688 (VII). Question of defining aggression
The General Assembly,
Having regard to its resolution 599 (VI) of 31 January 1952,
Considering that the discussion of the question of defining aggression at the sixth and seventh sessions of the General Assembly and in the International Law Commission (7) has revealed the complexity of this question and the need for a detailed study of:
(a) The various forms of aggression,
(b) The connexion between a definition of aggression and the maintenance of international peace and security,
(c) The problems raised by the inclusion of a definition of aggression in the Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind and by its application within the framework of international criminal jurisdiction,
(d) The effect of a definition of aggression on the exercise of the jurisdiction of the various organs of the United Nations,
(e) Any other problem which might be raised by a definition of aggression,
Considering that continued and joint efforts shall be made to formulate a generally acceptable definition of aggression, with a view to promoting international peace and security and to developing international law,
Decides to establish a Special Committee of fifteen members, each representing one of the following Member States: Bolivia, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, France, Iran, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Syria, Union of Soviet Socialist Re publics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and North ern Ireland, United States of America, to meet at the Headquarters of the United Nations in 1953; Requests the said Special Committee
(a) To submit to the General Assembly at its ninth session draft definitions of aggression or draft statements of the notion of aggression;
(b) To study all the problems referred to above on the assumption of a definition being adopted by a resolution of the General Assembly;
Requests the Secretary-General to communicate the Special Committee's report to Member States for their comments and to place the question on the provisional agenda of the ninth session of the General Assembly.
408th plenary meeting,
20 December 1952.
7 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixth Ses sion, Supplenient No. 9, para. 35 et seq.
Definition of Aggression
A sidelight on the Atlantic war camp’s definition of ‘aggression’ was revealed by the burmese Government when it raised in vain before the United Nations the invasion of Burma by the American-armed and equipped Kuomingtang forces under General Li. With barbed irony the Burmese delegate pleated:
I am heartened by the statements of the representatives of the United states, the United Kingdom and France that Communist aggression in South East Asia will not be tolerated. But I hope that their assurance is not only in respect of Communist aggression and that it would cover any aggression from whatever source it should come.
At the moment we are facing a Koumingtang aggression in the Eastern portion of Burma. Can Burma count on the support of these three countries and on the countries of my fellow delegates? Let it not be said that collective action of the Unites Nations is to meet Communist aggression alone.
The Burmese delegate was given his answer. In face of the admitted fact that thousands of Kuomintang, i.e. of American satellite armed forces, had invaded Burma (‘one of Chiang Kai-shek’s best battalions from Formosa has recently reinforced Kuomintang General Li Mi’s 93rd Division in Burma… there is indisputable evidence that Americans are helping the 93rd Division’. Observer, January 20, 1952), and were further, according to the Burmese delegate, ‘killing our men, taking our food, and raping our women’, the United States, British and French Goverments issued a solemn warning that if a single Chinese soldier, engaged in resisting the Kuomintang raids on Yunnan from their base in Burma, should be found anywhere to have crossed the Yunnan-Burmese frontier, this would be immediately regarded as an act of ‘aggression’ by China on Burma, and the western Powers would immediately act as in Kores. No wonder the same Western Powers of the Atlantic War Bloc strenuosly resisted the wish of the majority of the United Nations Assembly for a definition of aggression to be adopted (the resolution in favour of such a definition was carried against them by 28 votes to 12). the burglar deplores the attempt to define theft.
(resolution 688 (VII) of 20 December 1952)