Soviet advocacy for the United Nations

It is usually suggested that Stalin agreed to let the Soviet Union join the United Nations when Roosevelt offered him the power of a veto at the Yalta conference in February 1945. One should be wary of such spin, since Stalin had already – at conferences in 1942 and 1943 – been strongly in favour of such an organisation. Even more, we find clear public statements in support of the UN, as with the following from the celebration of the October Revolution in 1944:

Accordingly it is not to be denied that in the future the peace-loving nations may once more find themselves caught off their guard by aggression unless, of course, they work out special measures right now which can avert it.

Well, what means are there to preclude fresh aggression on Germany’s part and, if war should start nevertheless, to stifle it at its very beginning and give it no opportunities to develop into a big war?

There is only one means to this end, apart from the complete disarmament of the aggressor nations: that is to establish a special organization made up of representatives of the peace-loving nations for the defence of peace and safeguarding of security; to put at the disposal of the directing body of this organization the necessary minimum of armed forces required to avert aggression, and to oblige this organization to employ these armed forces without delay if it becomes necessary, to avert or stop aggression, and to punish those guilty of aggression.

This must not be a repetition of the sad memory of the League of Nations, which had neither the right nor the means to avert aggression. It will be a new, special, fully authorized international organization having at its command everything necessary to defend peace and avert new aggression.

Can we expect the actions of this world organization to be sufficiently effective? They will be effective if the great Powers which have borne the brunt of the war against Hitler Germany continue to act in a spirit of unanimity and accord. They will not be effective if this essential condition is violated. (Works, vol. 15, p. 398).

2 thoughts on “Soviet advocacy for the United Nations

  1. USSR or not, I can hardly think of a more ineffective project than the least in military terms. I am trying to think of a conflict where their intervention did any good, but can’t at the moment.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Yes indeed. By the time of the Korean War, Stalin was less enthused by the UN. For example:
      ‘Thus, the United Nations Organization, from being a world organization of nations with equal rights, has changed into an instrument of a war of aggression. In reality, the United Nations Organization is now not so much a world organization as an organization for the Americans and treats American aggression as acceptable. Not only the United States of America and Canada are striving to unleash a new war, but on this path you also find the twenty Latin-American countries; their landowners and merchants long for a new war somewhere in Europe or Asia, to sell their goods to the countries at inflated prices, and to make millions out of this bloody business. The fact is not a secret to anybody that the representatives of the twenty Latin-American countries represent the strongest supporters and the willing army of the United States of America in the United Nations Organization.
      The United Nations Organization treads, in this manner, the inglorious path of the League of Nations. Thereby they bury their moral authority and fall into decay’ (Works, vol. 16, p. 198).

      One caveat: he would have been pleased to see the deep resistance in Latin America to US policies.

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