Magazine article UN Chronicle

Trusteeship Council Reviews Conditions in Pacific Islands

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Trusteeship Council Reviews Conditions in Pacific Islands

Article excerpt

Trusteeship Council reviews conditions in Pacific Islands

The Trusteeship Council on 11 July adopted its report to the Security Council on the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, in which it reiterated that "free association is an option entirely compatible with the Trusteeship Agreement, provided that the population concerned has freely accepted it". At the same time, the Council reaffirmed "the inalienable right of the people of Micronesia to self-determination, including the right to independence, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the Trusteeship Agreement".

The fifty-second session of the Council had begun on 13 May. The Council is composed of five members: the United States as an Administering Authority and China, France, the USSR and the United Kingdom, the other permanent members of the Security Council. China, however, does not participate in the Council's work.

The Trust Territory--also known as Micronesia--was the only one of the original 11 Territories under the Trusteeship System to be designated a "strategic area" under the Charter. Because of that status, the Trusteeship Council reports to the Security Council about the conditions in Micronesia, having been assigned that task by the Security Council.

The report (T/L.1245), which dealt with political, economic, social, educational, cultural and environmental issues, was adopted by a show-of-hands vote of 3 in favour (France, United Kingdom, United States), to 1 against (USSR), with no abstentions.

The Council also adopted, without objection, a resolution (T/L.1246) setting out the terms of reference for a United Nations Visiting Mission to the Trust Territory in 1985. Under the resolution, the Visiting Mission would visit the Trust Territory in July 1985, and would be composed of members of the Council wishing to participate, except for the Administering Authority, the United States, which would provide and escort officer.

Before adopting its report as a whole, the Council held a separate vote on the four sections comprising the conclusions and recommendations under the headings "Political Advancement", "Economic Advancement", "Social Advancement and Environmental Issues", and "Educational Advancement and Cultural Affairs". It also held a separate vote on a paragraph which recommended that the Council adopt the conclusions and recommendations set out in the annex and include them at the end of its report. The results of those votes were the same as that taken on the report as a whole.

The Drafting Committee for the Council's report was composed of France and the United Kingdom. The report stated that in the light of the general discussions in the Council on conditions in the Territory, the Committee had drafted a number of conclusions and recommendations which it considered as reflecting the opinions of the majority of the Council members.


Concerning political advancement, the Council considered that the Compacts of Free Association, which involved a very considerable degree of autonomy, notably in the area of foreign affairs, were not incompatible with self-government. It also reiterated the view that to make it possible to bring the Compact for Palau into effect it appeared to be for the Governments of the United States and Palau to look for a solution to the problem of perceived incompatibilities between the proposed Compact and Palau's Constitution.

On international relations, the Council expressed pleasure that the international contacts by the Territorial governments continued to expand with the encouragement of the Administering Authority, and urged the Administering Authority to facilitate and encourage those governments to take up membership in organizations such as the Asian Development Bank and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) once the Trusteeship Agreement came to an end.

With regard to economic advancement, the Council requested the Administering Authority to encourage establishment of an economic development office for the whole Territory, and expressed the hope that efforts would be made to achieve a common standard for future statistical reporting by the four entities in the Territory. …

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