Charter Committee Approves Draft Declaration on Prevention of Threats to Peace

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Charter Committee approves draft declaration on prevention of threats to peace

The Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization at its 1988 session (New York, 22 February--11 March) completed work on a draft Declaration on the prevention and removal of disputes and situations likely to threaten international peace and security. The document will be submitted to the General Assembly at its forty-third session.

Under the text, General Assembly would solemly declare that States should act so as to prevent in their international relations the emergence or aggravation of disputes. To that end, they should develop their relations on the basis of sovereign equality of States and in such a manner as to enhance the effectiveness of the collective security systems through the effective implementation of the provisions of the Charter.

States Members of regional arrangements or agencies should make every effort to prevent or remove local disputes through such agencies, the text states. The Security Council should consider encouraging and, where appropriate, endorsing such efforts at the regional level. Those efforts should be also supported by the General Assembly and encouraged by the Secretary-General.

The Assembly would declare that nothing in the Declaration should be construed as prejudicing the provisions of the Charter, or the rights and duties of States, or the scope of the functions and powers of the United Nations organs. It would also declare that nothing in the Declaration "could in any way prejudice the right to self-determination, freedom and independence of peoples forcibly deprived of that right".

Committee Chairman Bengt Broms (Finland) described the Declaration as the first within the United Nations to deal with prevention of international disputes and situations which might endanger the maintenance of international peace and secuirty.

Among the texts considered during elaboration of the Declaration was one submitted by Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and Spain--containing a draft declaration on the prevention and removal by the United Nations of disputes, situations which may lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute. …