Defining International Aggression
The Search for World Peace

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 |4| to the area in which the conflict has arisen, if the Commission 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 |5| 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 |6| 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.

Source: Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, Resolution 378 (V), Nov. 17, 1950, pp. 12-13.

380 (V). Peace through deeds

The General Assembly,

Recognizing the profound desire of all mankind to live in enduring peace and security, and in freedom from fear and want,

Confident that, if all governments faithfully reflect this desire and observe their obligations under the Charter, lasting peace and security can be established,

Condemning the intervention of a State in the internal affairs of another State for the purpose of changing its legally established government by the threat or use of force,

1. Solemnly reaffirms that, whatever the weapons used, any aggression, whether committed openly, or by fomenting civil strife in the interest of a foreign Power, or otherwise, is the gravest of all crimes against peace and security throughout the world;

2. Determines that for the realization of lasting peace and security it is indispensable:

    (1) That prompt united action be taken to meet aggression wherever it arises;

    (2) That every nation agree:

      (a) To accept effective international control of atomic energy, under the United Nations, on the basis already approved |8| by the General Assembly in order to make effective the prohibition of atomic weapons;
      (b) To strive for the control and elimination, under the United Nations, of all other weapons of mass destruction;
      (c) To regulate all armaments and armed forces under a United Nations system of control and inspection, with a view to their gradual reduction;
      (d) To reduce to a minimum the diversion for armaments of its human and economic resources and to strive towards the development of such resources for the general welfare, with due regard to the needs of the under-developed areas of the world;

3. Declares that these goals can be attained if all the Members of the United Nations demonstrate by their deeds their will to achieve peace.

308th plenary meeting,
17 November 1950.

Source: Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, Resolution 380 (V), Nov. 17, 1950, pp. 13-14.

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

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

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

8. See resolutions 1 (I), 41 (I), 191 (III), 192 (III), 290 (IV) and 299 (IV). [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. 2.

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Published online by Equipo Nizkor - 26 March 2013