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We regret that the Angolan Government has seen fit, in an apparent spirit of confrontation, to press its application now, before time and developments in Angola might have permitted a resolution of our concerns. This is particularly regrettable since the application cannot be acted upon by the General Assembly in any event for another three months.
For the draft resolution to recommend the admission of Angola, see U.N. Doc. S/12110. Under art. 4, par. 1, of the U.N. Charter, membership "is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations."
When the issue of Angola's admission to the United Nations came up in the Security Council on November 22, 1976, the United States abstained. The Security Council voted 13-0-1, with the People's Republic of China not participating, to recommend to the General Assembly that Angola be admitted to the United Nations (Resolution 397 (1976)). In explanation of the U.S. vote, Ambassador William W. Scranton stated that the U.S. decision to abstain was made "out of respect for the sentiments expressed by our African friends." He added:
We still have serious doubts about the true independence of the current Angolan Government. It is hard to reconcile the presence of a massive contingent of Cuban troops with the claim that Angola enjoys truly independent status. The Angolan Government exercises only tenuous control over much of Angola that still resists domination by the regime in Luanda. The fact that it depends heavily on Cuban forces for the maintenance of its security casts doubt on the degree of popular support which it can command within the country.
It is clear that the Cuban Army, a foreign, non-African force, is waging a bloody and difficult guerrilla war in three separate areas of Angola. We have heard disturbing reports that these Cuban occupation forces have been carrying out military assaults upon undefended villages and towns in Angola. These reported attacks include the killing of refugees, the burning of villages and the slaughter of the people's main source of food and livelihood, their cattle. Reportedly several thousand Angolans have fled from this recent onslaught across the border into Namibia.
We continue to believe that there is absolutely no justification for such a large foreign armed presence in an African state.
Press Release USUN-157 (76) Corr. 2, Nov. 22, 1976. U.N. Doc. S/PV.1974, Nov. 22, 1976.
On December 1, 1976, the General Assembly by vote of 116-0-1 admitted Angola to U.N. membership. The United States abstained. UNGA Res. 31/44.
The United States supported the admission of the Republic of Seychelles to membership in the United Nations, joining in the unanimous vote of the United Nations Security Council on Resolution 394 (1976) on August 16, 1976. On September 21, 1976, the General Assembly adopted by acclamation Resolution 31/1 admitting the Republic of Seychelles to membership.
For statement in the Security Council by Ambassador W. Tapley Bennett, Jr., Deputy U.S. Representative to the U.N., in support of Seychelles' admission, see U.N. Doc. S/PV.1952, Aug. 16, 1976, pp. 24-26.
The United States vetoed the admission of Vietnam to the United Nations on November 15, 1976, casting the sole negative vote in the Security Council on an 11-power resolution (S/12226) which would have recommended Vietnam's application for U.N. membership. The vote was 14-1, with no abstentions. In explanation of veto, Ambassador William W. Scranton, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, stated, in part:
The United States voted against the application for membership in the United Nations by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, not because we doubt that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is able to carry out the obligations of the United Nations Charter. Rather, the United States has serious doubts about the willingness of Vietnam to do so. It is this lack of demonstrated will which leads the United States to conclude that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam does not meet the standards established by Article 4 of the United Nations Charter.
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has failed so far to manifest satisfactory humanitarian or practical concern regarding American servicemen missing in action. It has failed, despite the information available to it, to account satisfactorily for Americans missing in action and to return the remains of those killed in the recent conflict in Indochina, despite repeated efforts by the United States to persuade them to do so. We cannot help but conclude from the Vietnamese refusal to provide a fuller accounting that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam persists in its attempt to play upon the deep anguish and the uncertainty of the families of these men in order to obtain economic and political advantage.
Through its record and policies, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has convinced my government that it is not willing to carry out obligations of the Charter. As we all know, these obligations embrace not only the maintenance of international peace and security but observance of human rights.
Should the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, by its actions, demonstrate its willingness to carry out fully the Charter's obligations, the United States for its part would reconsider its position in regard to a renewed application for entry into the United Nations.
Press Release USUN-151(76), Nov. 15, 1976; Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXV, No. 1956, Dec. 20, 1976, pp. 740-741. On Nov. 26, 1976, the U.N. General Assembly adopted Res. 31/21 by a vote of 124-1 (U.S.), with three abstentions, in which it expressed “deep regret and concern” over the veto of Vietnam's admission to the United Nations. Ambassador Scranton, in a statement to the Assembly, restated the U.S. position and what was meant by an accounting of the missing in action (MIA's). He said, in part, "we ... expect from the authorities in Hanoi ... that they will provide all the information in their possession on our MIA's, that they will return to us all recoverable remains of our dead, ... and that they will carry out serious search efforts to ascertain the fate of others.” Press Release USUN-165(76), Nov. 26, 1976; Dept. of State Bulletin, op. cit. supra.
The United States supported the admission of the Independent State of Western Samoa to membership in the United Nations, joining in the unanimous vote of the Security Council on Resolution 399 (1976) on December 1, 1976, which recommended that Western Samoa be admitted, and in General Assembly Resolution 104 adopted by acclamation on December 15, 1976, approving the admission.
For supporting statements by U.S. Representatives, see Press Releases USUN-173(76), Dec. 1, 1976, and USUN-189(76), Dec. 15, 1976. The President of the General Assembly reported that the new state wished to be referred to in the U.N. as the Independent State of Samoa.
Representation United Nations
On January 12, 1976, the Security Council opened its debate on the Middle East by voting 11-1-3, with two members not participating, to invite the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to participate with the rights of a U.N. member nation. The United States cast the
a sole dissenting vote. The procedural proposal had been made by the President of the Council, who stated that it was not being put forward under rule 37 or 39, “but, if it is adopted by the Council, the invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organization ... will confer on it the same rights of participation as are conferred when a member state is invited to participate under rule 37." Ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, in opposing the measure, said:
What is at issue today in significant measure is the integrity of the processes of the Security Council ..
Rule 37 of our provisional rules states that:
Any Member of the United Nations which is not a member of the Security Council may be invited, as a result of a decision of the Security Council, to participate, without vote, in the discussion of any question brought before the Security Council when the Security Council considers that the interests of that Member are specially affected or when a Member brings a matter to the attention of the Security Council in accordance with Article 35 (1) of the Charter.
it goes without saying that a member of the United Nations is a state. We do not have members, and the charter does not provide for members, which are not states. The Palestine Liberation Organization is not a state. It does not administer a defined territory. It does not have the attributes of a government of a state. It does not claim to be a state.
Moreover, the PLO . . . does not recognize the right to exist of the State of Israel, which is a member state, and whose right to exist is guaranteed by the charter which this Council is pledged to uphold.
Finally, the PLO, which is not a state, and which does not recognize the right to exist of Israel, which is a member state, further refused to acknowledge the authority of this Council, which in Resolutions 242 and 338 has undertaken to uphold the rights of the states of the Middle East.
For the full text of Ambassador Moynihan's statement, see Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIV, No. 1912, Feb. 16, 1976, p. 189. Under art. 27 of the U.N. Charter, "Decisions of the Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members" and are not subject to veto.
On March 22, 1976, the United States again voted in the Security Council against inviting the PLO to participate with all the rights of a member state. The decision of the Security Council on that date to invite the PLO to participate in its deliberations on the situation in the territories occupied by Israel was adopted by a vote of 11-1(U.S.)-3. Ambassador William W. Scranton, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, made clear that the United States would not have opposed granting a hearing to the PLO under rule 39, under which hearings had been granted to “legitimate national liberation movements."
For the statement of Ambassador Scranton, see Press Release USUN-36(76), Corr. 1, Mar. 22, 1976; Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIV, No. 1921, Apr. 19, 1976, p. 526.
When the Security Council began consideration on November 1, 1976, of the situation in the occupied Arab territories, the United States called for a vote on an Egyptian proposal to permit participation by the PLO. The proposal was approved, again by a vote of 11-1(U.S.)-3, and Ambassador Scranton again stated the U.S. objection to the procedural use of rule 37 to permit the PLO to participate with the same rights as a member state.
U.N. Doc. S/PV.1966, Nov. 1, 1976; Press Release USUN-136(76), Nov. 1, 1976.
Participation in Debate The U.N. Security Council, on June 9, 1976, adopted a proposal that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) be invited to participate
in the debate on the agenda item entitled “The question of the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable right ...."The vote was 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions. The United States cast the sole negative vote. The President of the Council said that the proposal was not formulated under rule 37 or rule 39 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure, but that the invitation to the PLO would confer on the latter the same rights of participation as were conferred when a member state was invited to participate under rule 37.
Ambassador Albert W. Sherer, Jr., Deputy U.S. Representative on the Security Council, requested that the proposal be put to a vote on the grounds that it was not in accordance with the rules of procedure. He stated that the United States had no objection to hearing Palestinian views and was objecting solely to gratuitous departure from the Council's rules.
See U.N. Doc. S/PV.1924, June 9, 1976; Press Release USUN-61(76), June 9, 1976. The United States had previously voted, on May 4, 1976, against PLO participation in the Security Council debate on the situation in the occupied Arab territories, on the same procedural grounds. See U.N. Doc. S/PV.1916, May 4, 1976; Press Release USUN-50(76) May 4, 1976. The vote on that occasion was also 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
Observer Status The U.N. General Assembly adopted on December 20, 1976, by a vote of 113 to 0, with 13 abstentions (U.S.), Resolution 31/152, inviting the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) to participate, 'in the capacity of observer, in the sessions and work of the General Assembly and of all international conferences convened under the auspices of the General Assembly. The resolution also stated that SWAPO was considered entitled to participate as an observer in the sessions and work of all international conferences convened under the auspices of other organs of the United Nations.
U.S. Representative Stephen Hess, in a statement to Committee IV (Trusteeship) on December 10, explained the U.S. refusal to vote on the draft resolution:
The United States has abstained on . . . (A/RES/31/152], concerning observer status for the South West Africa People's Organization. As U.S. spokesmen have indicated many times, we view SWAPO as an important element of any future state of Namibia, but there are other Namibian voices which must also be heard. We do not consider SWAPO to be the sole legitimate representative of all the Namibian people. This resolution's designation of SWAPO would seem to preclude any role for any other Namibians at the United Nations. The United States cannot support this view, nor do we believe it advances the prospects for negotiations.
Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXVI, No. 1960, Jan. 17, 1977, p. 45.