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Thursday, 4 April 1957


Mr Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) m asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice-

1.   On what occasions has the General Assembly of the United Nations passed resolutions concerning West New Guinea?

2.   What were the texts of the resolutions?

3.   Which nations (a) supported, (b) opposed and (c) abstained from voting on the resolutions?


Mr Casey - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The General Assembly of the United Nations has only once passed a resolution on West New Guinea - at the Tenth Session, in 1955.

2.   The text of this resolution was as follows: -

The General Assembly, having considered the item on the agenda of its Tenth Session entitled " The question of West Irian (West New Guinea,",

Hoping that the problem will be peacefully resolved,

Noting the joint statement issued by the Governments of Indonesia and the Netherlands on 7 December, 1955,

Expresses the hope that the negotiations referred to in the said joint statement will be fruitful.

This resolution was passed unanimously and without a formal vote.

3.   At the Ninth Session (1954) and the Eleventh Session (1956-57) resolutions were passed by the Political Committee of the Assembly, but failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority in the plenary meeting. The resolution passed by the Political Committee at the Ninth Session expressed the hope that the Governments of Indonesia and the Netherlands would pursue their endeavours to find a solution to the dispute. It requested the parties to report progress to the Tenth Session. In Plenary the main operative paragraph (the whole resolution never came to the vote) failed on a vote of -

In favour - 34 (Afghanistan, Argentina, Bolivia, Burma, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador. Ethiopia, Greece, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Mexico. Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Syria. Thailand, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Yugoslavia).

Against - 23 (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Sweden, Turkey, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

Abstaining - 3 (Guatemala, Haiti, United States of America).

The resolution passed by the Political Committee at Eleventh Session called for appointment of a Good Offices Commission to assist in negotiations between Indonesia and the Netherlands and to report back to the next session of the General Assembly. In Plenary the resolution failed on a vote of -

In favour - 40 (Afghanistan, Albania, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burma, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Ceylon, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Roumania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Yemen, Yugoslavia).

Against - 25 (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Denmark,

Dominican Republic, France, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Sweden, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

Abstaining - 13 (Argentina, Cambodia, Chile, Finland, Laos, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Spain, Turkey, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela).







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