17 November 1950

UN General Assembly Resolution 378 (V) on the Duties of States in the Event of the Outbreak of Hostilities

General Assembly
Fifth Session
17 November 1950

Resolutions adopted on the reports of the First Committee

378 (V). Duties of States in the event of the outbreak of hostilities


The General Assembly,

Reaffirming the Principles embodied in the Charter, which require that the force of arms shall not be resorted to except in the common interest, and shall not be used against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State,

Desiring to create a further obstacle to the outbreak of war, even after hostilities have started, and to facilitate the cessation of the hostilities by the action of the parties themselves, thus contributing to the peaceful settlement of disputes,

1. Recommends:

    (a)That if a State becomes engaged in armed conflict with another State or States, it take all steps

    practicable in the circumstances and compatible with the right of self-defence to bring the armed conflict to an end at the earliest possible moment;

    (b) In particular, that such State shall immediately, and in any case not later than twenty-four hours after the outbreak of the hostilities, make a public statement wherein it will proclaim its readiness, provided that the States with which it is in conflict will do the same, to discontinue all military operations and withdraw all its military forces which have invaded the territory or territorial water of another State or crossed a demarcation line, either on terms agreed by the parties to the conflict or under conditions to be indicated to the parties by the appropriate organs of the United Nations;

    (c) That such State immediately notify the Secretary-General, for communication to the Security Council and to the Members of the United Nations, of the statement made in accordance with the preceding subparagraph and of the circumstances in which the conflict has arisen;

    (d) That such State, in its notification to the Secretary-General, invite the appropriate organs of the United Nations to dispatch the Peace Observation Commission to the area in which the conflict has arisen, if the Commission |1| is not already functioning there ;

    (e) That the conduct of the States concerned in relation to the matters covered by the foregoing recommendations be taken into account in any determination of responsibility for the breach of the peace or act of aggression in the case under consideration and in all other relevant proceedings before the appropriate organs of the United Nations ;

2. Determines that the provisions of the present resolution in no way impair the rights and obligations of States under the Charter of the United Nations nor the decisions or recommendations of the Security Council, the General Assembly or any other competent organ of the United Nations.

308th plenary meeting,
17 November 1950.


The General Assembly,

Considering that the question raised by the proposal |2| of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics can better be examined in conjunction with matters under consideration by the International Law Commission, a subsidiary organ of the United Nations,

Decides to refer the proposal of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and all the records |3| of the First Committee dealing with this question to the International Law Commission, so that the latter may take them into consideration and formulate its conclusions as soon as possible.

308th plenary meeting,
17 November 1950.


1. See resolution 377 A (V), section B. [Back]

2. See document A/C.1/608. [Back]

3. See Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, First Committee,384th to 390th meetings inclusive. [Back]

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