Page images
PDF
EPUB

should prevail in making country assignments to UNESCO's regional groupings. It thus reversed the 1974 UNESCO Conference's refusal to permit Israel to join the European group. See the 1974 Digest, pp. 45-47.

The Conference reaffirmed, however, the 1974 attack on Israeli educational and cultural policies in the occupied territories prior to any investigation of the facts; it also criticized Israel for its archaeological digs in Jerusalem and for altering the historical character of the city, and extended the 1974 cut-off of UNESCO program aid to Israel until those activities were halted.

On December 29, 1976, President Ford signed, on the recommendation of the Department of State, a certification for the Congress under section 302(h) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2222), that sufficient progress had been made at the recently concluded UNESCO General Conference toward reversing the antiIsraeli actions of the 1974 conference to justify a resumption of U.S. funding. The President asked Congress to authorize and appropriate funds to pay all U.S. arrearages for 1975 and 1976 (approximately $43 million) plus the regular assessments for 1977 and 1978–a total of $97.4 million.

H. Doc. 95-63, 95th Cong., 1st Sess., Jan. 20, 1977. For a discussion of the 1974 UNESCO General Conference and subsequent congressional action, see the 1974 Digest, pp. 45-47.

G. LEGAL EFFECTS OF ACTS U. N. Resolutions and Declarations In Diggs v. Richardson, Civil Action No. 75-1775, decided on December 17, 1976, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the plaintiffs sought judicial enforcement of a U.N. Security Council resolution which called upon member states to have no dealings with South Africa which impliedly recognize the legality of that country's occupation of the former U.N. territory of Namibia. The Court of Appeals held the case to be nonjusticiable.

even assuming there is an international obligation that is binding on the United States-a point we do not in any way reach on the merits (footnote omitted)—the U.N. resolution underlying that obligation does not confer rights on the citizens of the United States that are enforceable in court in the absence of implementing legislation.

The plaintiffs, including American citizens who had been denied admission to Namibia, sought declaratory and injunctive relief prohibiting the U.S. Government from continuing to deal with the South Africans concerning the importation of seal furs from

Namibia. U.N.Security Council Resolution 301, for which the United
States had voted, declares South Africa's continued presence in
Namibia a breach of international obligations and

calls
upon all states

... (d) to abstain from sending diplomatic or special missions to South Africa that include the Territory of Namibia in their jurisdiction;

(f) to abstain from entering into economic and other forms of relationship or dealings with South Africa on behalf of or concerning Namibia which may entrench its authority over the Territory ...

The Court of Appeals, applying the test used to determine whether a treaty is self-executing, found that Resolution 301 was not selfexecuting:

[W]e find that the provisions here in issue were not addressed to the judicial branch of our government. [Footnote omitted.] They do not by their terms confer rights upon individual citizens; they call upon governments to take certain action. The provisions deal with the conduct of our foreign relations, an area traditionally left to executive discretion . . . . The Resolution does not provide specific standards. The "entrenchment" standard of the resolution, while possibly of such a nature that it might be elaborated by an international tribunal, is essentially the kind of standard that is rooted in diplomacy and its incidents, rather than in conventional adjudication, and is foreign to the general experience and function of American courts. In the absence of contrary indication in the international legislative history, and in the absence of domestic legislation evincing an intention for judicial enforcement [footnote omitted], we conclude that the provisions of Resolution 301 involved here do not confer on individual citizens rights that are judicially enforceable in American domestic courts.

For a summary of the opinion of the District Court in this case, see the 1975 Digest, pp. 85-90 (Diggs et al. v. Dent).

§ 5

Self-Governing and
Non-Self-Governing Territories

Self-Determination
Puerto Rico

President Gerald R. Ford, in a statement made upon his arrival in Puerto Rico on June 26, 1976, described the relationship of Puerto Rico and the United States as “built on a simple but fundamental concept-the right of the people of Puerto Rico and the United States freely to determine the nature of their ties with one another." He stated further:

Those who might be inclined to interfere in our freely determined relations should know that such an act will be considered an intervention in the domestic affairs of Puerto Rico and the United States and will be an unfriendly act which will be resisted by appropriate means.

*

*

*

*

Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXV, No. 1935, July 26, 1976. p. 117.

U.S. policy on Puerto Rico was further delineated in an aide memoire from the Department of State to the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, dated August 11, 1976, which stated, in part:

*

U.S. policy on Puerto Rico is based on complete acceptance of Puerto Rico's right of self-determination. The United States came into possession of various non-self-governing territories at the beginning of this century, and each has been able to choose the course it wishes to follow. The Philippines chose independence in 1946; Hawaii chose statehood, and Puerto Rico chose a special commonwealth relationship with the United States which continues to evolve.

The people of Puerto Rico made that choice by approving commonwealth status and their own constitution in 1952. They reaffirmed that choice in a status referendum in 1967, participated in by 60 percent of the electorate, in which 60.41 percent voted for commonwealth status, 38.98 percent voted for statehood and 0.60 percent voted for independence. It has been the policy of the United States since 1953 that if the Puerto Rican Legislature should adopt a resolution in favor of independence, then the President would recommend to the Congress that independence be granted.

In 1953 the U.N. General Assembly explicitly recognized the self-governing status of Puerto Rico and removed Puerto Rico from the list of non-self-governing territories by adopting Resolution 748 (VIII), and it reaffirmed that decision in 1971 when it rejected an attempt to inscribe an item on Puerto Rico on its agenda. Free and open elections again will be held in Puerto Rico in November of this year.

So long as the people of Puerto Rico wish to continue this relationship with the United States, any discussion of Puerto Rico's status by any international conference or by any organ of the United Nations would be offensive to us and to the people of Puerto Rico .

Dept. of State File No. P76 0131-1287.

On December 31, 1976, President Ford issued a statement proposing “that the people of Puerto Rico and the Congress of the United States begin now to take those steps which will result in statehood for Puerto Rico." He added that he would recommend to Congress the enactment of legislation providing for the admission of Puerto Rico as a State of the Union.

White House Press Release, Dec. 31, 1976; Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 13, No. 2, Jan. 10, 1977, p. 3. The Presidential statement noted that in Oct. 1975 an Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico, appointed by the President of the U.S. and Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, recommended a new Compact of Permanent Union between Puerto Rico and the U.S., to provide maximum selfgovernment and self-determination for Puerto Rico. The President said that he had concluded that the proposed Compact did “not advance as rapidly as it might freedom and opportunity for the American citizens of Puerto Rico.” On Jan. 14, 1977, President Ford submitted to Congress draft legislation entitled “Puerto Rico Statehood Act of 1977." It was introduced on Jan. 19, 1977, as H.R. 2201, and was referred to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives.

Local Self-Government On October 21, 1976, President Ford approved Public Law 94-584 (90 Stat. 2899; 48 U.S.C. 1391 note), to provide for the establishment of constitutions for the Virgin Islands and Guam. It authorizes the people of those territories to organize governments pursuant to constitutions of their own adoption, which would be subject to submission to the Congress of the United States for possible modification or amendment and to approval thereafter by a majority of the voters in the Virgin Islands and Guam in islandwide eferendums. The text of the law follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress, recognizing the basic democratic principle of government by the consent of the governed, authorizes the peoples of the Virgin Islands and of Guam, respectively, to organize governments pursuant to constitutions of their own adoption as provided in this Act.

SEC. 2. (a) The Legislatures of the Virgin Islands and Guam, respectively, are authorized to call constitutional conventions to draft, within the existing territorial-Federal relationship, constitutions for the local self-government of the people of the Virgin Islands and Guam.

(b) Such constitutions shall(1) recognize, and be consistent with, the sovereignty of the United States over the Virgin Islands and Guam, respectively, and the supremacy of the provisions of the Constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States applicable to the Virgin Islands and Guam, respectively, including, but not limited to, those provisions of the Organic Act and Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands and the Organic Act of Guam which do not relate to local selfgovernment.

(2) provide for a republican form of government, consisting of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial;

(3) contain a bill of rights;

(4) deal with the subject matter of those provisions of the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands of 1954, as amended, and the Organic Act of Guam, as amended, respectively, which relate to local self-government;

(5) with reference to Guam, provide that the voting franchise may be vested only in residents of Guam who are citizens of the United States;

(6), provide for a system of local courts consistent with the provisions of the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands, as amended; and

(7) provide for the establishment of a system of local courts the provisions of which shall become effective no sooner than upon the enactment of legislation regulating the relationship between the local courts of Guam with the Federal judicial system.

SEC. 3. The members of such constitutional conventions shall be chosen as provided by the laws of the Virgin Islands and Guam, respectively (enacted after the date of enactment of this Act): Provided, however, That no person shall be eligible to be a member of the constitutional conventions, unless he is a citizen of the United States and qualified to vote in the Virgin Islands and Guam, respectively.

SEC. 4. The conventions shall submit to the Governor of the Virgin Islands a proposed constitution for the Virgin Islands and to the Governor of Guam a proposed constitution for Guam which shall comply with the requirements set forth in section 2(b) above. Such constitutions shall be submitted to the President of the United States by the Governors of the Virgin Islands and Guam.

SEC. 5. Within sixty calendar days after the respective date on which he has received each constitution, the President shall transmit such constitution together with his comments to the Congress. The constitution, in each case, shall be deemed to have been approved by the Congress within sixty days after its submission by the President, unless prior to that date the Congress has approved the constitution, or modified or amended it, in whole or in part, by joint resolution. As so approved or modified, the constitutions shall be submitted to the qualified voters of the Virgin Islands and Guam, respectively, for acceptance or rejection through islandwide referendums to be conducted as provided under the laws of the Virgin Islands and Guam, respectively, (enacted after the date of enactment of this Act). Upon approval by not less than a majority of the voters (counting only the affirmative or negative votes) participating in such referendums, the constitutions shall become effective in accordance with their terms. See also H. Rept. 94-507; 94th Cong., 1st Sess., and S. Rept. 94-1033, 94th Cong., 2d Sess.

a

Jurisdiction of Courts In People of Territory of Guam v. Olsen, 540 F.2d 1011 (1976), cert. granted November 15, 1976 (45 U.S. Law Week 3359), the appellant had been convicted of criminal charges in the Superior Court of Guam. He appealed to the U.S. District Court for the Territory of Guam. That court dismissed the appeal on the authority of Agana Bay Development Co. v. Supreme Court of Guam, 529 F.2d 952 (1976), where a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Organic Act of Guam, 64 Stat. 384 (1950),

« PreviousContinue »