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The United Nations in 1947

1947 was an extremely active year for the young United Nations. Plans were laid for the permanent headquarters of the organization, studies were made and plans developed as a basis for future activities, and action was taken on urgent international problems.

In February, the Security Council considered the complaint of the United Kingdom against Albania, which alleged that the Albanian government had been responsible for the laying of mines in the Corfu Channel by which British ships had been damaged and British sailors killed and injured. In April the Security Council voted to refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice.

The Commission for Conventional Armaments was established by the Security Council on February 13 to make proposals for the general regulation and reduction of armaments and armed forces, and for practical safeguards in this connection.

The International Monetary Fund began its active operations on March 1.

The International Civil Aviation Organization came formally into existence in April after the Convention on International Civil Aviation had been ratified by the requisite number of states.

A special session of the General Assembly was convened on April 28 for the purpose of constituting and instructing a special committee to prepare for the consideration of the question of Palestine at the Assembly's second regular session. The special session adjourned on May 15, and the Special Committee on Palestine held its first meeting on May 26. On November 29 the second session of the General Assembly voted, by a two-thirds majority, to partition Palestine into independent Arab and Jewish states and place Jerusalem under United Nations trusteeship.

Andrei Gromyko, Soviet representative to the Security Council, speaks before the General Assembly on November 29 in favor of an immediate vote on the partition of Palestine.
Andrei Gromyko

United Nations delegates who supported the partitioning of Palestine into independent Arab and Jewish states congratulate each other following the General Assembly vote in their favor.
Palestine partition congratulations

The Preparatory Commission of the International Refugee Organization took over on July 1 the responsibility of providing food and shelter for the refugees and displaced persons previously cared for by U.N.R.R.A. and the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees. In its first six months the Commission cared for an average of 650,000 persons a month in camps in Germany, Austria, Italy, and the Middle East.

The Security Council began discussing hostilities between Indonesia and the Netherlands on July 30. A "cease-fire order" was issued on August 1, and on August 25 the Council voted to establish a Committee of Good Offices to assist in the settlement of the dispute. The cease-fire order was not fully observed by either side, but negotiations between the two parties, with assistance from the Committee, continued at the end of the year.

Indonesians wait to hear the results of voting on their plea to participate in discussions on the conflict between Indonesia and the Netherlands, on August 12. The United Nations Security Council voted 8-3 in their favor.
Indonesians at the United Nations

On Septenber 17, the General Assembly hears U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall ask for the creation of an interim standing committee of 55 nations for the preservation of peace.
George C. Marshall addresses the General Assembly

On November 13 the General Assembly established an Interim Committee to function until the Assembly's next session, to consider and report on situations and disputes placed on the agenda of the next session, and also to consider the general principles of cooperation in maintaining peace and security.

The claims to independence of the people of Korea were recognized by the General Assembly in a resolution passed on November 14.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development began its operations during the year, both as a lender and a borrower. The Bank made four loands furing the year: $250,000,000 to France, $195,000,000 to the Nretherlands, $40,000,000 to Denmark, and $12,000,000 to Luxembourg. On July 15 the Bank sold bond issues totaling $250,000,000 to private investors on the United States market.

A total of 123 tariff agreements negotiated through the auspices of the United Nations Preparatory Committee on Trade and Employment were signed by 23 countries during the year.

The Atomic Energy Commission hears an address by chairman David Lilienthal. At this 18th meeting he reported in detail on the setup of the Commission and outlined its purpose as an international organization.
Atomic Energy Commission

The future site of the United Nations headquarters (outlined in white) is in New York, New York's midtown area between 42nd and 47th Streets between FirstAvenue and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. The site was donated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
future site of the U.N. Headquarters

Right: A scale model of the United Nations Headquarters on display for General Assembly delegates at Flushing Meadows, New York, during the second session of the Assembly.
model of UN Headquarters

In the Year 1947
George C. Marshall
International Monetary Fund
Universal Postal Union

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This page was last updated on 09/25/2017.