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Henry Judd

UN Best Measures Its Achievements by Paper Tonnage

(30 December 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 52, 30 December 1946, p. 8.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The United Nations General Assembly has now adjourned and the delegates have gone home. Only the Security Council remains in session, disputing the issues of Greek border incidents. In one respect at least, the UN gathering was a massive and weighty matter. The New York Times reports that 200 tons of paper were used in printing and mimeographing reports and resolutions, and a total of 70,000,000 impressions were made!

But one solid (and sufficient) impression was left on the mind of the general public that 200 more tons of paper couldn’t counteract – namely, that the UN IN REALITY did nothing. accomplished nothing and took not the first essential forward step toward a durable world peace.

A study and summary of the seven weeks of the Assembly meeting bear out this general public impression.

Play Safe on Franco

In last week’s Labor Action we analyzed the so-called resolution on disarmament and pointed out how, in reality, it meant nothing beyond an agreement to continue negotiations and efforts to make an atomic energy-atomic bomb deal. These negotiations are now continuing and meeting with no success. This can last indefinitely – or, to be more exact, until the great powers are ready to launch the next war.

On the issue of veto power and the right of the Big Five to block any action not suitable to their taste, no important action was accomplished beyond the passing of a resolution “urging” the great powers not to abuse their use of the veto power.

This impotent resolution did not even contain a censure of the powers for having utilized the veto to their narrow, imperialist advantages.

On the question of trusteeship and control of colonies, the General Assembly merely transferred control of former League of Nations mandates to control by the United Nations. A Trusteeship Council was established, the purpose of which will be to carry out the trusteeship agreements over New Guinea (mandated to Australia); Western Samoa (to New Zealand); Ruanda-Urundi (to Belgium); Tanganyika, British Cameroons and British Togoland (to England). The imperialist colonial-mandate system of the defunct League of Nations was simply continued under a new title. Not a single step toward colonial liberation was recorded. A resolution condemning the treatment of Indians in South Africa was passed, but no improvement in this treatment has yet been heard of.

Bury UNRRA Officially

On relief and refugee problems, the General Assembly took the step of permitting the end of UNRRA and refusing to vote for the creation of a new international relief agency, as proposed by LaGuardia. Instead, the whole matter has been passed back to the will and interest of the individual governments concerned. UNRRA is now dead and buried officially, by the United Nations.

And this, in essence, was the “work” of the General Assembly of the United Nations. We have not yet heard what is to be done with the 200 tons of paper, but recommend that our readers forward suggestions to the Secretary General himself.

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