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United Nations Security Council Resolution 47

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 5, 2009

United Nations Security Council Resolution 47

United Nations Security Council Resolution 47, adopted on April 21, 1948, after hearing arguments from both India and Pakistan the Council increased the size of the Commission established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 39 to five members, instructed the Commission to go to the subcontinent and help the governments of India and Pakistan restore peace and order to the region and prepare for a plebiscite to decide the fate of Kashmir. The resolution was passed by United Nations Security Council under chapter VI of UN Charter.[1] Resolutions passed under Chapter VI of UN charter are considered non binding and have no mandatory enforceability as opposed to the resolutions passed under Chapter VII.[2][3][4]

The resolution recommended that in order to ensure the impartiality of the plebiscite Pakistan withdraw all tribesmen and nationals who entered the region for the purpose of fighting and that India leave only the minimum number of troops needed to keep civil order. The Commission was also to send as many observers into the region as it deemed necessary to ensure the provisions of the resolution were enacted. Pakistan ignored the UN mandate and continued fighting, holding on to the portion of Kashmir under its control.[5]. Subsequently India refused to implement the plebiscite claiming the withdrawal of Pakistan forces was a prerequisite as per this resolution.[6] In 1990 after nearly four decades, the United States changed its position and is no longer urging a plebiscite in Kashmir, saying the dispute should be settled through direct negotiations between India and Pakistan.[7]


  1. ^ it is a historical fact that one of the earliest applications of Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter was on the Kashmir dispute. Following negotiations and agreements among the parties, the Security Council adopted resolution 47(1948) of 21 April 1948 which promised a free and fair plebiscite under UN auspices to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or India.Foreign Minister of Pakistan, on the role of the Security Council in the Pacific Settlement of Disputes
  2. ^ ‘The Kashmir issue was taken to the UN by India in January, 1948 and remained active in the UN Security Council till the late fifties The Indian complaint was filed under Chapter VI of the UN Charter and not under Chapter VII, which requires mandatory enforcement of the UN Security Council’s decisions.’Kashmir policy: an overview by Shamshad Ahmad, Dawn 2004-08-05
  3. ^ “There are two sorts of security council resolution: those under ‘chapter 6’ are non-binding recommendations dealing with the peaceful resolution of disputes; those under ‘chapter 7’ give the council broad powers, including war, to deal with ‘threats to the peace … or acts of aggression’.” If Saddam steps out of line we must go straight to war by Bill Emmott, The Guardian, 2002-11-25.
  4. ^ ‘Chapter VI establishes the appropriate methods of settling international disputes and the Security Council’s powers in relation to them. It is generally agreed that resolutions under Chapter VI are advisory rather than binding. These resolutions have generally been operative only with the consent of all parties involved. Traditionally, the Chapter has not been interpreted to support collective intervention by member states in the affairs of another member state.’Collective Insecurities by Azeem Suterwalla,Harvard International Review
  5. ^ A Brief History of Kashmir Conflict,The Daily Telegraph, 2004-11-10
  6. ^ Ministry of External Affairs, India – Kashmir Issue
  7. ^ ‘After nearly four decades, the United States has changed its position and is no longer urging a plebiscite in Kashmir, saying the dispute should be settled through direct negotiations between India and Pakistan’ State Dept. Moves to Expel Top Kashmir Separatist, The New York Times 1990-4-22

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