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UNITING FOR PEACE RESOLUTION

One of the outcomes of the Korean Crisis of 1950 was the adoption of a ‘Uniting for
Peace Resolution’ by the UN General Assembly on November 3, 1950. The Resolution
was introduced by the United States on the assumption that in the future the Soviet veto
in the Security Council would surely block any action similar to that taken in Korea. This
resolution is a historical development in the working of the UN system. It is directed
towards bridging the gap created by the application of Veto by the permanent members of
the UN in the decision making process of the Security Council by way of empowering
the General Assembly to interfere in the Security domain which was hitherto under the
exclusive jurisdiction of the Security Council.

The Uniting for Peace Resolution had the following five main provisions:
1. If the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity among the permanent
members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of
international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to
peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the general Assembly shall
consider the matter immediately. If not in session at that time, it may meet in an
emergency special session within twenty-four hours of the request made by the
Security Council.
2. It provided for the establishment of a fourteen nation Peace Observation
Commission to observe and Report on dangerous situations on any part of the
world.
3. The member states were asked to maintain in their armed forces special elements
which could be made available for United nations service on call of the Security
Council or the General Assembly.
4. It provided for the establishment of a fourteen nation Collective Measures
Committee to study and report on these and other methods for maintaining and
strengthening international peace and security.
5. It also urged the members of the UN to renew their fidelity to the world
organization, honour its decisions, and promote respect and human rights and
achievement of economic stability and economic progress.

Although the Soviet Union endorsed the contents of the Uniting for Peace Resolution
contained in points 2 and 5 above, it contended that certain other parts of the resolution
were illegal because the UN Charter had specifically assigned the responsibility of peace
and security to the Security Council.

The Uniting for Peace Resolution has greatly strengthened the position of the General
Assembly vis-à-vis the Security Council. By virtue of the resolution, the General
Assembly has become the ultimate custodian of collective security measures under the
UN System. Contrarily, the Security Council has lost its power and prestige as a result of
this Resolution.