The Search for World Peace
United Nations Agenda item 51
Official RecordsNew York, 1954
Agenda Item 51: Question of defining aggression: report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression
Document No. Title Plenary meetings (first phase): A/2689 and Corr.1 and Add.1 Comments received from Governments regarding the report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression (A/2638) Sixth Committee A/C.6/L.332/Rev.1 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: draft resolution A/C.6/L.334/Rev.1 Paraguay: draft resolution A/C.6/L.335 and A/C.6/L.335/Rev.1 Iran and Panama: revised draft resolution A/C.6/L.336/Rev.1 and A/C.6/L.336/Rev.2 China: revised draft resolution A/C.6/L.337 and A/C.6/L.337/Rev.1 Lebanon, Syria and Yemen: revised draft resolution A/C.6/L.337/Add.1 Financial implications of draft resolution submitted by Lebanon, Syria and Yemen (A/C.6/L.337/Rev.1): estimate submitted by the Secretary-General Plenary meetings (final phase): A/2806 Report of the Sixth Committee A/RESOLUTION/243 Resolution adopted by the General Assembly at its 504th plenary meeting, on 4 December 1954 Action taken by the General Assembly Check list of documents
DOCUMENT A/2689 and Corr.1 and Add.1 |1|
Comments received from Governments regarding the report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression (A/2638)
[Original text: English, French, Russian and Spanish]
[6 August and 18 October 1954]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic
- Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
- Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
NOTE BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
1. The General Assembly, by resolution 688 (VII) of 20 December 1952, on the question of defining aggression, established a Special Committee composed of representatives of fifteen Member States and requested it (a) to submit to the General Assembly at its ninth session draft definitions of aggression or draft statements of the notion of aggression; and (b) to study certain problems, referred to in the preamble of the resolution, relating to the question of defining aggression. By the same resolution, the Secretary-General was requested 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.
2. The Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression met at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 24 August to 21 September 1953 and drew up a report for submission to the General Assembly (A/2638). In pursuance of the aforesaid resolution of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General circulated the report of the Special Committee to the Governments of all Member States of the United Nations and, by a letter of 2 December 1953, requested those Governments to communicate to him any comments they might wish to make on the report of the Special Committee.
3. By 30 July 1954, replies containing or referring to comments relating to the report of the Special Committee had been received from the Governments of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, India, Poland, Sweden, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Government of Argentina sent its reply on 26 August 1954.
4. The Secretary-General has also received a communication from the Government of Burma, dated 4 September 1954, stating that it had no comments to offer on the aforesaid report.
5. Comments received are reproduced below. Additional comments received from Governments subsequent to the compilation of the present document, if any, will be reproduced as addenda.
COMMENTS BY GOVERNMENTS 1. ARGENTINA Note verbale dated 26 August 1954 from the permanent delegation of Argentina
[Original text: Spanish]
The permanent delegation of the Argentine Republic to the United Nations presents its compliments to the Secretariat of the United Nations and has the honour to refer to letter No. LEG 460/3/02(1) of 2 December 1953 on the question of defining aggression.
The Argentine Government has studied the Special Committee's report and the draft definitions submitted by various delegations. Although it regards these as a praiseworthy effort to solve a very difficult problem, it does not believe that they will lead to a satisfactory solution.
Therefore, consistently with the stand it has taken on previous occasions and, more particularly, with the position adopted by its delegation in the Sixth Committee during the'seventh session of the General Assembly, the Argentine Republic still considers it inadvisable to attempt to encompass within a definition a legal situation that is in the process of development. Any definition adopted should be sufficiently broad to include not only the classical concept of armed aggression but other forms also, and particularly indirect forms, such as economic and ideological. aggression, in which arms are not employed.
2. BYELORUSSIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC Cablegram dated 29 June 1954 from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic
[Original text: Russian]
In reply to letter LEG.460/3/02(l) of 2 December 1953..., I have the honour to state hereby that the Government of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic supports the points contained in the draft resolution onthe definition of aggression submitted by the representative of the Soviet Union in August 1953 at the session of the United Nations Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression.
(Signed) K. KISELEV
Minister for Foreign Affairs
3. DENMARK Letter dated 9 April 1954 from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Denmark
[Original text: English]
With reference to your letter of 2 December, 1953—LEG.460/3/02(1)— regarding the Special Committee's report on the question of defining aggression, I have the honour to inform you that the report has received the careful attention of the Danish Government who, considering, inter alia, the diversity of opinions set forth in the course of the Committee's meetings, still holds the view expressed by Danish delegates in earlier United Nations debates on this matter, that it seems doubtful whether, for the time being, it can be considered possible or even desirable to formulate a definition of aggression.
(Signed) Georg COHN
4. FRANCE Letter dated 16 June 1954 from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of France
[Original text: French]
By your letter No. LEG. 460/3/02(1) of 2 December 1953 you were good enough to transmit to me the report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression and to invite me to communicate to you the French Government's comments thereon.
I have the honour to inform you herewith of my Government's views on the subject:
1. As is evident from the discussions in the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1952 and 1953, from the letter I addressed to you on 25 June 1952, and from the position taken by the representative of France in the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression, the French Government has consistently taken the view that a definition of aggression is feasible and desirable for the maintenance of international peace and security. That view, to which the French Government still adheres, was endorsed by the General Assembly resolution of 20 December 1952.
2. As the representative of France pointed out during the debate in the Special Committee, the French Government favours the inclusion of a definition of aggression in the code of offences against the peace and security of mankind, along with the establishment of an international criminal court. That inclusion would not be a duplication nor would it be inconsistent with the adoption, in the form of a General Assembly resolution, of a definition of aggression capable of serving as a guide to States and to the political organs of the United Nations. Whereas the former type of definition would have the force of a provision of criminal law and, as such, would have to be applied by the competent jurisdictional body, the latter type of definition would merely serve as a point of reference for Member States, the Security Council and the General Assembly, which would retain the freedom of judgment granted to them by the Charter.
3. The French Government considers that the General Assembly should, as an act of co-operation, attempt to evolve "a mixed definition". While it is not in a position at the present stage to take a final stand on the proposals submitted to the Special Committee and annexed to its report, the French Government is prepared to co-operate in the search for a text that can command authority only if it gains a sufficiently wide measure of acceptance.
(Signed) A. PARODI
5. GREECE Letter dated 26 April 1954 from the permanent delegation of Greece to the United Nations
[Original text: French]
In reply to your letter LEG.460/3/02(l) of 2 December 1953 concerning the observations that the Greek Government might wish to make upon the report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression, I have the honour to inform you that my Government has studied that report with close attention.
Although the Greek delegation to the General Assembly took a sceptical view of the feasibility and desirability of defining aggression, my Government will certainly instruct its delegation to the forthcoming session of the General Assembly to co-operate with other delegations, should the General Assembly decide, after considering the valuable report of the Special Committee, to continue its efforts to evolve a definition of aggression acceptable to the great majority of States Members of the United Nations.
(Signed) Stavros G. Roussos
Chargé d'Affaires ad interim
6. INDIA Letter dated 6 July 1954 from the Ministry of External Affairs of India
[Original text: English]
I am directed to refer to your letter No. LEG.460/3/02 (1), dated 2 December 1953, and to say that the Government of India have no comments to offer at present on the report of the Special Committee on the question of defining aggression. I am to add that their representative on the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly will, however, be authorized to make a statement on the subject during the ninth session, if that is considered necessary.
(Signed) T. J. NATARAJAN
7. POLAND Letter dated 10 June 1954 from the permanent delegation of Poland
[Original text: French]
In reply to your letter No. LEG.460/3/02(l) of 2 December 1953, I have the honour to inform you that the Government of the People's Republic of Poland continues to adhere to the point of view expressed by its representatives at the seventh session of the General Assembly and at the meetings of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression.
(Signed) H. BIRECKI
Permanent Representative of Poland to the United Nations
8. SWEDEN Letter dated 21 July 1954 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden
[Original text: English]
In reply to your letter of 2 December 1953/LEG.460/3/02(1), inviting the Swedish Government to present their comments on the report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression, I have the honour to transmit the following observations:
The need for a definition of aggression may arise in relation to:
(a) General principles laid down in international treaties or conventions condemning war of aggression;
(b) Rules conferring on an international body, e.g., the Security Council of the United Nations, the authority or the duty to take steps for the stopping of aggressive war;
(c) Provisions in an international convention on the outlawing of war, whereby aggressive war is made a criminal offence and the authors of the war are made liable to punishment, to be imposed by tribunal, in the first place an international criminal court.
It is far from certain, however, that the same definition can be applied in these different connexions, or even that the needs for a definition makes itself as strongly felt in the various cases. These will now be examined in the order as set forth above.
(a) The banning, per se, of aggressive war, i.e., without sanctions against the violating of the ban.
As an example of such a "platonic" prohibition may be cited the resolution of the League of Nations Assembly of 24 September 1927, by which it was declared that wars of aggression should be prohibited, that international disputes should always be settled by pacific means, and that the Members of the League of Nations were under an obligation to conform to these principles.
The need for a definition in such cases mainly arises from the interest of the States concerned to know the delimitation between the unlawful war of aggression and the lawful war of defence. A definition of aggression provides, by implication, an answer to the question of what should be recognized as defensive war. The use of armed force in order to resist unlawful aggression should be regarded as a war of defence. Hence, the more extensive is the concept of aggression, the more extensive becomes the concept of legitimate defence.
In the category of prohibitions per se should also be listed the Briand-Kellogg Pact, concluded in 1928, by which the Contracting Parties declared that they refrained from war as an instrument of national policy and would employ only pacific means for the settling of international disputes.
In the Charter of the United Nations a ban is proclaimed by Article 2, paragraph 4, according to which "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations".
This provision does not carry any definition of aggression. Since in Article 1, paragraph 1, and in Article 39, there is a distinction between "acts of aggression" and other breaches of the peace, it is evident that the Charter takes into account the existence of other forms of breaches of the peace than aggression.
In certain respects the ban of the United Nations Charter resembles that of the Kellogg Pact. A violation of the ban is not to be followed unconditionally by sanctions, whether as applied by the Security Council or by individual Member States. Any coercive measure is subject to a decision by the Security Council, acting on the merits of free inquiry into the facts. There is consequently no obligation for the Security Council to institute coercive measures in the event of a breach of the peace or act of aggression. The Council may forgo any decision on the taking of coercive action, even though there has been a breach of the peace or act of aggression. On the other hand, such action may already be taken in the presence of a threat to the peace.
The similarity of the ban under the Charter to that of the Kellogg Pact also extends to the rules governing the action to be taken against an aggressor. According to Article 51, no provision of the Charter (thus not even Article 2, paragraph 4) shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence in the event of an armed attack. This implies, just as does the Kellogg Pact, that the aggressor not only may be faced with the self-defence of the aggrieved party but also lays himself open to armed intervention by other States. Considering the interdependence betwen unlawful aggression and legitimate self-defence, the provision in Article 51 may serve to clarify the concept of aggression in the sense of the Charter: only armed attack (agression armée) is deemed to constitute aggression.
No disadvantage of a practical nature is likely to arise from such a limitation of the concept of aggression. It should be remembered that the prohibition of resort to force as set out by Article 2, paragraph 4, has a meaning considerably wider than armed attack. Thus, there should be no practical need for defining exactly, in spite of Article 2, paragraph 4, the concept of aggression as against other modes of action.
(b) In a system of collective security, where, in the event of war, joint measures are to be taken against the aggressor, the concept of aggression is evidently of importance.
This was the case under the régime of the League of Nations. By the Covenant, Members of the League had assumed certain obligations not to resort to war. Every war was not, therefore, an unlawful war; but should an unlawful war take place—that is, should a State resort to war contrary to its obligations under the Covenant—sanctions were to be applied against the aggressor by the Members of the League. Such action should be taken on their own initiative, regardless of any decision by a body of the League. It was therefore important that a clear distinction should be drawn between "unlawful'" and "lawful" wars, so that the "unlawful" wars were easily recognizable. According to the Covenant, the criterion to be applied was, inter alia, the attitude taken by the aggressor towards the provisions of the Covenant for the pacific settlement of international disputes. If a State went to war without previous resort to one of the methods for pacific settlement afforded by the Covenant, or if it did not conform with the anticipatory settlement resulting from the use of one of these methods but instead went to war, such a State would then have acted contrary to its obligations under the Covenant and was to be subjected, unconditionally, to sanctions. "Unlawful war" had thus been defined in one particular respect, but no exhaustive definition had been provided. The idea behind the Covenant provisions was, however, that a spontaneous resort to armed force, without regard to existing procedures for peaceful settlement, constituted unlawful aggression. There remained the question as to how it should be determined who was the aggressor. The sanctions were to be directed against the aggressor, but the Covenant offered no method for establishing who he was. This limitation was looked upon as a serious disadvantage, particularly by those who advocated the widest measure of automatic application for sanctions. Numerous proposals for solving this problem were put forward in the course of a discussion that lasted almost throughout the lifetime of the League.
Several of the proposals put forward during this discussion were aimed less at a definition of the act of aggression than at establishing who was the aggressor. An example is afforded by the Geneva Protocol, voted by the League Assembly in 1924 but never ratified. In this it was declared, first, that every State that resorts to war in violation of the undertakings contained in the Covenant or the Protocol is an aggressor. Furthermore, a number of presumptions for aggression were put forward that could be reversed only by a unanimous decision of the Council. Under these presumptions any State was deemed to be an aggressor that had, in the event of hostilities, refused to submit the dispute to arbitration or other pacific procedure. In the absence of such presumptions the Council should directly determine who was the aggressor. For this purpose it could enjoin an armistice upon the belligerents, in which case a belligerent refusing to accept the armistice or violating its terms should be deemed an aggressor. The proposals that were subsequently put forward, in connexion with the treatment of the problem of security by the League, revolved to a great extent round the idea that the action of the League, in the first place that of the Council, should be directed towards forestalling and stopping hostilities. The attitude taken by the parties to the dispute towards recommendations by the Council to this end was to form a criterion as to who was the aggressor.
At the Disarmament Conference, opened in 1932, the question of a definition of the aggressor was brought to the fore in connexion with the question of security. In the early part of 1933 the Soviet delegation to the Conference put forward certain proposals which have since reappeared, with some variation.
The Soviet proposals were referred to the Security Committee and formed the basis for a definition evolved by the Committee, which was presented to the Conference with a report by M. Politis. The main idea behind this formula was that any State that first employs armed force outside its territory is an aggressor.
A definition of this kind, which might serve the Security Council of the United Nations as a guide without impairing its discretion in regard to sanctions, would, in the opinion of the Swedish Government, be well worth considering. It should be remembered, however, that the proposal under review does not settle the question of how to determine who is the aggressor when opinions are at variance as to the actual course of events. Theoretically speaking, this question could be solved either by a special rule of voting or by a system of presumptions combined with authority for the international body concerned to enjoin an armistice, i.e., the system of the Geneva Protocol.
The United Nations system for the maintenance of peace and security differs from that of the League of Nations as regards the prerequisites for the imposing of coercive measures (sanctions). It rests with the discretion of the United Nations Security Council whether such measures shall be taken, the Council having previously determined the existence of a "threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression". An act of aggression may, of course, provide grounds for a decision that coercive measures should be taken. Such measures may also be decided upon in the event of a "threat to the peace" or "breach of the peace". Even though, on the other hand, there has been an "act of aggression", the Security Council, as has already been pointed out, is under no obligation to decide that coercive measures should be applied.
The purpose of any action taken by the Security Council is exclusively that of safeguarding peace if it is threatened, or restoring peace if it has been broken, and thus not to punish an act of aggression by reason of its being a breach of international law. Hence, the Security Council has no reason to concern itself with such matters as the responsibility for the war, the motives underlying the aggression, or which of the parties can claim historical justice for its cause.
(c) Aggression regarded as a crime against international law
A definition of aggression naturally becomes of importance when aggression is to constitute a crime against international law for which punishment is to be imposed by an international court of justice. The principle of legality underlying the penal law of civilized States (nullum crimen sine lege) manifestly presupposes that the aggression to be punished as an unlawful act should be clearly defined.
The importance of a legal definition will nevertheless diminish if other acts calculated to endanger peace are being declared illegal.
In their draft Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind, put forward in 1951 (A/1858, paragraph 59), the International Law Commission defined as such an offence, in the first place, "Any act of aggression" (article 2, paragraph 1); but furthermore "Any threat by the authorities of a State to resort to an act of aggression against another State" (paragraph 2) ; "The preparation by the authorities of a State for the employment of armed force against another State" (paragraph 3) ; "The incursion into the territory of a State by armed bands acting for a political purpose" (paragraph 4); "The undertaking or encouragement by the authorities of a State of activities calculated to foment civil strife in another State, or the toleration by the authorities of a State of organized acivities" for such purposes (paragraph 5).
Here it should again be recalled that the interdependence between aggression and self-defence makes the latter concept a wider one, in as far as a wider significance is given to the former. If, as is the case in the most recent Soviet draft definition, "aggression" is to include "indirect aggression", "economic aggression" and "ideological aggression", it obviously follows that a right to self-defence by armed force is enjoyed, for example, when a State prevents another State from exploiting its natural resources or promotes propaganda of fascist views, etc. Such an extension of the concepts of aggression and self-defence would, in the Government's opinion, be undesirable.
To sum up, the Government's views may be stated as follows:
The question as to what benefit might be drawn from a definition of the concept of aggression, and what the contents of such a definition would be, should be answered with due regard to the circumstances to which the definition is to apply.
(a) As regards the need for a definition referring to ban on aggressive war, couched in general terms, a detailed and precise description of the elements constituting such a war would hardly seem to be required. It is sufficient to describe as an aggressor any State that first resorts to armed force against another State, provided the armed force has not been expressly declared as legal (e.g., assistance rendered to a third State that is being attacked).
(b) The need for a definition is more clearly felt in a system of collective security, with an international body authorized to impose sanctions on the aggressor. Since, however, the United Nations Charter confers upon the Security Council discretionary powers to act, or not to act, in the event of an aggression on the one hand or in the presence of a threat to the peace without aggression on the other hand, a comprehensive and precise definition would even in that case be unnecessary.
The Government is however, prepared to recognize the advantages to be gained from certain indications in this respect to the Security Council. These might be afforded by stating a number of examples of modes of aggression, to serve the Council as a guide without prejudice to its discretion. A suitable description might be obtained from the draft project adopted by the Disarmament Conference in 1933.
(c) Should aggression be constituted a crime under international law and referred to the jurisdiction of a court of law, a precise definition would naturally be required.
It should be recalled, however, that the Swedish Government has previously expressed strong doubts as to the expediency of setting up a criminal court entrusted with cases of this nature.
(Signed) For the Minister
Chief of Legal Department
9. UKRAINIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC Note verbale dated 29 June 1954 from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
[Original text: Russian]
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic presents its respects to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and, in reply to letter No. LEG.460/3/02(l) of 2 December 1953 from the Principal Director of the Legal Department of the United Nations Secretariat, has the honour to state that the point of view of the Government of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on the question of defining aggression was expressed during the discussion of that question in the United Nations, and that, moreover, the Government of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic supports the USSR draft resolution annexed to the report of the United Nations Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression (A/1638).
10. UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS Letter dated 12 July 1954 from the Permanent Delegation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
[Original text: Russian]
With reference to .your letter No. L.EG.460/3/02(I) Of 2 December 1953, I would inform you that the position of the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the question of defining aggression has been exhaustively expounded in the United Nations, notably in the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression. There is therefore no need to restate it now in connexion with the Special Committee's report.
(Signed) S. TSARAPKIN
Acting Permanent Representative of the USSR to the United Nations
11. UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND Comments transmitted by a letter dated 12 May 1954 from the Permanent Delegation of the United Kingdom to the United Nations
[Original text: English]
Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom have studied the report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression and wish to offer the following comments.
Her Majesty's Government note that the report reveals that there was a wide divergence of opinion between members of the Committee concerning the desirability and the feasibility of attempting to define aggression, and that in spite of a number of meetings there appeared to be no substantial advance towards agreement on the question at issue. While in principle they would not be averse to a definition of aggression, Her Majesty's Government have always doubted whether it is possible to evolve an entirely satisfactory definition which would not over-simplify the issue or leave loop-holes which would by implication exonerate acts not expressly included in the definition. Those doubts have been expressed by the representatives of the United Kingdom in the General Assembly and in the Special Committee, and the report of the Special Committee has done nothing to remove the doubts of Her Majesty's Government on this subject.
The views of Her Majesty's Government having been made clear on so many occasions in United Nations meetings, it would not seem that any useful purpose would be served by commenting at any greater length on the report of the Special Committee. Her Majesty's Government naturally reserve, however, the right to comment further if an item on this subject is eventually accepted for inclusion in the agenda of the ninth session of the General Assembly.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: draft resolution
[Original text: Russian]
[18 October 1954]
The General Assembly,
Considering it necessary to establish guiding principles with a view to determining which party is guilty of aggression,
1. In an international conflict that State shall be declared the attacker which first commits one of the following acts:
(a) Declaration of war against another State;
(b) Invasion by its armed forces, even without a declaration of war, of the territory of another State;
(c) Bombardment by its land, sea or air forces of the territory of another State or the carrying out of a deliberate attack on the ships or aircraft of the latter;
(d) The landing or leading of its land, sea or air forces inside the boundaries of another State without the permission of the Government of the latter, or the violation of the conditions of such permission, particularly as regards the length of their stay or the extent of the area in which they may stay;
(e) Naval blockade of the coasts or ports of another State;
(f) Support of armed bands organized in its own territory which invade the territory of another State, or refusal, on being requested by the invaded State, to take in its own territory any action within its power to deny such bands any aid or protection.
2. That State shall be declared to have committed an act of indirect aggression which:
(a) Encourages subversive activity against another State (acts of terrorism, diversionary acts, etc.);
(b) Promotes the fomenting of civil war within another State;
(c) Promotes an internal upheaval in another State or a change of policy in favour of the aggressor.
3. That State shall be declared to have committed an act of economic aggression which first commits one of the following acts:
(a) Takes against another State measures of economic pressure violating its sovereignty and economic independence and threatening the bases of its economic life;
(b) Takes against another State measures preventing it from exploiting or nationalizing its own natural riches;
(c) Subjects another State to an economic blockade.
4. That State shall be declared to have committed an act of ideological aggression which:
(a) Encourages war propaganda;
(b) Encourages propaganda in favour of using atomic, bacterial, chemical and other weapons of mass destruction;
(c) Promotes the propagation of fascist-nazi views, of racial and national exclusiveness, and of hatred and contempt for other peoples.
5. Acts committed by a State other than those listed in the preceding paragraphs may be deemed to constitute aggression if declared by decision of the Security Council in a particular case to be an attack or an act of economic, ideological or indirect aggression.
6. The attacks referred to in paragraph 1 and the acts of economic, ideological and indirect aggression referred to in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 may not be justified by any considerations of a political, strategic or economic nature, or by the desire to exploit natural riches in the territory of the State attacked or to derive any other kind of advantages or privileges, or by reference to the amount of capital invested in that territory or to any other particular interests in that territory, or by the refusal to recognize that it possesses the distinguishing marks of statehood.
In particular, the following may not be used as (d) Measures constituting an economic or financial justification:
A. The internal situation of any State, as for example:
(a) Backwardness of any people politically, economically or culturally;
(b) Alleged shortcomings of its administration;
(c) Any danger which may threaten the life or property of aliens
(d) Any revolutionary or counter-revolutionary movement, civil war, disorders or strikes;
(e) Establishment or maintenance in any State of any political, economic or social system.
B. Any acts, legislation or orders of any State, as for example:
(a) Violation of international treaties;
(b) Violation of rights and interests in the sphere of trade, concessions or any kind of economic activity acquired by another State or its citizens;
(c) Rupture of diplomatic or economic relations
(d) Measures constituting an economic or financial boycott;
(e) Repudiation of debts;
(f) Prohibition or restriction of immigration or modification of the status of foreigners ;
(g) Violation of privileges recognized to the official representatives of another State ;
(h) Refusal to allow the passage of armed forces proceeding to the territory of a third State;
(i) Measures of a religious or anti-religious nature;
(j) Frontier incidents.
7. In the event of the mobilization or concentration by another State of considerable armed forces near its frontier, the State which is threatened by such action shall have the right of recourse to diplomatic or other means of securing a peaceful settlement of international disputes. It may also in the meantime take countermeasures of a military nature similar to those described above, without, however, crossing the frontier.
Paraguay: draft resolution
[Original text: Spanish]
[28 October 1954]
The General Assembly,
Considering that at its 368th plenary meeting it resolved "that, although the existence of the crime of aggression may be inferred from the circumstances peculiar to each particuliar case, it is nevertheless possible and desirable, with a view to ensuring international peace and security and to developing international criminal law, to define aggression by reference to the elements which constitute it" (resolution 599 (VI)),
1. A State (or States) commits (or commit) armed aggression if it (or they) provokes (or provoke) a breach or disturbance of international peace and security through the employment of armed force against the territory, population, armed forces or the sovereignty and political independence of another State (or other States), or against the people, the territory or the armed forces of a Non-Self-Governing Territory;
2. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 39 of the Charter, the General Assembly recommends that in addition to other acts of aggression the following acts shall be deemed to constitute armed aggression:
(a) A declaration of war by one State against another (or others) in contravention of Articles 1 and 2 of the Charter;
(b) The organization by a State within its territory of armed bands intended to take action against other States, either within or outside the territory of such States; or the encouragement, support or the mere toleration of the formation or action of such armed bands in its territory.
Nevertheless, a State shall not be considered to he an aggressor if, being unable to suppress the activities of such bands in its territory or having justifiable reasons for not undertaking their suppression, it reports the matter to the competent organ of the United Nations and offers its co-operation.
DOCUMENT A/C.6/L.335 |2| and DOCUMENT A/C.6/L.335/Rev.1
Iran and Panama: revised draft resolution
[Original text: Spanish]
[6 November 1954]
The General Assembly,
Considering that, although the existence of aggression may be inferred from the circumstances peculiar to each particular case, it is nevertheless possible and desirable, with a view to ensuring international peace and security and to developing international criminal law, to define aggression by reference to the elements which constitute it,
Considering further that it would be of definite advantage if directives were formulated for the future guidance of such international bodies as may be called upon to determine the aggressor,
1. Aggression is the use of armed force by a State against another State for any purpose other than the exercise of the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence or in pursuance of a decision or recommendation of a competent organ of the United Nations.
2. In accordance with the foregoing definition, in addition to any other acts which such international bodies as may be called upon to determine the aggressor may declare to constitute aggression, the following are acts of aggression in all cases:
(a) Invasion by the armed forces of a State of territory belonging to another State or under the effective jurisdiction of another State;
(b) Armed attack against the territory, population or land, sea or air forces of a State by the land, sea or air forces of another State;
(c) Blockade of the coast or ports or any other part of the territory of a State by the land, sea or air forces of another State;
(d) The organization, or the encouragement of the organization, by a State, of armed bands within its territory or any other territory for incursions into the territory of another State, or the toleration of the organization of such bands in its own territory, or the toleration of the use by such armed bands of its territory as a base of operations or as a point of departure for incursions into the territory of another State, as well as direct participation in or support of such incursions.
DOCUMENT A/C.6/L.336/Rev.1 |3| and DOCUMENT A/C.6/L.336/Rev2
China: revised draft resolution
[Original text: English]
[10 November 1954]
The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolutions 599 (VI) and 688 (VII),
Having considered the report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression,
Mindful of the responsibilities of the Security Council concerning aggression under Article 1, paragraph 1, and Chapter VII of the Charter, and of the function of the General Assembly envisaged in Assembly resolution 377 A (V),
Considering that, although the question whether aggression has occurred must be determined in the circumstances of each particular case, it would nevertheless be advisable to formulate certain principles as guidance,
Recommends that the Security Council in the discharge of its responsibilities under Article 1, paragraph 1, and Chapter VII of the Charter, and the Members of the United Nations, when the Assembly is called upon to consider an item pursuant to resolution 377 A (V), take account inter alia, of the following principles:
1. That aggression is the unlawful use of force by a State against another State, whether directly or indirectly, such as:
(a) Attack or invasion by armed force;
(b) Organization or support of incursion of armed bands;
(c) Promotion or support of organized activities in another State aiming at the overthrow by violence of its political or social institutions;
2. That the use of force is lawful when it is in pursuance of a decision or recommendation by a competent organ of the United Nations, or is in self-defence against armed attack until a competent organ of the United Nations has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security;
3. That the employment of measures, other than armed attack, necessary to remove the danger arising from an indirect use of force is likewise lawful until a competent organ of the United Nations has taken steps to remove such danger.
DOCUMENT A/C.6/L.337 |4| and DOCUMENT A/C.6/L.331/Rev.1
Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen: revised draft resolution
[Original text: French]
[9 November 1954]
The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolutions 599 (VI) and 688 (VII),
Considering that the discussions to which the question of defining aggression gave rise at the ninth session of the General Assembly have revealed the need to coordinate the views expressed by the State Members,
1. Decides to establish a Special Committee comprising one representative of each of the following State Members: ...
2. Requests the said Special Committee to submit to the General Assembly at its eleventh session a detailed report followed by a draft definition of aggression, having regard to the ideas expressed at the ninth session of the General Assembly and to the draft resolutions and amendments submitted;
3. Decides to place the question on the agenda of the eleventh session of the General Assembly.
DOCUMENT A/C.6/L.337/Add.1 |5|
Financial Implications of draft resolution submitted by Lebanon, Syria and Yemen |5| (A/C.6/L.337/Rev.1)
Estimate submitted by the Secretary-General
[Original text: English]
[9 November 1954]
1. The draft resolution contained in A/C.6/L.337/Rev.1 |5| proposes the establishment of a Special Committee consisting of representatives of Member States to prepare a detailed report followed by a draft definition of aggression, for submission to the eleventh session of the General Assembly.
2. It is assumed that the Special Committee would meet at Headquarters and would be suitably scheduled within the 1956 conference programme.
3. It Is also assumed that the proposed meeting would be of three to four weeks' duration; that the amount of documentation would be similar to the workload of the Special Committee established under General Assembly resolution 688 (VII) which met in 1953 ; and that the expenses of representatives would be borne by their Governments.
4. Under the above assumptions, financial implications in the amount of $1,500 would arise in connexion with the printing (in five languages) of the report requested in paragraph 2 of the draft resolution.
5. Should the proposal be approved by the General Assembly, the Secretary-General would request an additional appropriation of $1,500 under Section 24 of his Budget Estimates for 1956.
Source: Official Records of the General Assembly, Ninth Session, Annexes, Agenda Item 51: Question of defining aggression: report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression, Comments received from Governments regarding the report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression (A/2638), Doc. A/2689 and Corr.1 and Add. 1, 1954, pp. 1-9.
Report of the Sixth Committee
[Original text: French]
[2 December 1954]
1. At its 477th plenary meeting, held on 24 September 1954, the General Assembly decided, in accordance with its resolution 688 (VII) of 20 December 1952, to place the following item on the agenda of its ninth regular session: "Question of defining aggression: report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression" At its 478th plenary meeting, on 25 September, the General Assembly decided to refer that item to the Sixth Committee for study and report.
2. The Sixth Committee studied the item from its 403rd to 420th meetings, held between 14 October and 10 November 1954. It had before it the report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression (A/2638), together with the text of the comments received from Governments regarding that report (A/2689 and Corr.1, A/2689/Add.1).
3. The following draft resolutions, each containing a definition of aggression, were successively submitted to the Committee :
(a) A draft resolution proposed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (A/C.6/L.332/Rev.l).
(b) A draft resolution proposed by Paraguay (A/C.6/L.334/Rev.1).
(c) A draft resolution proposed jointly by Iran and Panama (A/C.6/L.335) which was later superseded by a revised draft resolution proposed by the same countries (A/C.6/L.335/Rev.1).
(d) A draft resolution proposed by China (A/C.6/L.336) which was replaced successively by two revised draft resolutions proposed by the same country (A/C.6/L.336/Rev.1 and 2).
4. The Committee also had before it two proposals relating to a procedural question.
5. The first, put forward orally by Iran. proposed the establishment of a working group to draw up a single text of a definition that would be acceptable to the great majority of Member States.
6. The second proposal formed the subject of the draft resolution proposed jointly by Lebanon, Syria and Yemen (A/C.6/L.337). Under the terms of that draft resolution, the General Assembly was to decide to establish a special committee that would be requested to submit to the General Assembly at its tenth session a detailed report followed by a draft definition of aggression, having regard to the ideas expressed at the ninth session and to the draft resolutions and amendments submitted. That draft resolution was subsequently replaced by a revised text (A/C.6/L.337/Rev.l), which provided that the special committee would submit its report to the General Assembly at the eleventh (instead of the tenth) session.
7. The sponsors of the joint draft resolution (A/C.6/L.337/Rev.1) amended their text orally at the 419th meeting, proposing that the special committee referred to in the text should meet at United Nations Headquarters in 1956.
8. The Sixth Committee opened the debate with a general discussion of the various problems raised by the question of defining aggression.
9. With regard to the preliminary question of whether it was possible and de irable to define aggression, many delegations considered 1hat the matter had been decided affirmatively by the General Assembly in its resolutions 599 (VI) and 688 (VII), adopted on 31 January and 20 December 1952 respectively.
10. Some delegations pointed out, however, that that affirmative decision of the General Assembly had been adopted by a small majority. Others stated that it would have been more prudent to determine first of all whether a satisfactory definition of aggression was possible; if no satisfactory definition of aggression was possible, any definition of that concept would be not only undesirable but dangerous. It was also said that while the General Assembly had decided that it was juridically possible to define aggression, the proceedings of the present session of the General Assembly alone would show whether it was practically and politically feasible to draft such a definition.
11. Certain delegations contended that aggression was undefinable. They argued that the failure of past attempts made to define aggression proved that it was impossible to reach agreement on an a priori definition. Moreover, such a definition could not inspire confidence. It would be much better to allow the law to evolve empirically from specific cases.
12. A number of delegations held that even if a definition of aggression were worked out, it would be not only useless but actually dangerous. Far from discouraging a would-be aggressor, it would merely work to his victim's disadvantage. Only the risks involved, the chances of success or the possibilities of failure, would determine the conduct of aggressors. Moreover, a definition of aggression adopted under a General Assembly resolution—and hence binding neither on the Security Council nor on Member States—would have no effect of itself. In an actual case of aggression it would do little good and might even be harmful, since it would lead to long theoretical discussions that would delay a solution. A definition, even if accepted and solemnly embodied in a treaty, would be of little practical value as an effective means of preventing aggression. A definition of aggression, however worded, would be easily evaded and would carry with it grave threats that might well assume as yet unforeseeable forms. Everyone could recognize aggression when it occurred and, apart perhaps from definitions applicable regionally, it would be better not to have a definition. As far as the United Nations was concerned, however, the competent organs should be allowed to determine in each specific case whether or not aggression had occurred. Furthermore, it would be appropriate to defer any action in the matter until the new disarmament proposals had been studied at greater length and a decision taken on them.
13. Many delegations, on the other hand, considered that a definition of aggression was necessary and would be useful for the maintenance of international peace and security and that an attempt should therefore be made to formulate a definition that would be generally acceptable. Those delegations argued that a definition of aggression would consolidate the system of collective security established by the United Nations Charter and would promote the development of international law. Even if it would not per se prevent aggression it would be an important factor in the resistance against possible aggressors. In a world that lived in fear of aggression, the existence of a definition would do something to ease men's minds. A definition of aggression would enlighten public opinion and would ensure that any decisions made by the international organs called upon to designate the aggressor in a given dispute would be equitable. It was argued that while a definition of aggression adopted by the General Assembly would admittedly have merely the value of a recommendation and hence would not bind the Security Council, which would retain its complete freedom of action under Article 39 of the Charter, the General Assembly's recommendations yet had a certain legal value. A definition solemnly adopted by the General Assembly might become a general principle of law recognized by the civilized world and so might in future become an integral part of international law, which the Security Council could not violate.
14. Many delegations stated that no definition of aggression would be really useful unless it was accepted by a large majority of Member States. Some expressed the opinion that the majority should include the permanent members of the Security Council. Others suggested that the definition should be approved by at least a two-thirds majority, but not necessarily including all the permanent members of the Security Council.
15. With regard to the type of definition to be adopted, most delegations that favoured a definition of aggression recommended a mixed definition, that is, one in which a flexible description, couched in general terms, would precede and govern a list of definite acts of aggression, which would be included merely to illustrate and not to restrict the general description. It was said that a definition of that type would combine the advantages and avoid the defects of the two others types of definition, the general and the enumerative. It would accord with the opinion that a definition should be neither limitative nor rigid. It should not be limitative, not only for the practical reason that all possibilities in such a complex matter could not be foreseen, but also because any limitation would be contrary to the wide powers of judgment conferred upon the Security Council by Articles 24 and 39 of the Charter. It should not be rigid in the sense that it must not take the form of an order binding on States and on the competent organs of the United Nations.
16. Some delegations criticized a definition of that type as combining the defects of the other two types. In fact, it was suggested that a mixed definition would be in itself contradictory, because, if it started with the statement, for example, that aggression was the use of armed force for purposes other than self-defence or action undertaken in conformity with the Charter, it would not be possible to proceed further by giving examples in illustration of that concept. The act given as an example either would, or would not, according to the circumstances of the case, be covered by the general formula stated at the beginning. The opinion was also expressed that there would be no point in attaching a list of examples to the general statement. Thus the most familiar types of military aggression would be too standard to need enumeration, and a list might give the impression on the one hand that they could be isolated from the peculiar circumstances in which they occurred, and on the other hand that all other forms of armed aggression were of only secondary importance.
17. Other delegations declared themselves in favour of a general definition, that is, one that, instead of giving a list of acts of aggression, would contain a general formula covering all the cases to be designated. International organs would be left with the responsibility of establishing the scope of the formula in specific cases brought before them. Some of these delegations pointed out that a definition of that kind, covering in general terms all the elements that constitued aggression, would render any enumeration of definite acts of aggression superfluous. Others suggested that the general definition should be based on the Charter, which was said to contain all the elements of a definition of aggression. It should incorporate the principles of Article 2 (4) and Article 51 of the Charter. Such a definition would have the double advantage of covering all cases conceivable by the most fertile imagination and allowing the competent organ or organs of the United Nations full freedom of judgment.
18. That type of definition was, however, criticized by some delegations as being a mere repetition, in one form or another, of elementary truths ; it could therefore be of no value. It was also said that a general definition would be less dangerous than an enumerative definition, but would be of little value because it would inevitably be drafted in terms that would themselves call for definition. Furthermore, a general definition whose basic elements could be found in the Charter would not be enough ; it was just because the Charter confined itself to dealing with the question in general terms that the General Assembly had thought it necessary to define aggression by reference to the elements that constituted it.
19. Some delegations criticized purely enumerative definitions. That kind of definition, which would be limitative and rigid and would deprive States and the organs of the United Nations of freedom of judgment, would in their opinion not be in conformity with the Charter. It would be incompatible with Articles 2 (1), 24 and 39 of the Charter and with the sovereignty of States and the principle of unanimity in the Security Council. Furthermore, such a definition would necessarily be Incomplete and would leave loopholes for possible aggressors. It would also have the disadvantage that the acts listed might, in specific cases, not constituteacts of aggression.
20. With regard to content, in the view of certain delegations the definition should be confined to the notion of armed attack. It was said that, if the definition were extended to include the notion of indirect, economic, and ideological aggression, it would be a departure from the Charter, and neither the letter nor the spirit of the Charter would justify a broad interpretation of the word "aggression". Article 39 listed reprehensible acts in order of gravity, and to suggest that indirect, economic and ideological aggression constituted acts of aggression would be tantamount to considering them as more serious than threats to or breaches of the peace. Those concepts came under the heading of threats to the peace rather than under that of aggression, and it was the latter concept that the Sixth Committee was supposed to be defining. The definition of the other concepts might be considered after the preparation of a definition of armed aggression, or at least separately from it. It was also maintained that aggression as envisaged in Article 39 of the Charter and the armed attack mentioned in Article 51 were one and the same and would entail the same legal consequences. If the definition included forms of aggression not accompanied by the use of armed force, there would be a considerable increase in the number of cases in which the use of force would be justified by the right of self-defence. It was also said that by extending the definition of aggression to cases of indirect, economic and ideological aggression, the gravity of armed attack might be reduced and the term "aggression" would lose its force and acquire simply the meaning of "offence".
21. Other delegations pointed out that under the Charter aggression was not confined to the use of armed force. It was maintained that under Article 2 (4) of the Charter the term "aggression" would include not only armed attack but also indirect aggression, economic aggression, and ideological aggression. The principle of prohibiting economic aggression might also be inferred from other provisions of the Charter, such as the fourth paragraph of the Preamble and Article 55.
22. Some delegations, however, which thought that under the Charter indirect aggression, economic aggression, and ideological aggression might be included in the definition, pointed out that it would be better for the time being to confine the definition to armed attack, without prejudice to recognition of other forms of aggression.
23. Some delegations stressed the fact that, if the definition did not cover economic aggression or ideological aggression, it should at least include subversion, which was the most typical form of indirect aggression. While subversion was a form of aggression less alarming than war, it was much more insidious and fully as dangerous. War was armed attack from outside, subversion armed attack from inside and accordingly should be outlawed equally with war. Any State that encouraged and assisted the people of another State to take up arms against its own Government was not less guilty than if it had itself taken part in an armed attack. The principle that the instigator of a crime is as guilty as the person committing it should apply both in international law and in domestic criminal law.
24. The opinion was expressed that the threat of force should be included in the definition. It was maintained that Article 2 (4) of the Charter would make it possible to put the threat of force on the same footing as aggression. The terms "the threat or use of force" mentioned in that paragraph corresponded to the term "aggression" in Article 39 and hardly had the same meaning as "threat to the peace" in the same article. But the threat of force must have a certain degree of gravity before it could constitute aggression. In determining that degree of gravity, it would be advisable to remember that in the Charter the word "aggression" had been used instead of the word "war". The decisive factor would not be the intention of the aggressor but the effect of the act. It was also stated, in relation to the question of whether self-defence was justified in face of the threat of force, that under Article 51 of the Charter the notion of armed attack would include immediate threats that left a State no other recourse than immediate exercise of its right of self-defence.
25. Many delegations maintained that the threat of force could not be considered as an element in the notion of aggression and that it would be dangerous to introduce it into a definition. Although under the terms of Article 39 of the Charter, there might be a difference between the threat of force and a threat to the peace, the threat of force in most cases constituted a threat to the peace and could therefore lead to action oy the Security Council. Also, while Article 2 (4) of the Charter prohibited the threat of force, there was not in law sufficient reason to include the threat of force on an equal footing with the use of force in a definition of aggression. Furthermore, there was nothing that made it permissible to interpret Article 51 of the Charter in such a way as to conclude that the concept of armed attack set forth in that Article included the threat of force. The right of self-defence could not be exercised until an armed attack had occurred. Thus, threats of force should be excluded from the definition, so that they could not serve as a pretext for preventive war, which was not authorized under Article 51 of the Charter.
26. Some representatives held the view that the definition of aggression should take into account the aggressive intention that would be a characteristic of aggression. Others held the contrary view. They pointed out that no subjective elements could be taken into account in determining whether or not any given act could be considered as an act of aggression. Any provision that might give the impression that the absence of aggressive intention would abolish guilt would constitute an invitation to the use of subjective argument by possible aggressors.
27. In the opinion of some delegations, the chronological order of events would be an important criterion and might even be decisive in determining who was responsible for aggression. It was maintained that it would be necessary, when preparing a definition of aggression, to explain that the aggressor State would be that which first committed any of the acts enumerated in the definition. A definition which neglected that principle of priority would not only be ambiguous, but might also be used as a justification for preventive war. In the opinion of other delegations, the chronological order of events could not stand because it would lead to dangerous consequences. An aggressor would not necessarily be the first to commit a given act considered as an act of aggression. Essentially, everything would depend on the circumstances peculiar to each particular case.
28. It was also proposed to include in the definition a certain number of circumstances which should in no case serve as a justification for aggression. That proposal was criticized by some delegations as likely to give the impression that other circumstances, not included in the definition, might justify aggression. Furthermore, it would be illogical to give various pretexts which could not serve as a justification for aggression when the basic principle was that nothing justified it.
29. At its 419th meeting, held on 10 November 1954, the Committee decided to vote first on two procedural proposals, one, an oral proposal for a working group, submitted by Iran, the other, appearing in a revised draft resolution proposed jointly by Lebanon, Syria and Yemen (A/C.6/L.337/Rev.l), for the establishment of a special committee.
30. When a vote was taken at that meeting, the first proposal was rejected by 22 votes to 17, with 9 abstentions.
31. At the 420th meeting, held on 10 'November 1954, the Committee voted on the joint draft resolution proposed by Lebanon, Syria and Yemen (A/C.3/L.337/Rev.1). as amended orally by the sponsors (see paragraph 7 above). The draft resolution was adopted by 33 votes to 3, with 14 abstentions.
32. As that draft resolution had been adopted, the draft resolutions relating to the substance of the question were not put to the vote.
33. At its 424th meeting, held on 17 November 1954, the Committee decided, on the proposal of the Syrian representative, that the special committee whose establishment was proposed in the adopted draft resolution should consist of 19 member States.
34. At the 433rd meeting, held on 1 December 1954, the Chairman announced the membership that he suggested for the Special Committee. The Sixth Committee approved that proposal at its 434th meeting, held on the same day.
Recommendation of the Sixth Committee
35. The Sixth Committee therefore recommends to the General Assembly the adoption of the following draft resolution :
[Text adopted without change by the General Assembly. See document A/RESOLUTION/243, below.]
[Resolution 895 (IX)]
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly at its 504th plenary meeting on 4 December 1954
QUESTION OF DEFINING AGGRESSION
The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolutions 599 (VI) of 31 January 1952 and 688 (VII) of 20 December 1952,
Considering that the discussions to which the question of defining aggression gave rise at the ninth session of the General Assembly have revealed the need to coordinate the views expressed by the States Members.
1. Decides to establish a Special Committee comprising one representative of each of the following States Members: China, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, France, Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Syria, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America and Yugoslavia, which will meet at United Nations Headquarters in 1956;
2. Requests the Special Committee to submit to the General Assembly at its eleventh session a detailed report followed by a draft definition of aggression, having regard to the ideas expressed at the ninth session of the General Assembly and to the draft resolutions and amendments submitted;
3. Decides to place the question on the provisional agenda of the eleventh session of the General Assembly.
ACTION TAKEN BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
At its 504th plenary meeting, on 4 December 1954, the General Assembly adopted the draft resolution submitted by the Sixth Committee. For the final text, see document A/RESOLUTION/243, above.
Source: Official Records of the General Assembly, Ninth Session, Annexes, Agenda Item 51: Question of defining aggression: report of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression, Report of the Sixth Committee, Doc. A/2806, Dec. 2, 1954, pp. 9-12.
2. The text of A/C.6/L.335, of 3 November 1954, not reproduced in this fascicule, is identical in substance to this text, except for the following differences: in A/C.6/L.335, operative paragraphs 1 an 2 (d) were worded as follows: "1. Aggression means any use of armed force by a State against another State for any purpose other than the exercise of the inherent right of individual or collective selfdefence..." and "(d) The organization, or the encouragement of the Organization. by the authorities or a State..." [Back]
3. The text of document A/C.6/L.336/Rev.1, of 4 November 1954, not reproduced in this fascicule, is identical with this text, except for the following difference: in document A/C.6/L.336/Rev.1, point I included a sub-paragraph (c) worded as follows: 'fomenting civil strife"; and sub-paragraph (c) of the present text was sub-paragraph (d). [Back]
4. The text of A/C.6/L.337, of 5 November 1954, not reproduced in this fascicule, is identical in substance to this document, except for the following difference: in operative paragraphs 2 and 3 the text specified "tenth session" instead of "eleventh session". [Back]
5. This document, in its mimeographed form, applied to A/C.6/L.337. As the Secretary of the Sixth Committee indicated at the 420th meeting of that Committee, this text was amended to apply to A/C.6/L.337/Rev.1. The principal changes were the replacement of "1955" by "1956" in paragraphs 2 and 5. [Back]
Editorial Note: This is a true copy of the above-referenced original documents. These documents are reproduced in Benjamin B. Ferencz's work "Defining International Aggression - The Search for World Peace", Vol. 2, as Document No. 7.
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