The question of the disposition of the former Italian colonies before the General Assembly of the United Nations
Hammer, Robert H.
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The United Nations assumed a great burden when it began to consider the disposal of the former Italian colonies of Libya, Italian Somaliland, and Eritrea. This marked an historic period to international organization it was the first time the General Assembly was given plenary power to make a territorial disposition. There were four primary solutions advanced for the disposal of the areas. One was a granting of immediate independence; a second would return the areas to Italy; a third would provide for a system of trusteeship with the United Nations as administrator; the fourth would incorporate some of the areas with established states, notably Ethiopia. These contradictory suggestions would demand compromise solutions. The Four Powers had been unable to compromise; now the Assembly would have the opportunity. In order to follow the rather complicated proceedings to the Assembly, a knowledge of the ultimate decision for each colony is helpful. Libya was groaned independence to begin on January 1, 1952. It was left to the inhabitants of the region to determine the system of government they would establish. Somaliland was placed under an Italian trusteeship for a ten year period. The trusteeship Council and an advisory council of members from Colombia, Egypt, and the Philippine Republic were to aid Italy in her administration. Eritrea was place in a federal union with Ethiopia. This was to occur not later than September 15, 1951. The purpose of this paper is to attempt to discover the positions of the voting blocs within the Assembly, the powers these blocs were able to exert, and the final compromises reached.