dollars for the care of the so-called hard core. The gloomy prospect depicted by the French representative might never become a reality. It was agreed, however, that a number of refugees and stateless persons would remain; such persons had always been a problem, ever since the end of the First World War. Such cases would have to be continually reviewed by the General Assembly.
27. The United States delegation had been unable to reach a compromise with the French delegation on three principal issues - the question of definitions, that of the method of the High Commissioner's appointment and that of the problem of material assistance.
28. She felt very strongly that the definitions in the IRO onstitution should be retained, because they had been carefully thought out, because experience had shown their practical effectiveness, and because they had been accepted by the General Assembly. Further consideration might be given to other categories of refugees at a later stage; but they must be accepted by the General Assembly. The number of persons who might be affected was irrelevant; the essential point was that the General Assembly must be fully cognizant of the situation in which such new categories should be accepted. The decision on the situation should remain in the hands of the General Assembly.
29. The election of a High Commissioner would be an innovation and might set an undesirable precedent. Admittedly, it had very recently been decided that the proposed High Commissioner for Libya should be elected; that was the first instance in the history of the United Nations. The procedure of setting up small High Commissioner's offices outside the framework of the United Nations administration might, however, be most unwise, because it would increase administrative difficulties. The High Commissioner must, of course, enjoy a certain freedom of action - which was accorded him, indeed, in the joint draft resolution - but it was even more important that he should be intimately linked with the overriding authority of the Secretary-General.
30. Furthermore, legal protection might be of far greater value to the refugee than material assistance. He might not need such assistance if his papers were in order, so that he could obtain the requisite work or travel permits. Any situation in which a refugee had his papers in order but was faced with starvation would be most painful. An even more distressing situation, however, would be one in which the refugee was faced with inevitable starvation owing to his lack of proper papers.
31. The granting of legal protection had the additional advantage that it would require only a small administrative staff. The Secretary-General had made an estimate; the United States delegation believed that even less would be needed. It would, in any case, add little to the general budget of the United Nations, so that the considerable results obtained would more than justify the expense involved. Legal protection, therefore, should be the first consideration. The refugee should feel that he had in the High Commissioner a friend in need and in his Office a place to which he could apply for the kind of assistance which would enable him to support himself. She felt most strongly that, while the High Commissioner might occasionally find it necessary to raise the question of material assistance, the General Assembly should approve such requests. The Assembly should not assume obligations without being fully aware what those obligations involved. Even requests for material aid for the "hard core" should be presented to the General Assembly by the High Commissioner only as the occasion arose.
32. It had been suggested that the IRO might continue its operations. That would involve the grant of further material assistance on a large scale. The eighteen countries which comprised the IRO might be unwilling to remain the only countries to bear such a burden, and therefore any such proposal would have to be very carefully considered. The advisability of such a suggestion at that juncture was open to the gravest doubt. She had, however, every sympathy with the situation in which the Indian and Pakistani representatives found themselves.
33. Turning to the amendments to the joint draft resolution, she could not accept those submitted by the Australian delegation; the General Assembly could always authorize the High Commissioner to discharge additional functions, but it would be inopportune to provide for that at that stage. She could not accept the United Kingdom amendments, because it would be more in accordance with regular procedure to continue to employ the channels of the Economic and Social Council. She would accept the first and second Israel Amendments, but not the third, and the first and second Lebanese amendments, but not the third. As for the Byelorussian draft resolution, it was merely a cloak for the same proposal which had been presented over and over again. It disregarded the facts that a large number of refugees did not wish to be repatriated and that the number of those who were going to be repatriated was becoming smaller and smaller. She would therefore vote against it.
34. Mr. AQUINO (Philippines) said that he would have been prepared to support the original United States draft resolution (A/C.3/L/28), but the new joint draft resolution (A/CF.3/L.29) had some undesirable features. In some respects it was too bread and in others too narrow. He supported the view held by the United States delegation that, for the time being, the activities of the High Commissioner should be restricted to providing legal protection and that the question of granting material assistance should be left to future decisions of the General Assembly. As the representative of a country which had not belonged to IRO, he thought it would be unwise for the United Nations to assume responsibility for all the tasks which that organization might leave unfinished when it terminated its activities. The financial implications should be given due consideration before any decision regarding material assistance was taken.
35. Referring to the French representative's remarks concerning statelessness, he said that the question was extremely delicate. Persons who were not actually refugees might still wish to leave their country because its political atmosphere was uncongenial, and they would need legal protection in the same way as actual refugees. He emphasized that the whole question was fraught with difficulties and stated that his country would not accept any interference in its domestic laws governing naturalization.
36. Mrs. CASTLE (United Kingdom) explained that her amendments (A/C.3/L.32) were intended to postpone any final decision on the question whether the High Commissioner should hold his authority direct from the General Assembly or through the intermediary of the Economic and Social Council. That was a question of detail which did not affect the fundamental issues, so there was no need to settle it immediately. She hoped, therefore, that her amendments under the letter A would be adopted. In case they should be rejected, she had submitted further amendments under the letter B providing that the High Commissioner should be directly responsible to the General Assembly. It was her delegation's opinion, at that stage of the discussion, that the High Commissioner should be directly responsible to the highest organ of the United Nations in order to maintain the high personal prestige and authority necessary for the exercise of his functions. Thus, if the amendments under the letter A were rejected, she would be obliged to press for the adoption of those under the letter B.
37. Finally, she reiterated her delegation's firm support of the French variant in the joint draft resolution with regard to the definition of the refugees who were to come under the competence of the High Commissioner. The French variant provided that a single definition of the term "refugee" should be adopted, and all persons who fulfilled the requirements of that definition would automatically be eligible to receive the services provided by the High Commissioner's Office. The United States variant on that point provided that the Assembly should decide in each specific case whether or not it wished to accept responsibility for a certain category of refugees and the adoption of that text might well lead to unjust discrimination.
38. The CHAIRMAN announced the closure of the discussion and proceeded to put the various draft resolutions to the vote. He first called for a vote on the draft resolution submitted by the Byelorussian SSR (A/C.3/L.25).
39. Mr. STEPANENKO (Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic) requested that his draft resolution should be put to the vote paragraph by paragraph.
The first paragraph of the Byelorussian draft resolution was rejected by 21 votes to 9, with 15 abstentions.
The second paragraph was rejected by 20 votes to 9, with 16 abstentions.
The third paragraph was rejected by 16 votes to 7, with 22 abstentions.
The fourth paragraph was rejected by 15 votes to 7, with 22 abstentions.
40. Mr. DEDIJER (Yugoslavia) explained that he had voted in favour of the Byelorussian draft resolution, which laid special emphasis on repatriation, in the hope that the USSR would repatriate its citizens who had lost the right to hospitality in Yugoslavia.
41. The CHAIRMAN opened the voting on the joint French and United States draft resolution (A/C.3/L.29), together with the variants and amendments.
42. Mr.KATZNELSON (Israel) said that, as his third amendment (A/C.3/L.33) had not proved a successful compromise solution, he would withdraw it in favour of the French variant for paragraph 3(b) of the joint draft resolution.
43. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the first Lebanese amendment (A/C.3/L.30) for the insertion of a new paragraph between the first and second paragraphs of the preamble, reading as follows:
"Recognizing the responsibility of the United Nations for the protection of refugees".
The first Lebanese amendment was adopted by 18 votes to 8, with 16 abstentions.
44. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the first Australian amendment (A/C.3/L.31) for the addition of the following words at the end of the first operative paragraph: "to discharge the functions contained therein and such other functions as the General Assembly may from time to time confer upon it".
The first Australian amendment was adopted by 18 votes to 9, with 19 abstentions.
45. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the first Israel amendment (A/C.3/L.33) proposing that the word "establishment" should be replaced by the word "functioning" in paragraph 3 (a) of the draft resolution.
The first Israel amendment was adopted by 17 votes to 1, with 26 abstentions.
46. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the second Israel amendment proposing that the final part of the French variant for paragraph 3 (b), after the word "regarding", should be altered to read: "the extension of categories of refugees entitled to protection to persons not covered by the Constitution of the IRO".
The second Israel amendment was rejected by 22 votes to 4, with 17 abstentions.
The French variant for paragraph 3 (b) was adopted by 19 votes to 10, with 15 abstentions.
47. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the first United Kingdom amendment (A/C.3/L.32) which proposed that paragraph 1 (c) of the Annex to the joint draft resolution should be replaced by the following text:
"(c) Receive policy directions from the United Nations according to methods to be determined by the General Assembly."
The first United Kingdom amendment was adopted by 22 votes to 6, with 18 abstentions.
The French variant for paragraph 3 of the Annex was adopted by 18 votes to 14, with 11 abstentions.
48. The CHAIRMAN called for a vote on the additional paragraph 5 submitted by the French delegation, which read as follows:
"The High Commissioner shall distribute among private and, as appropriate, official agencies which he deems best qualified to administer such assistance any funds, public or private, which he may receive for this purpose. The accounts relating to these funds should be periodically verified by the auditors of the United Nations. For the information of the General Assembly, the High Commissioner should include in his annual report a statement of his activities in this field."
At the request of the United States representative, a vote was taken by roll-call.
Syria, having been drawn by lot by the chairman, was called upon to vote first.
|In favour:||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, France, Greece, Guatemala, Israel, Lebanon, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden.|
|Against:||Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United States of America, Uruguay, Brazil, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Chile, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, India, Iraq, Liberia, Philippines, Poland.|
|Abstaining:||Syria, Thailand, Venezuela, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Argentina, Bolivia, Burma, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia.|
The paragraph submitted by the French delegation was adopted by 17 votes to 14, with 16 abstentions, 12 representatives being absent.
49. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the new paragraph 6 submitted by the Australian delegation (A/C.3/L.31):
"The High Commissioner shall engage in such additional activities, including repatriation and resettlement activities, as the General Assembly may determine".
The new paragraph was adopted by 14 votes to 6, with 26 abstentions.
50. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the second United Kingdom amendment (A/C.3/L.32) which proposed that paragraph 5 of the Annex (now paragraph 7) should be replaced by the following text:
"The High Commissioner should report to the United Nations periodically as determined by the General Assembly".
That amendment was adopted by 18 votes to 5, with 22 abstentions.
51. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the French variant for paragraph 7 (now paragraph 9) of the Annex, as amended by the representative of Lebanon. The text read: "The High commissioner should be elected by the General Assembly on the nomination of the Secretary-General..."
That text was adopted by 19 votes to 6, with 21 abstentions.
Paragraph 7 (now paragraph 9) was adopted as a whole, with the French variant, by 19 votes to 10, with 15 abstentions.
52. The CHAIRMAN called for a vote on the joint draft resolution as a whole, as amended by the preceding votes.
53. Mr. DEMCHENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) explained that he would vote against the joint draft resolution because, in his opinion, it had been expressly prepared by the representatives of France, the United States and the United Kingdom in order to carry out their policy of undermining repatriation and recruiting cheap labour from among the refugees. He reiterated his opinion that the only proper solution to the problem would be to create favourable conditions for repatriation and said it was for that reason that he had supported the Byelorussian draft resolution.
54. Mr. BOKHARI (Pakistan) said that he would be obliged to vote against the joint draft resolution for the simple reason that his country, faced as it was with a vast refugee problem of its own, could ill afford to contribute towards an organization from which it seemed unlikely to benefit.
55. Mr. PENTEADO (Brazil), Mr. DEDIJER (Yugoslavia) and Mrs. KIRPILANI (India) said that they would vote against the joint draft resolution for the reasons they had given in earlier statements.
56. Mrs. AFNAN (Iraq) explained that she would vote against the joint draft resolution because its provisions were not wide enough to include all refugees and because she thought that the definition of the term "refugee" should be settled before the Assembly decided on the principle of establishing a High Commissioner's Office.
57. Mr. ALEMAYEHOU (Ethiopia) said that, although his country wished to co-operate in assistance to refugees, he would be obliged to neither abstain from voting on the joint draft resolution because it did not explain the financial implications nor give a clear definition of, the field of action of the High Commissioner.
At the request of the representative of Pakistan, a vote was taken by roll-call.
Lebanon, having been drawn by lot by the Chairman, was called upon to vote first.
|In favour:||Lebanon, Liberia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Greece, Guatemala, Israel.|
|Against:||Pakistan, Poland, Ukrainian, Soviet Socialist, Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United States of America, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Brazil, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia, India, Iraq.|
|Abstaining:||Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, Yemen, Afghanistan, Burma, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran.|
The joint draft resolution, as amended, was adopted by 24 votes to 12, with 10 abstentions, there being 13 representatives absent.
58. The CHAIRMAN called for a vote on the additional draft resolution submitted by the French delegation (A/C.3/L.27).
The French draft resolution (A/C.3/L.27) was adopted by 18 votes to 8, with 18 abstentions.
The meeting rose at 6.15 p.m.