Soviet Sense of Union: USSR's Role in UN Charter's Evolution

  January 07, 2021   Read time 2 min
Soviet Sense of Union: USSR's Role in UN Charter's Evolution
Soviet Union was then a power inside the labyrinth of Superpowers. The Superpowers sought to secure their interests in the UN Charter. The strategic union of USA, UK, and USSR led to a multilateral Charter.

The Soviet Union had seemed up to this point to maintain the position held at Yalta: that is, her representative did not maintain that a permanent member could prevent any subject from being discussed at all, nor that the Yalta formula would give this right. At this point, however, the Soviet representative at San Francisco seemed to repudiate this interpretation. When the Big Five began to discuss among themselves the agreed statement they were to make in reply to the questionnaire, the Soviet representative refused to endorse a declaration that, 'since the Council has the right by a procedural vote to decide its own rules of procedure, it follows that no individual member of the Council can alone prevent a consideration and discussion by the Council of a dispute or situation brought to its attention'. The reason for the Russians' objection on this point may have been generally misinterpreted. There is every probability that it was the first part of the statement to which they objected. For, if maintained, it would have deprived them of the right, to which they subsequently attached importance, of the 'double veto': that is, the right for the Council to decide itself, in a vote subject to veto, which questions were or were not procedural. It was, however, generally taken that it was the final point to which the Soviet Union objected and that the object was to maintain the right of a permanent member to prevent even discussion of questions brought to the Council. When the question was put to Moscow, the initial answer certainly justified this fear. The Soviet government supported its delegate's position, and used the reasoning, which was later partially accepted, that a 'chain of events' culminating in enforcement action might follow from any initial Council action on such a dispute; and so maintained that even the decision to discuss was subject to veto. The United States, Britain and France categorically rejected this interpretation and were determined to maintain their position at all costs. They were indeed prepared even to risk the breakdown of the entire conference rather than give way.