7 Cal. W. Int'l L.J. 615 (1977)
The Credentials Approach to Representation Questions in the U.N. General Assembly

handle is hein.journals/calwi7 and id is 623 raw text is: THE CREDENTIALS APPROACH TO
On November 12, 1974, the President of the General Assembly,
Algerian representative Abdelaziz Bouteflika, ruled that the South
African delegation to the General Assembly could not continue to
participate in the work of the Twenty-Ninth Session of the Assembly
because the delegation's credentials had not been accepted by the
Assembly. On the basis of the consistency with which the General
Assembly has regularly refused to accept the credentials of the delega-
tion of South Africa, Bouteflika said,
[O]ne may legitimately infer that the General Assembly
would in the same way reject the credentials of any other
delegation authorized by the Government of the Republic of
South Africa to represent it, which is tantamount to saying in
explicit terms that the General Assembly refuses to allow the
delegation of South Africa to participate in its work.'
The President's ruling was challenged by the United States representa-
tive, but was upheld by the General Assembly with ninety-one votes
for, twenty-two against and nineteen abstentions.2
The decision effectively barred South Africa from exercising any
membership rights. This action was taken by the General Assembly,
* Assistant Professor of International Relations, Florida International Univer-
sity, Miami, Florida. The author wishes to express thanks to Professor Alfred P. Rubin
of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Medford, Massachusetts, for his valuable
comments on an earlier draft of this article. The opinions expressed herein remain solely
the author's.
I. The text of the ruling is given in Resolutions of Legal Interest Adopted by the
General Assembly at its Sixth Special Session and Twenty-Ninth Regular Session; The
ruling is referred to, but not reproduced, in Resolutions Adopted by the General Assem-
bly at Its Twenty-Ninth Session, 29 U.N. GAOR, Supp. (No. 31) 10-11, U.N. Doc.
A/9631 (1974).
The Twenty-Fifth Session was the first at which South African credentials were not
accepted. Prior to that time, the General Assembly had decided, at its Twentieth
Session, to take no action on the credentials submitted on behalf of the representatives
of South Africa. 20 U.N. GAOR (1407th plen. mtg.) 10, 16, U.N. Doc. A/PV.1407
(1965). Regarding the distinction drawn by the General Assembly between rejection
of credentials and taking no action, see note 36 infra.
2. 29 U.N. GAOR (2281st plen.mtg.), U.N. Doc. A/PV.2281 (1974).

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