Dag Hammarskjöld remained in Peking until 13 January. In the introduction to his Annual Report to the General Assembly (A/2911) [Chinese|French| Russian|Spanish], he explained that, since the Government of the People's Republic of China was not represented on any of the organs of the United Nations, it had been necessary for him to establish a direct contact with that Government in order to carry out the mandate entrusted to him.
Both Mr. Hammarskjöld and the United Nations
considered the detained airmen who had served under the United Nations
Command in Korea to be prisoners of war; the government of China did not.
Eleven of the fifteen imprisoned airmen had already been convicted under
national law. Thus, the government of China considered the debate on whether
or not to change the verdict to be strictly an internal issue. Because
the remaining four, however, had not yet been convicted, the Secretary
General saw an opportunity for negotiation. Subsequently, Chou En-Lai agreed
that photographs of the prisoners would be taken and information on their
state of health exchanged, confirming the Secretary-General’s hunch that
the government of China was not completely inflexible on the matter. Thus,
upon his return to the United States, he announced to the press that:
|After Mr. Hammarskjöld departed
Peking, negotiations with Chou En-Lai continued in a series of personal
communications [French |Russian|
Mr. Hammarskjöld termed his approach to the negotiations as the "Peking
Formula" and defined it as:
The distinction was to be used again, in other
contexts, by Mr. Hammarskjöld when he wanted to:
The negotiations culminated with the messages of the Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China on 29 May and 1 August, respectively, announcing the release of groups of four and of eleven airmen. According to Chou En-lai, he timed the release of the remaining eleven prisoners as a way of maintaining his personal friendship with Hammarskjöld and as a 50th birthday gift. Because of coding and cable delays, together with transmission via a small post office in southernmost Sweden where he was on holiday, the Secretary-General did not receive the message until 1 August, upon his return to a farmhouse in Skåne after a day of fishing. The Secretary-General's report [French |Russian| Spanish] on the question was submitted to the General Assembly on the next month...
Immediately after his holiday in Sweden, Mr. Hammarskjöld travelled to Geneva where, on 8 August, he opened the International Scientific Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. The Conference was organized in response to President Eisenhower's proposal made to the General Assembly in December of the previous year. An Advisory Committee, headed by Ralph Bunche, had assumed responsibility for its planning and preparation just four days after the Secretary-General had returned from Peking. (January 17th, 1955).
The Conference was to be non-political in nature
and devoted solely to the exchange of technical information. At a
press conference held a few months prior, Mr. Hammarskjöld stated
In his opening address to the Conference, Mr.
Hammarskjöld stated the following:
Another milestone during the year, was the celebration
of the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. At various
addresses commemorating the anniversary, Mr. Hammarskjöld seized the
opportunity to speak at length about the duties and privileges of international
service, always underlining the positive ideals and loyalty that guide
it. At the Johns Hopkins Commencement ceremonies in June, the Secretary-General
In other addresses throughout the year, Mr. Hammarskjöld
discussed the necessity to be open to change and to strike a balance within
the Organization between conference diplomacy and quiet diplomacy, a phrase
that was to appear for the first time in the official documentation of
the Organization (A/2911) [Chinese|
His hope was that progress could be made within the United Nations to develop:
To that end, he lobbied intensively for a strengthening
of the judicial process in the international sphere. He felt that:
In order that Member governments give renewed consideration to the task, he suggested, in his Annual Report 1954-1955, that each Government constitute a specialized group of highly qualified jurists to carry on the work on a national level. He also urged more frequent submissions by the Member Sates of their legal disputes to the International Court of Justice.
Another idea first introduced in his annual report to the General Assembly (and later elaborated upon in a press conference) was that Security Council members should be kept in touch with developments concerning peace and security as they evolve, through informal, closed door meetings. He believed that simple and modest meetings of this type would prepare the ground for debate should an issue reach the crisis level and be formally raised before the Council. His aim for closer collaboration with the Council members was soon to be labeled "preventive diplomacy".
The work of the Secretariat was another topic
he spoke about frequently and passionately:
|Unless otherwise noted, the information included in these pages is based on the "Public Papers of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations: Volumes II-V: Dag Hammarskjöld", selected and edited with commentary by Andrew W.Cordier and Wilder Foote, Columbia University Press, 1974-1975.|