Writing in 1963, Professor Thomas Hovet stated that ‘the key to any understanding of the United Nations is a recognition of the role the Organisation plays as an instrument of diplomacy. As a diplomatic instrument, the United Nations is in some sense a permanent international conference. Representatives of 110 nations are in almost continual attendance at the headquarters in Manhattan and their very presence provides a ready atmosphere for constant diplomatic negotiations.’2 If Hovet was correct then, he is even more correct 20 years later. One indication that this is so is the fact that of the 158 member states of the United Nations no less than 154 have established permanent missions at New York.3 Even those few remaining states which have not become members of the United Nations have, for the most part, established permanent observer missions. These include the two Koreas, the Holy See, Monaco and Switzerland.
KeywordsSecurity Council Representative Organ Home Government Permanent Mission Private Negotiation
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Notes and References
- 2.Thomas Hovet, Jr, ‘United Nations Diplomacy’, Journal of International Affairs, vol. 17, no. 1 (1963) 29.Google Scholar
- 4.F. P. Walters, A History of the League of Nations (Toronto: OUP, 1967) p. 199. For a full discussion of the role of the permanent delegations to the League of Nations see the chapter by Victor Ghebali, pp. 25–122 in Volume I of the four volumes published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace entitled Les Missions Permanantes auprès des Organisations Internationales (Brussels: Bruylant, 1971). Also seeGoogle Scholar
- 5.See P. B. Russell and J. E. Muther, A History of the United Nations Charter (Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1958) p. 445, where they write: ‘The only other procedural issue requiring debate was the American proposal to keep the Security Council in continuous session. Great Britain did not oppose the principle, but was afraid that it would result in men of second-rate capacity becoming permanent representatives whereas the need was for responsible Cabinet Ministers to attend important sessions.’Google Scholar
- 7.Dean Rusk, ‘Parliamentary Diplomacy — Debate vs. Negotiations’, World Affairs Interpreter (Summer 1955) 121–2.Google Scholar
- 8.For an understanding of negotiating tactics in the General Assembly see S. M. Finger, Your Man at the UN (New York and London: New York University Press, 1980) pp. 29–36. See alsoGoogle Scholar
- D. G. Bishop, ‘The US Mission and Corridor Diplomacy’ in Gerard J. Mangone (ed), The Administration of United States Policy through the United Nations (New York: Oceana Publications, 1967) especially pp. 57–66.Google Scholar
- 9.Dag Hammarskjöld, Introduction to the Annual Report of the Secretary-General, 14th Session (1959) p. 2.Google Scholar
- 15.See Wilder Foote (ed), Servant of Peace: a Selection of the Speeches and Statements of Dag Hammarsjköld, Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1953–61 (New York: Harper & Row, 1962).Google Scholar
- 16.Marie-Claude Smouts, ‘The Crisis of International Organisations’, Etúdes, Monthly Review of the Pères de la Compagnie de Jesus (fevrier 1983) p. 170. Translation from French by this writer.Google Scholar