20 December 1952

UN General Assembly resolution 688 (VII) on the Question of Defining Aggression

General Assembly
Sixth Session
20 December 1952

Resolutions adopted on the reports of the Sixth Committee

688 (VII). Question of defining aggression

The General Assembly,

Having regard to its resolution 599 (VI) of 31 January 1952,

Considering that the discussion of the question of defining aggression at the sixth and seventh sessions of the General Assembly and in the International Law Commission |1| has revealed the complexity of this question and the need for a detailed study of:

    (a) The various forms of aggression,

    (b) The connexion between a definition of aggression and the maintenance of international peace and security,

    (c) The problems raised by the inclusion of a definition of aggression in the Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind and by its application within the framework of international criminal jurisdiction,

    (d) The effect of a definition of aggression on the exercise of the jurisdiction of the various organs of the United Nations,

    (e) Any other problem which might be raised by a definition of aggression,

Considering that continued and joint efforts shall be made to formulate a generally acceptable definition of aggression, with a view to promoting international peace and security and to developing international law,

1. Decides to establish a Special Committee of fifteen members, each representing one of the following Member States: Bolivia, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, France, Iran, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Syria, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, to meet at the Headquarters of the United Nations in 1953;

2. Requests the said Special Committee:

    (a) To submit to the General Assembly at its ninth session draft definitions of aggression or draft statements of the notion of aggression;

    (b) To study all the problems referred to above on the assumption of a definition being adopted by a resolution of the General Assembly;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to communicate the Special Committee's report to Member States for their comments and to place the question on the provisional agenda of the ninth session of the General Assembly.

408th plenary meeting,
20 December 1952.


1. See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixth Session, Supplement No. 9, para. 35 et seq. [Back]

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Crime of Aggression
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