DECEMBER 7, 1948
PARIS, Monday—After a short discussion in our Committee No. 3, we accepted and passed on to the General Assembly the resolution of the Economic and Social Council on the work of the International Children's Emergency Fund. The resolution approves the report of the executive board, expresses its gratification that 25 nations thus far have contributed to the fund—some of them already having made a second contribution—and finally draws the attention of the members to the necessity for prompt contributions in order to carry on the agency's work in 1949.
I think it is interesting to find that while the fund has had to be spread rather thin throughout the world and while at first it gave only such things as milk, cod liver oil and medicines to devastated countries, it is now considering the needs of children who are permanently in need. For instance, it has begun to work in India, Ceylon and other countries of the Pacific and in Latin America. Its work is not being done on a large scale, but at least on projects that can be beneficial permanently.
There is a growing feeling that something in the nature of a children's fund should be continued in the United Nations as a permanent organization to improve conditions of children all over the world.
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The next item to come up on our agenda was "The extension during 1949 of the United Nations Appeal for Children and the Amendment of the relevant resolution adopted by the Economic and Social Council. This item is proposed by Australia."
The Economic and Social Council had passed a resolution closing the activities of this fund on December 31 of this year, but the resolution was passed by only one vote. There was opposition on the part of Australia and a number of other countries.
Australia felt that for the first time this United Nations appeal for children had brought the whole U.N. program close to the people. They had conducted a very successful campaign, had given their money entirely to the International Children's Emergency Fund and were very enthusiastic about continuing the appeal.
Our collection in the United States, on the other hand, had a most unfortunate experience. The appeal had been set up as part of the general appeal for overseas agencies and resulted in a very small amount of money being collected. In addition, our Government had real concern about the use of the U.N. name for a charitable appeal.
We wished, however, very much to have appeals go on for the benefit of the Children's Emergency Fund, but we hoped they could be conducted under the names of the countries themselves and clearly state that the people were giving their money to the Children's Emergency Fund of the U.N. or any of the specialized agencies for their programs dealing with children. Even if desired, these funds could be directed to projects at home or to organizations working in this field whom they wished to assist.
However, we found a very great desire here to use the wording, United Nations Appeal, and in an effort to safeguard it and still make a maximum compromise we made the suggestion that such countries that gave their money entirely to the Children's Emergency Fund would be given the privilege of using the name, United Nations Appeal for Children, and such countries that wished to divide their money could use their own name as suggested above.
We also suggested that the headquarters staff be taken out of the Secretary General's office so as to free him of the responsibility, and be placed instead with the Children's Emergency Fund group. This agency has its own budget and could pay for a staff. It also has a field staff supervising the distribution of supplies in countries receiving them, and this staff could also supervise any fund-raising appeals in those countries.
The committee agreed finally that the Children's Emergency Fund and the U.N. Appeal for Children should be integrated in one organization, and this is the way it will now carry on.