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The United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO), commonly known as the San Francisco Conference, was a convention of delegates from 50 Allied nations that took place from 25 April 1945 to 26 June 1945 in
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
,
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California
, United States. At this convention, the delegates reviewed and rewrote the Dumbarton Oaks agreements of the previous year. The convention resulted in the creation of the
United Nations Charter The Charter of the United Nations (also known as the UN Charter) is the foundational treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public internation ...
, which was opened for signature on 26 June, the last day of the conference. The conference was held at various locations, primarily the
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, with the Charter being signed on 26 June at the
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in the
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, part of the
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. A square adjacent to the Civic Center, called "UN Plaza", commemorates the conference.


Conference


Preparation and background

Allied ideas for the post-war world appeared in the 1941
London Declaration The London Declaration was a declaration issued by the 1949 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference on the issue of India's continued membership of the Commonwealth of Nations A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political commun ...
, although the Allies, including the United States, had been planning for the post-war period for some time already. The idea for
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was the vision of US President
Franklin Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is th ...
in which the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China would lead the post-
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
international order. These countries, with the addition of France, would assume the permanent seats on the
United Nations Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the Organs of the United Nations, six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), charged with ensuring international security, international peace and security, recommending the admission ...

United Nations Security Council
. At the February 1945 conference in Malta, it was proposed that the permanent members have veto power. This proposal was adopted shortly after at the
Yalta conference The Yalta Conference, also known as the Crimea Conference and code name, codenamed Argonaut, held 4–11 February, 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union to dis ...
. While at
Yalta Yalta (: Я́лта) is a resort town, resort city on the south coast of the Crimean Peninsula surrounded by the Black Sea. It serves as the administrative center of Yalta Municipality, one of the regions within Crimea. The population as of the ...

Yalta
, they began sending invitations to the San Francisco conference on international organization. A total of 46 countries were invited to San Francisco, all of which had declared war on Germany and Japan, having signed the
Declaration by United Nations The Declaration by United Nations was the main treaty that formalized the Allies of World War II and was signed by 47 national governments between 1942 and 1945. On New Year's Day 1942, during the Arcadia Conference, the Allied "Four Policemen, Bi ...
. The conference directly invited four additional countries: Denmark (newly liberated from
Nazi occupation German-occupied Europe refers to the sovereign countries of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to sev ...
), Argentina and the Soviet republics of
Belarus , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Minsk Minsk ( be, Мінск , russian: link=no, Минск) is the capital and the largest city of Belarus, located on the Svislach (Berezina), Svislach and the now subterranean Nyamiha, Niam ...
and
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
. The participation of these countries was not without controversy. The decision on the participation of Argentina was troubled because of Soviet opposition to Argentina membership, arguing that Argentina had supported the Axis Powers during the war. Several Latin American countries opposed the inclusion of Belarus and Ukraine unless Argentina was admitted. In the end, Argentina was admitted to the conference with support from the United States and the desire for the participation of the Soviet Union at the conference was maintained. The participation of Belarus and Ukraine at the conference came as a result of Roosevelt and Churchill's concession to
Joseph Stalin ( – 5 March 1953) was a Georgians, Georgian revolutionary and Soviet political leader who governed the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953. He held power both as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952 ...
, the Soviet leader who had originally requested all republics of the Soviet Union to have membership in the United Nations, but the US government launched a counterproposal in which all US states would obtain membership in the United Nations. The counterproposal encouraged Stalin to attend the Yalta Conference by accepting only Ukraine and Belarus's admission to the United Nations. That was intended to ensure a balance of power within the United Nations, which, in the opinion of the Soviets, was unbalanced towards the Western countries. For that purpose, modifications were made to the constitutions of the two republics in question so that Belarus and Ukraine's international legal subjects were limited while they were still part of the Soviet Union. Poland, despite having signed the Declaration by United Nations, did not attend the conference because there was no consensus on the formation of the postwar Polish government. Therefore, a space was left blank for the Polish signature. The new Polish government was formed after the conference (28 June) and signed the United Nations Charter on 15 October, which made Poland one of the founding countries of the United Nations.


Opening

On 25 April 1945, the conference started in
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
, United States. 850 delegates, along with advisors, employees and staff of the secretariat, attended the conference, totaling 3,500 attendees. In addition, the conference was attended by 2,500 representatives of the media and observers from numerous organizations and societies.
Earl Warren Earl Warren (March 19, 1891 – July 9, 1974) was an American politician and jurist who served as 30th governor of California The governor of California is the head of government of the U.S. state of California. The governor is the command ...

Earl Warren
, the
Governor of California The governor of California is the head of government of the U.S. state of California. The governor is the commander-in-chief of the California National Guard and the California State Guard. Established in the Constitution of California, the go ...
, set the tone for the conference in his welcome speech:
We recognize that our future is linked with a world future in which the term “good neighbor” has become a global consideration. We have learned that understanding of one another’s problems is the greatest assurance of peace. And that true understanding comes only as a product of free consultation. This conference is proof in itself of the new conception of neighborliness and unity which must be recognized in world affairs.
Due to the fact that President Roosevelt, who was supposed to host the conference, died on 12 April 1945, the delegates held a commemorative ceremony on 19 May among the tall Redwood trees in
Muir Woods National Monument Muir Woods National Monument is a United States National Monument managed by the National Park Service The National Park Service (NPS) is an List of federal agencies in the United States, agency of the federal government of the United States t ...

Muir Woods National Monument
Cathedral Grove, where a dedication plaque was placed in his honor.


Committees

"The Steering Committee considered major questions of policy and procedure and distributed work to the committees. The committee had fifty members, consisting of the chairman of each national delegation. The Executive Committee was a smaller unit that made recommendations to the Steering Committee; it was composed of the chairmen of fourteen delegations. These fourteen represented the four sponsoring governments and the ten co-elected members. The Coordination Committee assisted the Executive Committee and supervised the final drafting of the charter. It was composed of representatives of the fourteen delegations previously mentioned. An Advisory Committee of Jurists provided assistance to this committee. The Credentials Committee verified the credentials of delegates and was composed of representatives from six delegations. Below the committee level, four general commissions studied the main issues and coordinated the work of twelve technical committees. The technical committees drafted proposals and could designate subcommittees as needed. The leadership of the commissions and technical committees consisted of a chairman and a rapporteur; these positions were divided among all of the national delegations. The Steering Committee nominated delegates for these positions, with approval by the conference. Commission I studied general provisions and managed the work of Technical Committee 1 (preamble, purposes and principles) and Technical Committee 2 (membership, amendment and secretariat). Commission II focused on the general assembly. It coordinated the work of Technical Committee 1 (structure and procedures), Technical Committee 2 (political and security functions), Technical Committee 3 (economic and social cooperation) and Technical Committee 4 (trusteeship system). Commission III considered the security council. It oversaw the work of Technical Committee 1 (structure and procedures), Technical Committee 2 (peaceful settlement), Technical Committee 3 (enforcement arrangements) and Technical Committee 4 (regional arrangements). Commission IV studied judicial organization. Its committees were Technical Committee 1 (international court of justice) and Technical Committee 2 (legal problems). A Secretariat provided general administration to the conference. It prepared agenda and working papers for discussion, compiled minutes and records of meetings, and provided the array of standard services required by any international conference."


United Nations Charter

The draft of the United Nations Charter was divided into four sections, each of which was studied by a commission. The first of these was responsible for the organization's purposes, principles, membership, secretariat and the question of amendments to the Charter. The second considered functions of the General Assembly. The third dealt with the Security Council. The fourth dealt with the assessment of the draft Statute of the International Court of Justice, which had been drafted by a team of legal experts from 44 countries, meeting in Washington in April 1945. At the conference, delegates reviewed and sometimes rewrote the text agreed upon at the Dumbarton Oaks conference. The delegations agreed on a role for regional organizations under the "umbrella" of the United Nations. The delineation of the responsibilities of the Secretary General, as well as the creation of the Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council was also debated, eventually resulting in a consensus. The issue of the veto power of the permanent members of the Security Council proved to be an obstacle on the quest to reach agreement on the United Nations Charter. Several countries feared that if one of the "big five" assumed a behavior that threatened peace, the Security Council would be helpless to intervene, but in the case of a conflict between two countries that are permanent members of the council, they could proceed arbitrarily. Therefore, they wanted to reduce the scope of the veto. However, the great powers insisted that the provision was vital and stressed the fact that the United Nations was for the greater responsibility in maintaining world peace. Finally, the great powers got their way. On 25 June, delegates met for the last time in plenary at the San Francisco Opera. The session was chaired by
Lord Halifax Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, (16 April 1881 – 23 December 1959), known as The Lord Irwin from 1925 until 1934 and The Viscount Halifax from 1934 until 1944, was a senior British Conservative Conservatism is ...
, the head of the British delegation. As he submitted the final text of the Charter to the assembly, he said: "The question we are about to solve with our vote is the most important thing that can happen in our lives." Therefore, he proposed to vote not by show of hands but by having those in favor stand. Each of the delegations then stood and remained standing, as did the crowd gathered there. There was then a standing ovation when Lord Halifax announced that the Charter had been adopted unanimously. The next day, in the auditorium of the Veterans Memorial Hall, the delegates signed the Charter. China signed first, as it had been the first victim of an Axis power. US President
Harry S. Truman Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the ...

Harry S. Truman
's closing speech said: Truman then pointed out that the Charter would work only if the peoples of the world were determined to make it work: The United Nations did not instantly come into being with the signing of the Charter since in many countries, the Charter had to be subjected to parliamentary approval. It had been agreed that the Charter would come into effect when ratified by the governments of China, France, Britain, the Soviet Union, the United States, and a majority of the other signatory countries and when they had notified the
US Department of State The United States Department of State (DOS), or State Department, is an executive department of the U.S. federal government responsible for the nation's foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and ...
of their ratifications, which happened on 24 October 1945.


Participant countries

* * * * * * *
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...
* * * * *
Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 = , s1 = Czech Re ...
* * * * * * *
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Syrian Republic * * ** ** * * *
Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt, Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; whi ...

Uruguay
* * *
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...
(not present) Source: :C.The China delegate included
Dong Biwu Dong Biwu (; 5 March 1886 – 2 April 1975) was a Chinese communist revolutionary and politician, who served as Acting Chairman of the People's Republic of China between 1972 and 1975. Early life Dong Biwu was born in Huanggang Huangg ...
representing Communist forces and controlled zones.


Commemorations

In 2019, the General Assembly, recognizing of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the conference, proclaimed April 25 as International Delegate's Day.


See also

*
List of World War II conferences This is a list of World War II conferences of the Allies of World War II : Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill meeting at the Cairo Conference (1943), Cairo Conference in 1943 The Allies of World War I ...
*
History of the United Nations alt=A black and white motion picture of some men signing papers on a desk in the center of a huge decorated room., The founding of the United Nations The history of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organi ...


References


Further reading

*


External links

*Records o
the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO) (1945)
at the United Nations Archives
Guide to the United Nations Conference on International Organization Proceedings
an
sound recordings of proceedings online
at the Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University.

* ttps://digitalcollections.hoover.org/objects/760 V. K. Wellington Koo's speech 'The Conference and China' to the Commonwealth Club of Californiaat the Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University.
''East and West'' from ''Political and External Affairs'' by F.L.W. Wood (Official history of New Zealand in World War II)
{{Authority control United Nations conferences Diplomatic conferences in the United States 20th-century diplomatic conferences 1945 conferences 1945 in international relations 1945 in California 1940s in San Francisco United Kingdom in World War II April 1945 events May 1945 events June 1945 events 1945 in the United Nations