On this day in history (On 5 July 1960) the Security Council discussed the admission of the Somali Republic to the United Nations at the 871st Meeting in New York
Source: UN Security Council official records, 15th year: 871st meeting, 5 July 1960, New York
This transcript is from the meeting records of the 871st Meeting of the Security Council on the admission of Somalia to membership in the United Nations, on Tuesday, 5 July 1960, at 3 p.m., New York
871st Meeting of Security Council
SECURITY COUNCIL OFFICIAL RECORDS
United Nations Security Council 871st meeting: 5 July 1960
EIGHT HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FIRST MEETING
Held In New York, on Tuesday, 5 July 1960, at 3 p.m.
Admission of new Members to the United Nations: Telegram dated 1 July 1960 from the Provisional President of the Republic of Somalia addressed to the Secretary-General (Si4360, Si4362, Si4363, Si4364, Si4366)
President: Mr. Jose A. CORREA (Ecuador).
Present: The representatives of the following states: Argentina, Ceylon, China, Ecuador, France, Italy, Poland, Tunisia, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America.
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/871)
- Adoption of the agenda
- Admission of new Members to the United Nations: Telegram dated 1 July 1960 from the Provisional President of the Republic of Somalia addressed to the Secretary-General (S/4360).
Expression of thanks to the retiring President
- The PRESIDENT (translated from Spanish): Before we take up our agenda, I should like to thank my predecessor in office, Ambassador Tsiang, for the distinguished manner in which he conducted the meetings during the month of June. Once again, Mr. Tsiang demonstrated his diplomatic tact, his parliamentary skill and his profound knowledge of the problems confronting us. He deserves the gratitude of the Security Council.
- Mr. TSIANG (China): My performance of the duties of the President during the month of June was nothing more, and I hope nothing less, than what custom, tradition and the rules of this body required of me. Nevertheless, Mr. President, you were good enough and kind enough to make reference to my duties here and I thank you for the kind words in which you referred to my term of duty.
Welcome to new representatives
- The PRESIDENT (translated from Spanish): On behalf of the Security Council, I should also like to extend a most cordial welcome to the new representative of Poland, Ambassador Lewandowski., who is replacing Ambassador Michalowski., whose work will be recalled with pleasure by the members of the Council. Several of us have had an opportunity to work with Mr. Lewandowski in other United Nations bodies and we are familiar with his ability and charm and look forward confidently to a pleasant association with him in the Security Council.
- The PRESIDENT (translated from Spanish): The Secretary-General has received a communication from the representative of the United States of America to the United Nations informing him that Mr. Francis Wilcox, Assistant Secretary of State, will represent the United States at this meeting of the Council. It gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to Mr. Wilcox. His work in the State Department has to do with United Nations affairs and he is therefore well known to us.
- Mr. WILCOX (United States of America): I am very grateful to you, Sir, for your words of welcome today. I am pleased to be here, representing my Government as a member of the Security Council, and to take part in the Council’s deliberations this afternoon.
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
Admission of new Members to the United Nations
Telegram dated 1 July 1960 from the Provisional President of the Republic of Somalia addressed to the Secretary-General (S/4360, S/4362, S/4363, S/4364, S/4366)
- The PRESIDENT (translated from Spanish): The application of the Republic of Somalia for admission to membership in the United Nations was addressed to the Secretary-General on 1 July 1960 by the President of the Republic of Somalia [S/4360.] This meeting was called to consider that application at the request of the representatives of Italy, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom [S/4362, S/4364 and S/4366].
- In accordance with the procedure established by the Security Council in similar cases, I should like to suggest, if there is no objection, that the Council should consider this application directly, as provided in rule 59 of its rules of procedure, that is, without referring it to the Committee on the Admission of New Members.
It was so decided.
- The PRESIDENT (translated from Spanish): In connexion with this question, a draft resolution has been submitted by Italy, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom [S/4363].
Egidio Ortona (Italy)
- Mr. ORTONA (Italy): Italy has today the great privilege of sponsoring, together with the United Kingdom and Tunisia, a draft resolution recommending that the Republic of Somalia be admitted to membership in the United Nations.
- It is indeed with joy and pride that I discharge this pleasant task, both because of the ties which have traditionally bound Italy to Somalia in the past and because of the fact that I am joined on this occasion by the representative of the United Kingdom and by the representative of the African member country of the Security Council-Tunisia.
- Members of the Council are doubtless aware of the meaning of the initiative which sees Italy, the United Kingdom, and Tunisia jointly recommending that the Republic of Somalia be admitted to membership in our family of nations. In fact, it is with a deep sense of gratification that I see my delegation associated with the United Kingdom delegation in providing the Council with the elements necessary for it to decide on such admission. If I may be permitted a personal digression, I may say that my gratification is even deeper because I know that this is one of the last-if not the last-appearances of the distinguished representative of the United Kingdom in our Council, and it gives us particular pleasure to join hands with him on this occasion.
- The newly born African republic is the result of a merger on 1 July 1960, of two Territories: one a former dependency of the United Kingdom-Somaliland-independent since 26 June, and the other a Territory entrusted to Italian administration by the United Nations ten years ago, which attained independence at midnight on 30 June.
- The union of the two Territories has taken place as the result of a free and independent choice by the populations concerned, after a conference in Mogadiscio between delegations of the two Territories which took place on 17 April this year.
- The attitude of the Italian Government, as the Administering Authority of one of the two Territories, on this problem since it first arose has been that this was a question of interest to the populations concerned which would have to express in complete freedom their own will. For this reason, Italy has always maintained that any merging of the two Territories would have to take place on a basis of absolute equality after both Territories had reached independence, and by legal and peaceful means so as to exclude any possibility of regrettable developments in that part of Africa.
- This is what has actually happened and lam sure that my colleague of the United Kingdom will join me in emphasizing this fact. The union has been achieved through a peaceful and democratic process, and this event, which transcended the responsibility of Italy as Administering Authority, has been shown to be the result of the converging aspirations and wishes of the peoples in the two Somali Territories. The new Republic emerging from this peaceful constitutional process is now facing the future, in full-fledged independence, free from any entanglement, and with the manifest desire of pursuing a peaceful course, strengthening its political institutions and its economic growth.
- Allow Die now, as is befitting on this occasion, to elaborate on the various facts and elements which have prompted my delegation to sponsor the draft resolution before the Council. I am sure that the representative of the United Kingdom will be in a much better position than myself to brief the Council on that one of the two Territories recently merged which has been the direct responsibility of his country. Nevertheless, I wish to pay a tribute to the outstanding accomplishments attained in all fields-political, social and economic in the former protectorate of Somaliland under the auspices of British leadership. Such progress is self-evident and constitutes in itself a tangible asset for a further favorable development of the new State. I feel that it is more fitting on my part to concentrate my remarks to the Council on that part of the Republic of Somalia with which Italy has had such close ties through the years.
- If I may recall the past, the relationship of Italy with that region can be traced back to the fourteenth century, with the famous journey of the Genoese explorer Vivaldi, who landed in Magdasor, which is to be identified with the present Mogadiscio. Since then many Italian travelers and explorers have continued to appear on the friendly Somali shores. It was at the end of the last century, however, that Italians intensified their exploration of the region, concluded agreements with the local Sultans and finally started, in 1891, a long and happy period of association with the local peoples who under Italian stewardship were gradually able to reach higher standards of development, demonstrating, already at that time, the innate qualities of workmanship, dedication and self-respect for which they have been regarded always as a ethnical asset of the utmost importance in the African world.
- But the period of our association with Somalia in which the Council has a direct interest, no doubt, is the period of our trusteeship on behalf of the United Nations. Italy assumed that task well aware of the great responsibilities placed upon her, of the difficulties inherent in the fact that the period of trusteeship was fixed in the Trusteeship Agreement, of the expectations of the world community as to the result of such an endeavor.
- With the ratification of the Trusteeship Agreement, on 4 November 1951, the Italian Government undertook the task-among others-of fostering in Somalia “the development of free political institutions and of promoting the development of the inhabitants of the Territory towards independence; and to this end shall give to the inhabitants of the Territory a progressively increasing participation in the various organs of Government”. This Italy has striven to achieve throughout the past ten years and is proud to have done so within a period even shorter than the one provided for in the Agreement.
- May I recall that when we began to implement the Trusteeship Agreement, the political picture of Somalia was rather blurred. However, from our long association with the Somali people, we knew full well their qualities and abilities. We began our work confident that the Somalis would progress rapidly towards democratic self-government. The endeavors of the Italian Administrators were fully rewarded by concrete accomplishments in the setting up and working of democratic institutions. To prove the effectiveness of democratic machinery in Somalia, suffice it to recall that the political party previously in opposition soon became the majority party following regular elections.
- During the earlier years of trusteeship, the Italian Administration was successful in establishing local institutions and in initiating the training of the Somali people in the responsibilities of self-government. Thus, while on the local level district and municipal councils were established, on the Government level a Territorial Council was set up, to assist the Italian Administration until the establishment of a full-fledged statutory and elected legislature. The Somalis had then their first real opportunity to gather in a central organ of government and to acquire a practical knowledge of national issues. Moreover, the representatives in the Territorial Council were able to train themselves in the intricacies and complexities of a modern parliamentary system.
- This proved to be a most important step indeed. By 1955-as has been pointed out by many diligent observers of Somalia’s progress-Councilors had shown a growing ability to use the new instruments of government. The Territorial Council became an especially useful instrument for obtaining Somali cooperation. By submitting all major ordinances and decrees to the Council for advice and by giving all possible attention to the requests or the wishes of the representatives, an atmosphere of mutual confidence ensued between the Italian authorities and the people of Somalia, which greatly enhanced our chances of meeting the target date of independence successfully.
- As early as March 1954 administrative elections were held in thirty-five municipalities, and in April of the same year, the Municipal Council of Mogadiscio was solemnly inaugurated. The event ushered in the second phase of political development: the stage when the actual exercise of power would rest in the hands of the Somalis.
- Proceeding rapidly along the path of “Somalization”, the ground was prepared for general elections with a view to transforming the Territorial Council into an elected legislature. In February 1956 the Somalis went to the polls in the first political electoral experiment in their history. In May 1956 the first elected Legislative Assembly of Somalia was convened. On 7 May the first Somali Government was established.
- Subsequent events indicated increasingly rapid progress in the political development of the Territory. The process of “Somalization11 proceeded regularly and speedily. Each year more and more Somalis were taking charge of the most important and delicate posts in the Administration and exercising full responsibility in the various fields of the public life of the country.
- New elections finally were held at the local administrative level at the endof1958 and at the national political level in March 1959, giving ample evidence of the degree of maturity attained by the political class of Somalia.
- In the light of these developments, the outstanding event of 1959, namely, the decision to advance the date of independence of Somalia as provided for in General Assembly resolution 1418 (XIV), came as a natural and welcome consequence. The remaining steps to be taken to ensure stable political machinery to Somalia followed in rapid succession. On 25 January 1960, a law was enacted conferring on the elected Legislative Assembly full powers for the preparation and adoption of the Constitution of Somalia.
- This is no doubt the salient point in the political development of any country, for it provides a clear indication of the maturity of its people, their ability to conduct their own affairs as well as to maintain peaceful, harmonious, and fruitful relations with neighboring communities. In the case of Somalia, I am happy to say, there need be no doubt on that score. The Constitution of the newborn State is a document that amply endorses my contention. It testifies clearly to the democratic instincts of its people, their desire for progress, freedom, and peace.
- The Republic of Somalia, by virtue of its Constitution, has solemnly resolved to repudiate war as a means of settling international disputes. It accepts, on conditions of parity with other States, all limitations of its sovereignty required by any international organization established to ensure peace among nations. The Republic gives full recognition to international law and to the binding force of international agreements.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approved by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948 [resolution 217 (III)], is formally endorsed by the Somali State in its Constitution. Fundamental freedoms are fully guaranteed. Equal rights and responsibilities are proclaimed for all citizens without any distinction of race, national origin, birth, language, sex, economic and social status, or opinion. The political structure of the State clearly rests on the principles of universal suffrage, freedom of political opinion and the rule of law.
- Even though assured by the political and constitutional background developed during these last ten years, the independence of Somalia would hardly be on the firm ground had the economic and social foundations not been carefully prepared and developed.
- I realize that there is a concern for the economic future of the country and many Press publications in these days bear witness to that fact. Indeed, the limited natural resources, the climatic conditions, the fact that because of deeply-rooted psychological and ethnical factors a high percentage of the population is traditionally nomadic, constituted-and in part still constitutes-a handicap to any development program. Let me refer at this point to some of the important economic features of the new Republic.
- On the one hand, its important geographic position on the eastern tip of Africa, facing the principal maritime routes converging on the Indian Ocean to the south and the Red Sea to the north, with two traditional ports, Mogadiscio, the capital, and Chisimaio, the latter, as recent surveys indicate, with great possibilities of modern development; and on the other hand, the presence of two large rivers, the Giuba and the Uebi Scebeli, navigable in parts, seem to constitute the main assets of the territory.
- The traditional economy is based on agriculture and pasture. The main products are bananas, sesame, arachides, and sugar cane. Prospects of tapping oil resources can be envisaged, as the presence of two important oil companies already operating in the country seems to indicate.
- Italy has spared no effort to develop in Somalia an economic and social structure which has already brought about a considerable change in the welfare of its people and which has provided new and more fruitful fields of endeavor.
- The contributions made by my country, during the period of its trusteeship amount to 62 thousand million lire (roughly $100 million). Thanks to a seven-year development plan which is now nearing completion, general conditions have improved so that the balancing of both the budget and the balance of payments appear attainable within a foreseeable, if not immediate, future. The deficit in the balance of trade has decreased from 38 million somalos in 1951 to 8 million in 1959. National income during the same period has trebled. Revenues have increased from 21 million somalos in 1951 to an estimated 71 million in 1960.
- The Somali people and the Italian authorities have had to overcome natural conditions that are extremely difficult, and this has had to be done with, unfortunately, not unlimited means, always having in mind the necessity of not taking too great a step which might eventually result in economic disorder. More will have to be done to ensure the entire Somali population a higher standard of living, keeping in mind the necessity of balancing steps aimed at development with the demands of economic stability•
- Economic development programs are underway, covering agricultural improvements, livestock raising, promotion of water research, and assistance to the handicraft industry and trade. Public-works projects are being implemented to expand the road network; to improve port facilities in Mogadiscio, Merca, and Chisimaio; for improvements to aqueducts, and to the airport at Mogadiscio and airstrips elsewhere in Somalia.
- I might add that the assistance granted in the past is being continued now that independence has been reached, since the Italian Government, in order to avoid any difficulties in the smooth beginning of Somalia’s independent life, has offered and undertaken to contribute to the financial requirements of the Somali Government for the year 1960. Furthermore, Italy, as well as other friendly countries, will not fail to assist in future years the people and Government of Somalia, should they so desire, in the difficult task which is now entrusted entirely to them-of meeting the nation’s needs and improving its economy.
- However limited in their material resources, the Somalis face the future not only with hope and confidence but also, and above all, with determination, for they are industrious, keen, persevering, and ingenious people.
- Much progress has also been achieved in the social field and sound foundations have been laid which afford high hopes for further favorable developments.
- Health standards have been raised consistently and health facilities expanded. Intensive action in the field of hygiene, social medicine, professional training of public-health personnel, and improvement in nutrition, begun by the Italian Administration, is now being pursued most effectively by the Somali authorities.
- Similarly, the Somalis have shown not only keen interest but also great ability in improving educational standards, so that all endeavors in this field have met with a success that justifies utmost confidence in future progress.
- As for the field of labor, the caliber of work has been so improved through better training that results most beneficial to the economy of the nation should ensue. Measures for the social protection of workers afford the Somali worker further incentives and higher confidence.
- I have touched briefly on these points because I felt it necessary to indicate to the Council the path of progress on which Somalia has the firmest intention to proceed, progress which has been amply and generously appreciated by the Trusteeship Council. In this respect, I am especially gratified to acknowledge the continuing and increasing interest shown by the United Nations through its competent organs, especially the technical assistance programs, in the future progress and welfare of the recently-born State. The presence of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations, Mr. Stavropoulos, at the independence ceremonies in Mogadiscio has in this context a most significant and propitious meaning.
- I trust that I have succeeded in providing the Council with a picture of the Republic of Somalia-a picture to ‘which the distinguished representative of the United Kingdom will, no doubt, add with his knowledge and eloquence-in order that the Council may be fully aware of the indeed high qualities of this state that recommend it for admission to membership in our organization.
- However, the elements that I have offered would hardly be complete if I passed over in silence the feelings of the Italian people for the Somali people. The ties of friendship developed in so many years of fruitful co-operation between Somalia and Italy are such that the termination of any agreement can by no means end an association which we know to be in the very hearts and minds of our peoples.
- The new relationship, on the basis of full equality in status, will doubtless provide fertile ground for fruitful political and economic cooperation between Italy and Somalia, which remain united by common ties and understanding derived from years of joint endeavors.
- There is in the Sistine Chapel a fresco by Michelangelo showing the Son slowly detaching himself from the Father. There is still only a tenuous link between them. It is barely visible because it pertains more to the spirit than to the body. I think that this could well describe what Italy hopes to have achieved in discharging the task entrusted to it by our Organization vis-a-vis the Somali people: the injection into their minds of the great spiritual motivations of our Charter, such as respect for human dignity, social progress, peace, and security.
- I know that in Italy on 1 July, when the Italian flag was lowered in Mogadiscio many minds went back to the memories of the past and to the efforts that Italy has made in Somalia as the last region in Africa where we have concluded our work of stewardship. These minds were certainly moved by such an event, but I am sure that at the same time they were pleased and happy that it should take place in a context so deeply tinted by the noble motivations of the United Nations. On that day, I can assure you, these minds, just because they are fond of the memories of the past, were looking to the future, with the intention of furthering also in other ways, with other means and along new avenues, close cooperation between Italy and the countries of Africa.
- It is in this spirit of friendship for Africa, and because of the unity of purpose existing between Italians and Somalis, that I once again commend to the Council the proposal before it, for I know that it constitutes a recognition that the Republic of Somalia fully deserves, a recognition which will amply prove to be also to the benefit of our Organization.
Sir Pierson Dixon (UK)
- Sir Pierson Dixon (United Kingdom): My delegation is happy to share with the delegation of Italy and the delegation of Tunisia the honor of sponsoring the application of the Republic of Somalia for membership in the United Nations. This is an occasion which may well go down to history as unique in the annals of the United Nations. We have on more than one occasion welcomed into the Organization’s former Trust Territories. We have many times welcomed States which have graduated from dependence to independence. But today we are concerned with the uniting of Somaliland, a former British protectorate – which itself celebrated its independence on 26 June-and Somalia, which has been administered by Italy as a Trust Territory and reached independence on 1 July. On that same day, 1 July, the two independent states of Somaliland and of Somalia freely entered into a solemn partnership: the Republic of Somalia.
- There seems to me to be ample cause here for satisfaction. The two constituent parts of the Republic of Somalia have our warmest congratulations on the way in which they have advanced to independence. As the representative of one of the two administering Powers concerned, I can speak with very genuine feeling when I say how gratified we are that this important development has taken place in an atmosphere of mutual interest and goodwill between the administering and the administered, founded in a common aim: independence.
- The decision of these two independent nations to fuse their identity into one is also a matter in which their leaders and people can be assured of our best wishes for success. It is, of course, an arrangement which affects Somaliland and Somalia only, and we are confident that the new State will retain the most friendly relations with all its neighbors. Her Majesty’s Government recognized the new State on 1 July and Her Majesty was represented at the ceremonies of independence by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. John Profumo, who presented his credentials to President Aden Abdullah Osman that afternoon.
- I was much moved by the statement we have just heard from the representative of Italy. In laying down its trust, which it has discharged on behalf of the United Nations with such skill and devotion, the Government of Italy can do so in the knowledge that it has left the United Nations and the people of Somalia deeply in its debt. During the ten years of Italian trusteeship, my Government has watched with increasing admiration the work of the Italian Government and the Somali people in developing the Trust Territory.
- My delegation has been able during that time to observe from close quarters in the Trusteeship Council the inspiring progress which has been made. We have had the privilege of knowing some of the dedicated people who have played a prominent part in this chapter of United Nations history. In particular, I should like to mention Hajji Farah Ali Omar, who represented the Government of the former Trust Territory on so many occasions here in New York, and. of course, the Prime Minister for a number of years, Mr. Abdullahi Issa, whom we remember from earlier days in the United Nations. I should also like to recall on this occasion the arduous work which has been done by the members of that unique United Nations body, the Advisory Council in Mogadiscio, the representatives of Colombia, the Philippines, and the United Arab Republic, who have served this Organization and the new State so devotedly. A special thought is due to the memory of Kamal Eddin Salah, who tragically lost his life in the service of the Council.
- To these men, together with the Italian administrators who have contributed so much, Ambassadors Fornari, Martino, Anzilotti, and di Stefano, our proceedings today are a tribute.
- The special relationship forged between the United Nations and the people of Somalia-a relationship bound up with the history of this Organization itself – will not, I am confident, be allowed to rust away. I am sure that, on the contrary, in the matter of economic, social and educational aid to the Republic of Somalia, this Organization has a most important role to play in the future in cooperation with the leaders of the newly independent State. My delegation was happy to see Mr. Stavropoulos in Mogadiscio at the moment of independence as the representative of the Secretary-General, and we hope that appropriate arrangements will be made to ensure that the advice and the assistance of the United Nations are available to the new State.
- We are dealing today with the application for membership of the Republic of Somalia, but I hope that it will be thought appropriate if I speak particularly of that part of the Republic with which we in the United Kingdom have had long and friendly connexions and which is less familiar to the United Nations than the former Trust Territory.
- It was in 1827 that the first treaty between a Somali tribe and the United Kingdom was signed. By 1887 a series of treaties guaranteeing British protection to various Somali tribes had been signed, and the Somali Protectorate was administered by the United Kingdom until 26 June 1960. I should like to give a brief sketch of some of the main aspects of this land – that is, the land with which we have had special connexions.
- Somaliland lies on the southern shores of the Gulf of Aden. Along the coast are flat maritime plains which rise steeply to the highlands, comprising a great mountain range and extensive plateau areas more than 2,000 feet above sea-level, which provide the principal pastures of the country. The population of former Somaliland, mainly nomadic, is estimated at about 650,000 persons – almost one-third of the population of the new Republic.
- The economy is principally pastoral. Animal husbandry is much the most important single source of wealth and there is considerable export trade in animals on the hoof and skins. There is also an agricultural industry of increasing importance.
- Her Majesty’s Government, during its period of responsibility for the Somaliland Protectorate, sought to help to develop the basic framework of services and facilities necessary for communications, for production, and for social well-being. In addition to an annual grant-in-aid for the budget of the Protectorate, it contributed considerable sums for development. In the last four years alone, some £2.5 million was made available.
- It would, I think, be appropriate to mention here that Somaliland already has first-hand experience of some aspects of the work of the United Nations, since the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund have helped in making surveys there in connexion with particular diseases. We very much appreciate this assistance.
- These have been the sinews of nationhood which we have helped to develop during our period of responsibility. Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom has drawn great satisfaction from the fact that the political evolution of the Somaliland Protectorate has resulted largely from the initiative of the people of Somaliland themselves, who have shown themselves so ready and able to assume the responsibilities of statehood.
- It may be useful to the Council if I briefly describe the course of recent steps which led to the attainment of nationhood last week. Executive and Legislative Councils were established in the Protectorate in 1955 and first met in May 1957. The first elections were held in March 1959.
- The Secretary of State for the Colonies had announced on 9 February 1959, in the Legislative Council, that an unofficial majority would be introduced in both the Executive and the Legislative Councils in 1960 and that thereafter such further constitutional steps as were necessary would lead to early self-government.
- A new Constitution was accordingly introduced early this year, providing for an almost entirely elected Legislature. In the elections on 17 February, Somali candidates were returned, in a heavy poll, for all the elected seats, and a coalition under Mr. Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal held all but one seat. The way ahead was clear.
- In his speech to which I have just referred, the Secretary of State for the Colonies recognized the deep desire expressed by many Somalis in the Protectorate for a closer association with Somalia. He stated that if, after Somalia became independent, both territories wished to explore this possibility, Her Majesty’s Government would arrange for negotiations to take place.
- On 6 April, the Legislative Council adopted unanimously a motion calling for union with Somalia and for independence by 1 July, the date on which the Trust Territory of Somalia was to attain independence.
- The elected ministers then asked to pay an early visit to London to discuss independence, a request which we warmly welcomed and which led to the Somaliland Protectorate Constitutional Conference early in May this year. Despite the obvious difficulties in making the necessary arrangements within so short a period, Her Majesty’s Government agreed to undertake constitutional measures to make possible the independence of the Protectorate by 1 July. The date fixed upon was 26 June. On that day Her Majesty’s Government ceased to have any governmental responsibility in the Protectorate, and Somaliland formally assumed full sovereignty under the executive direction of a Council of Ministers and the Prime Ministership of Mr. Egal. I should like here to pay a tribute to the leadership which he has shown during this vital period in the history of his country.
- This was a most happy outcome, and Her Majesty’s Government is confident that its relations with the Somali people will continue on the present friendly basis. Its concern has been to grant independence to Somaliland in accordance with the wishes of the people of Somaliland. The question of a union between Somaliland and Somalia has been one for the Somalis themselves. It has in fact been agreed as a free action on the part of two independent states.
- I turn briefly to the future. Her Majesty’s Government had given certain undertakings with regard to assistance to Somaliland. These have been transferred to the Somali Republic, following the uniting of Somaliland with Somalia, and always subject, naturally, to the wishes of the Republic. Her Majesty’s Government will further contribute to the Republic an additional annual sum which had been promised to Somalia before the decision on union was reached.
- Her Majesty’s Government has also made arrangements, for an interim period, for the continued services of United Kingdom personnel to assist the Somali authorities, at their request. The Italian Government will be giving even more substantial aid to the Somali Republic and we are gratified to see this and other evidence of the continued close association of Italy with the Somali people.
- There is good reason for optimism, about the outlook for this new State. Although it is clear that the Republic of Somalia faces formidable economic problems, I am confident that, with the help of the world community, these can be solved.
- Moreover, the evidence before us shows that the apparatus and habits of democratic government are well established there. The statesmanlike approach of the leaders of the Republic to the intricate arrangements involved in its establishment bears witness to their skill in government and to their sense of responsibility.
- We welcome their wish to join this Organization and to subscribe to the purposes of the United Nations, and I am thinking particularly in this connexion of the maintenance of international peace and security, the development of friendly relations among nations, and the achievement of international co-operation in solving international problems.
- It is a source of great contentment to us in the United Kingdom that our long association with the people of the former Protectorate should have reached so happy a culmination. We look forward with every confidence to an equally happy association with the Republic and are confident that it will soon be playing a full and valuable part in the fraternity of nations.
- In conclusion, I warmly commend to my fellow representatives the draft resolution which, with the Governments of Italy and Tunisia, we have submitted to the Security Council and am confident that it will meet with their unanimous support.
Mongi Slim, (Tunisia)
- Mr. SLIM (Tunisia) (translated from French): The Security Council today has before it the application of the young Republic of Somalia for admission to membership in the United Nations.
- Formed on 1 July 1960 through the union of the former British Protectorate of Somaliland, which recently became independent, and the former Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian administration, the young Republic of Somalia has entered into international life with all the attributes of a fully independent and sovereign State. It is worthy of note that the United Kingdom, under whose protection a part of the present Republic of Somalia formerly was, had for some years been training the Somali people in the responsibilities of regional and municipal administration. Prompted by the same concern to prepare the people for independence Italy had introduced the part of present-day Somalia under its trusteeship to the responsibilities of regional and local administration. The Trusteeship Council made numerous recommendations to this effect.
- Thus the United Nations through its recommendations, on the one hand, and the United Kingdom and Italy, on the other, have contributed largely to the preparation of the Somali people for their responsibilities in international life and for their emergence as an independent and sovereign nation. This concerted action of the United Nations and the two former Administering Authorities would certainly have been in vain if the Somali people themselves had not been endowed with qualities of their own and had not been determined to regain their freedom and independence and to live in a harmonious community working towards their social and economic advancement.
- The Somali people are peaceful, intelligent, methodical, and wise, and will, I am sure, make a substantial contribution in international life to the progress of mankind and to international peace and security. I am certain that the young Republic of Somalia will act in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter the obligations of which it has undertaken to discharge loyally and conscientiously.
- As soon as the independence of the Republic of Somalia was proclaimed, the Tunisian Government lost no time in recognizing Somalia as a sovereign State and will establish the friendliest diplomatic relations with it. The Tunisian people joyfully hailed the freedom of the Somali people.
- My delegation had therefore great pleasure in joining with the delegations of Italy and the United Kingdom in submitting the draft resolution before the Council recommending to the General Assembly that the Republic of Somalia be admitted to the United Nations as a Member State. My delegation is certain that the Council will adopt the draft resolution unanimously.
- Before concluding, I should like to express my very sincere congratulations to the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Italy on the way in which they have helped the Somali people to regain their full sovereignty. My delegation is happy on this occasion to extend to the Somali people its warmest wishes for their happiness and prosperity in their newly recovered dignity and in relations of amity and cooperation with all States Members of the United Nations.
Francis Wilcox (USA) Assistant Secretary of State
- Mr. WILCOX (United States of America): The United States of America is pleased to support the admission of the Republic of Somalia to membership in the United Nations. It is a thrilling thing to witness the birth of a new State. Membership in the United Nations is the logical culmination of events set in motion on 2 December 1950, when the former Italian Somalia became the Trust Territory of Somaliland under the Italian administration. Since that day the Somali people, their elected officials, and the Italian administration have worked with goodwill and with diligence toward one goal: to bring the Territory to independence and full sovereignty. During that period parallel progress was being made in the neighboring British Protectorate of Somaliland toward the same great goal. In late June of this year, British Somaliland became independent and freely decided to join with the former Trust Territory of Somaliland to form the Republic of Somalia which we are welcoming here today.
- To both Italy and the United Kingdom we offer our commendation for their aid in furthering the aspirations of the Somali people. We must also give full credit to the wisdom of the people of Somalia and the dedication of their leaders.
- At the fourteenth session of the General Assembly, the United States had the privilege of co-sponsoring resolution 1418 (XIV) which was adopted unanimously on 5 December 1959 and which advanced the date of independence for Somalia by six months. This resolution was motivated by recognition of the political growth of the. Somali people and by the striking advances in self-government achieved in a few short years. The United Nations has been fortunate in the past in having had distinguished Somalis participate in its work. Many of us in this room have been privileged to work with Hajji Farah Ali Omar, Minister of Industry and Commerce, and with the Under-Secretary to the Presidency of the Council of Somalia, Ali Daar, who is with us today. The United Nations will be fortunate in having yet another African voice added to its councils, this time from the fabled Horn of Africa, from the Republic of Somalia.
- From the outset of the trusteeship period, it was made abundantly clear by a series of detailed studies that Somalia’s major problems would be in the economic field. For the realization of its plans in this field, the Republic of Somalia will need the continued assistance of the United Nations and its specialized agencies. I certainly hope that the United Nations will be in a position to respond positively and promptly. For its part, my Government has assured the Republic of Somalia that the United States is prepared, if the people of Somalia so wish, to assist Somalia to maintain its economic stability and to achieve a proper level of development in the period of independence that lies ahead. On this occasion which marks in United Nations circles the birth of another new nation, I am glad to repeat that assurance.
- We have confidence in the Somali people and in the Republic of Somalia, as indeed we have in the dynamic Africa of today; and we have confidence that the problems facing this new nation will be resolved through statesmanship and without rancor. One cannot go to Africa in1960without being profoundly impressed by the far-reaching changes that are taking place there. These changes, in my view, constitute one of the most important developments of the twentieth century. It is already apparent that more new sovereign States will be created in Africa during 1960 than have ever been created before during any comparable period in world history. These developments will bring in their wake a great challenge and a great opportunity to the United Nations. With the help of this Organization, I am confident that the peoples of Africa will succeed in establishing their rightful place in the family of nations. I am confident too that they will make a significant contribution to the United Nations and the cause of world peace.
- The United States will vote for the draft resolution submitted by Italy, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom. In doing so, I want to extend the warm and sincere congratulations of the United States to the people of Somalia on this important step in their national life.
Arkady Sobolev (USSR)
- Mr. SOBOLEV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): The subject of this meeting of the Security Council is the admission to membership in the United Nations of yet another African State which has attained national independence, the Republic of Somalia.
- As the Soviet delegation has repeatedly said, the declaration of independence by African States and their admission to membership in the United Nations is a significant historical event of our time.
- Somalia’s declaration of independence means another increase in the family of independent African States; at the same time, it shows the advances that are being made towards the final liberation of the whole African continent from colonialist oppression.
- The sympathies of the Soviet people, who have been brought up to believe in the lofty principles of equal rights, self-determination, and friendship among nations, are wholly on the side of the African peoples.
- In accordance with its policy of supporting peoples waging a struggle for the complete abolition of the shameful colonialist system, the Soviet Union on 1 July 1960 solemnly declared that it recognized Somalia as an independent and sovereign State and that it was prepared to establish diplomatic relations with the new State.
- Accordingly, the Soviet delegation will vote for the draft resolution recommending that the General Assembly admit Somalia to membership in the United Nations.
- In supporting Somalia’s application for admission to membership in the United Nations, the Soviet Union is acting on the assumption that the Republic of Somalia will accept the obligations contained in the Charter of the United Nations and, specifically, will do everything in its power to reach a rapid and peaceful settlement of the outstanding issues between Somalia and Ethiopia.
- In conclusion, I should like to wish the people of Somalia all success and good fortune in this new stage in their history and to express the hope that Somalia will make a worthy contribution to the work of the United Nations, in its task of promoting the maintenance of international peace and security and the development of international co-operation.
- Mr. Lewandowski (Poland): After the Republic of Cameroun and the Togolese Republic, the Republic of Somalia is the third former United Nations Trust Territory to obtain its independence this year. Poland welcomes wholeheartedly the birth of a new African state and hopes that it will reinforce the ranks of our Organization by its peace-loving policies. I hardly need to recall the recent history of Somalia, since it is well known to all members of the Council. The Trusteeship Council and the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly have discussed the question of the evolution of this country regularly and at length since it became a United Nations Trust Territory. The Polish delegation took an active part in those discussions, advocating the attainment of independence by all Trust Territories at the earliest possible date since this is the ultimate aim of the Trusteeship System as established by the United Nations Charter.
- We, therefore, note with satisfaction that the Republic of Somalia was established at a date earlier than that originally set by the United Nations. We think that the work of the United Nations here played a certain role, although it might perhaps be called a modest one, through the systematic defense by a number of Member States – among them Poland – of the legitimate rights of Somalia and other Trust and dependent territories to independent statehood.
- It is our hope that friendly relations between Poland and Somalia will develop and serve the best interests of both our peoples as well as of the world community. On behalf of the Government and people of Poland I should like on this happy occasion to express our warm-hearted wishes to the new State, to its Government and its people for success in their efforts to strengthen their independence, and to express also our hopes for the further development of their economy and culture.
- We shall be very pleased indeed to cast our vote in favor of the draft resolution presented jointly by the representatives of Italy, the United Kingdom, and Tunisia recommending the admission of the Republic of Somalia to membership in the United Nations. We shall support this draft resolution with the conviction that the Republic of Somalia, having become a member of the United Nations, will make a worthy contribution to the Organization’s work.
- Mr. QUIJANO (Argentina) (translated from Spanish): With the consideration of this application for membership in the United Nations submitted on behalf of his Government by the President of the Republic of Somalia, the Organization may take pride in having successfully completed another chapter in its continuing and positive program to promote the widest possible implementation of the principle of the self-determination of peoples.
- My delegation finds this development particularly gratifying because it took an active part in the decision adopted by the General Assembly in 1949 [resolution 289 B (IV)] recommending that former Italian Somaliland should become independent within ten years and asking Italy to administer it as a Trust Territory in the interim period. The responsibility placed upon the Italian Government was unique, within the framework of Chapter XII of the Charter of the United Nations, in that it specified a time-limit for the fulfillment by the Administering Authority of all the obligations and objectives enumerated in that Chapter.
- The efficiency and skill of the Italian administration as well as the political maturity of the Somali people and their readiness for an independent life were fully demonstrated when the General Assembly, at its fourteenth session, adopted resolution 1418 (XIV), of which my delegation was a co-sponsor, advancing the date of independence by six months in response to the request of the Somali Legislative Assembly and in view of the existence in the Territory of all the conditions necessary for self-government.
- As a member of the Security Council, my delegation has an opportunity once again to participate in this process and my Government, therefore, received the application contained in document S/4360 most favorably and is prepared to support the draft resolution submitted by the delegations of Italy, the United Kingdom and Tunisia in which the Security Council recommends to the General Assembly the admission of the Republic of Somalia to membership in the United Nations.
- In view of the traditional friendship and close bonds between my country and Italy, we take a special interest in the essential role that has been played by Italy in this case and we take pleasure in conveying to Italy our warmest congratulations on the efficiency and generosity with which it has fulfilled all its obligations.
- We also congratulate the United Kingdom Government upon the constructive spirit in which it administered former British Somaliland and upon its decision to facilitate the conditions necessary to enable that part of the Somali people freely to decide its future.
- The two new Governments, for their part, have shown wisdom and foresight in joining together in a united republic and this important first step augurs well for the future development of the Somali State.
- As a gesture of friendship and an expression of its feelings towards the new country, the Argentine Republic has associated itself in the celebrations of independence in Somalia by sending its permanent representative to the United Nations and the Security Council to Mogadiscio to represent it. He has had the pleasant task of conveying to the people and Government of the young Republic of Argentina’s most sincere wishes for a happy and prosperous future. For my part, I should like here in the Council, to express the same good wishes to the representatives of the Somali Government at this table and to pledge the co-operation of the Argentine delegation in seeking appropriate solutions through the United Nations for the political and economic problems which face Somalia as a newly independent State.
- Mr. TSIANG (China): Three members of the Security Council, namely Italy, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom, have assured us that the Republic of Somalia is qualified not only to be an independent sovereign nation but also to be a worthy member of the United Nations. My delegation welcomes this assurance and rejoices over it. The information at the disposal of my Government confirms what the representatives of Italy, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom have told us. I will therefore vote for the joint draft resolution [S/4363] recommending that the Republic of Somalia be admitted to membership in the United Nations.
- In casting this vote, I wish to express the congratulations and best wishes of my country to the people and Government of Somalia for their future prosperity and further progress. Success in achieving independence is a great event in the life of any people, and always bespeaks the great qualities of the people concerned. I am sure the Somali people deserve this success. At the same time, I am very happy to note that this development has been greatly facilitated by the constructive and sympathetic work done by former governing authorities; I mean those of Italy on the one hand and of the United Kingdom on the other.
- Therefore, in voting for the draft resolution, it is also my purpose to express the appreciation of my Government for the good work done in Somalia by Italy and the United Kingdom.
Pierre Millet (France)
- Mr. MILLET (France) (translated from French): A new African State has recently attained international sovereignty and is today applying for admission to membership in the United Nations.
- The Republic of Somalia is well known to the Members of our Organization since two-thirds of its area consists of the Territory which was entrusted ten years ago to the administration of Italy, under the International Trusteeship System. Two-thirds of the new State’s population inhabit the territory formerly under United Nations trusteeship.
- Thus, for the third time this year, we have before us a country which has attained the objectives set out in Chapters XII and XIII of the United Nations Charter.
- For ten years the Trusteeship Council and General Assembly have followed each step in Somalia’s steady progress. When the Trusteeship Agreement was signed on 2 December 1950 it may well have been though that Italy was accepting a formidable challenge. It undertook to fulfill its work as Administering Authority in the space of ten years. Could that undertaking be carried out? The geographic, economic, and social conditions of the Territory seemed to present almost insurmountable obstacles, and yet Somalia has attained the objectives of the Trusteeship System and our Italian friends have kept their word-they have overcome all the difficulties with the traditional firmness of purpose and faith of a nation of builders, and for this, we pay them a tribute.
- The transition from trusteeship to independence on 1 July was a smooth one, for Italy had not waited until then to install the machinery essential to a democratic and viable State. For four years, the Republic of Somalia has had its own government and parliament and has practiced that essential mode of political expression-universal suffrage. More recently, a plan for the transfer of powers was drawn up jointly by the Italian administration and the Somali authorities. This plan, which was brought to the attention of the General Assembly on 5 December 1959, was put into effect without delay.
- Thus, the awakening of the national consciousness and the establishment of political institutions and new administrative structures came about peacefully and virtually without friction. Unfortunately, this could not be the case so far as economic development and the improvement of levels of living were concerned.
- The natural difficulties inherent in the climate and the nature of the soil, in a poorly endowed territory with very limited national resources, present extremely serious obstacles to the development of the Republic of Somalia.
- The United Nations has given close attention each year to the economic prospects of the future State of Somalia and the Trusteeship Council has on many occasions highly praised the Italian Government and its administrators, who have exhibited exceptional foresight and tenacity.
- Thanks to the financial aid provided by the Italian Government and the studies conducted by various Italian economic research agencies, and by the United Nations and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, it has been possible to draw up development plans whose implementation will ensure a rate of development permitting a steady improvement in the level of living.
- The country is of course, like so many others, still poor and underdeveloped. The deficit in its balance of payments is substantial and will remain so for many years to come. Outside assistance will continue to be essential. Nevertheless, we know that a number of friendly nations, in particular Italy, which has already done so much in this direction, are prepared to continue their technical and financial assistance. My Government wishes to extend its unreserved congratulations to the authorities in Rome and Mogadiscio on the brilliant manner in which they have discharged their weighty responsibilities during the past decade in accordance with the obligations assumed under the Trusteeship Agreement.
- The other portion of the nation which seeks admission to the United Nations consists of the former British Protectorate of Somaliland which became independent on 26 June last and freely decided to unite with Somalia.
- The United Kingdom’s efforts to develop local institutions and to resolve the difficult problems of an undeveloped economy have been unceasing. Here again, we have witnessed the accomplishment of peaceful evolution in keeping with the democratic traditions which our British friends have always striven to universalize and defend and in keeping also with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, into whose large family the new State of Somalia now asks to be admitted.
- The French delegation wishes to offer its most sincere congratulations to the two Powers, Italy and the United Kingdom, which have made this event possible today and whose anxious concern for the people of Somalia has never been found wanting.
- Nor should we forget the work accomplished by the United Nations Advisory Council for Somaliland. It has played an important part in the development of Somaliland under the Italian administration, uniting its efforts with those of the Administering Authority and giving freely of its wise counsel.
- It remains for me to express my delegation’s best wishes for the future of the new State and to express our hope that the Republic of Somalia will make its constructive contribution to the work of our Organization.
- In applying for admission, this State has undertaken to assume the obligations laid down in the Charter. We have no doubt that the Republic of Somalia will give due regard to these principles and that the new state will find the strength to resist the external temptations which sometimes beset young nations. Its leaders will, we are convinced, endeavor to maintain peaceful and friendly relations with all their neighbors, whoever they may be.
- It is in this spirit and in this hope that my delegation will be happy to vote for the draft resolution submitted by the delegations of Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom, recommending to the General Assembly the admission of the Republic of Somalia to membership in the United Nations.
WIJEGOONAWARDENA (Ceylon or Sri Lanka)
- Mr. WIJEGOONAWARDENA (Ceylon or Sri Lanka): We are once again meeting in this Council to consider the recommendation to the General Assembly of still another application for admission to membership of the United Nations. Before us is the application of the Republic of Somalia.
- It is not necessary for me to go into the historical processes that have preceded our actions today. It seems appropriate, however, to take note of the fact that this action in which we are participating is the result of a cooperative effort on the part of the former Administering Authorities and the territories administered. The Ceylon delegation would like to pay a tribute to the work done by Italy and the United Kingdom in furthering the cause of the independence of the territories that now form the Republic of Somalia. Italy has completed successfully a role that was assigned to it by the United Nations under the Trusteeship System, while the United Kingdom, for its part, has fruitfully accomplished its task in accordance with the spirit of Article 73 of the Charter.
- One cannot help noticing, particularly in cases like the present one and those we have had in the recent past, the important role that the “administering” and “metropolitan” Powers are playing in the guidance towards independence of peoples of different stock under their tutelage. This is a phenomenon worthy of special mention. It could very well be that the present age would be characterized by historians of the future as yet another age of the rebirth of nations, but with an important difference that they were born into the family of the United Nations.
- We have an immense opportunity before us-an opportunity which offers us the chance to realize, jointly and severally, the genuine aims and ideals of this Organization. The task may at times be difficult, but it is a worthwhile one. It is with this appreciation of the ultimate purpose of our endeavors that the Ceylon delegation has great pleasure in supporting the draft resolution before us. Indeed, it gives us great satisfaction to feel that we are participating in a process unique in the evolution of mankind.
- The Ceylon delegation welcomes with pleasure the entry of the Republic of Somalia into the United Nations and extends its warmest congratulations to the Government and the people of the Republic.
José A. Corea (Ecuador) and Council president
- The PRESIDENT (translated from Spanish): I shall now make a statement in my capacity as representative of Ecuador.
- The application of the Republic of Somalia for admission to membership is a significant event for the United Nations. The Organization has been instrumental, perhaps much more than in any other case, in the development since the end of the Second World War of the new independent state whose admission is now being considered by the Council.
- In fact, the General Assembly was called upon in 1949 to decide the future of the former Italian colonies. It should be recognized today, ten years after those deliberations, that the Assembly did not choose the path which at the time might have seemed the easy one, politically; instead, guided by the inviolable principles of the Charter, it took decisions recognizing and giving effect to the right of peoples to self-government and independence. Libya was admitted to the United Nations within a short time and now, after ten years of Italian administration of Somalia within the framework of the International Trusteeship System, Somalia, as an independent State is requesting admission to the world body.
- It is only proper, on this occasion, to pay a deserved tribute to the Italian Government for the exemplary manner in which it has discharged its responsibilities as Administering Authority for Somalia. The documents of the General Assembly, the Trusteeship Council and its Visiting Missions constitute eloquent proof of what I might describe as the mystic sense with which Italy carried out this task despite the enormous difficulties inherent in the political and economic problems with which it had to cope. Italy deserves the gratitude of the United Nations for its work in Somalia and for having made Somalia’s independence possible within the time-limit established by the United Nations General Assembly.
- The new State whose application for membership is being considered comprises not only the former territory of Somaliland under Italian administration but also what is known as British Somaliland. In our view, the union of the two Territories is a notable example worthy of attention. Whenever circumstances permit, the consolidation rather than the dispersal of human energies is bound to produce national entities in which peoples can best fulfill their destiny and improve their levels of living. The two Somalilands have succeeded in overcoming the inevitable negative forces working against the union and we congratulate them on that fact, just as we warmly congratulate the Governments of Italy and the United Kingdom on their valuable contribution to the attainment of that goal.
- As part of the new Republic of Somalia was administered under the International Trusteeship System, Member States are familiar with the international, political, and economic problems which will confront the new State. We hope that the international problems, such as the question of the frontier, will be settled by peaceful means in accordance with law and justice as provided in the United Nations Charter, and that with regard to the economic problems still outstanding, the international community which has initiated action though the appropriate organs of the United Nations will continue to provide the new State with as much technical and other assistance as possible.
- On behalf of the Government and people of Ecuador, I wish to convey our most· sincere wishes for the future of the Somali people whose efforts and traditions command our admiration, and for the new independent State whose admission to membership we will support by voting in favor of the draft resolution submitted by the delegations of Italy, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom.
- Speaking as PRESIDENT I now put to vote the draft resolution submitted by the delegations of Italy, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom (S/4363).
United Nations Security Council Resolution 141, adopted unanimously on July 5, 1960, after examining the application of the Somali Republic for membership in the United Nations, the Council recommended to the General Assembly that the Republic of Somalia be admitted
Security Council resolution 141 (1960) [on the admission of Somalia to membership in the United Nations]
Title: Security Council resolution 141 (1960) [on the admission of Somalia to membership in the United Nations]
Meeting record S/PV.871
Draft resolution S/4363
Yes: 011 | No: 0 | Abstentions: 0 | Non-Voting: 0 | Total voting membership: 011
Vote date 1960-07-05
Vote (Y means Yes)
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