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Thursday, 7 May 1970

Dr Everingham (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Has his attention been drawn to the twentieth report (November J 969) from the Commission to Study the Organisation of Peace, of 866 United Nations Plaza, New York.

(2)   If so, does this report, entitled The United Nations: The Next Twenty-five years, propose a draft declaration by all members to the effect that they will take steps to -

(a)   accelerate, the development of world legislation applicable to States and persons;

(b)   strengthen means of peaceful settlement of disputes;

(c)   strengthen the United Nations so that all States will feel secure, and disarm States so that no State wm be able to challenge the United Nations' peace-keeping authority;

(d)   improve world living standards and promote economic, social and cultural progress and terms of trade; promote self-determination of peoples; provide adequately independent United Nations financial resources; communications, information and education to promote a world point of view; increase the universality of membership and effectiveness of the United Nations. (3) Has this report been considered; if so, is the Government in agreement with the proposals in the draft declaration and has any action been taken towards their implementation.

Mr McMahon - The answer to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   Yes.

(3)   This report has been noted. Certain of the proposals in this declaration are actively pursued through our participation in the work of the United Nations and its Specialised Agencies. It is noted also that the body which drafted this report and which has its headquarters in New York has suggested that its draft declaration be adopted at the Twenty-fifth Anniversary session of the United Nations General Assembly. In this connection the General Assembly has established a Committee for the Twenty-fifth Anniversary for the purpose, among other things, of 'considering proposals and suggestions in relation to the anniversary for increasing the effectiveness of the United Nations'. Australia is not a member of this Committee but will have an opportunity to express its views when the Committee's report is available to member states.

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