The Influence of Dr H. V. Evatt in the United Nations Between 1945 and 1950

The Influence of Dr H. V. Evatt in the United Nations between 1945 and 1950.

Herbert Vere Evatt was instrumental in the development of the United Nations in its early years. Since his influential presence in the development of the UN Charter, Evatt’s significant actions included being instrumental in the foundation of Israel, becoming President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1948-49 and assisting to draft the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. H.V Evatt’s influence in the United Nations gave Australia an equal voice with which to meet the world.

H.V Evatt’s political career began in 1925 as the ALP member for Balmain. In 1930 he then became the youngest ever member of the High Court of Australia. Evatt, although at times a brilliant judge, was accused of being occasionally "full of antagonism to the respondent ... Most unjudicial."   This tenacity was soon to become his trademark in his return to politics in 1940. Evatt was an internationalist, who sought to champion the role of smaller powers in the world stage in order to promote world order, in particular those of Australia and its Asian neighbours. He was also tenacious in his defence of Human Rights, which became more apparent in his involvement in the Un Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. With this political platform, as well as a growing level of influence within the Australian Labor Party (he was appointed to the Privy Council in 1942 and was Deputy Prime Minister by 1946), Evatt was set to greatly influence the UN strictures that were to apply until the new millennium.

Dr Evatt had great faith in the United Nations as an internationalist body, as it allowed smaller nations an equal voice on the world stage. At the San Francisco Conference of 1945, Evatt argued fiercely for the modification of veto provisions but to no avail. However, of Australia’s 38 suggested amendments or changes to the Charter of the United Nations, 26 were accepted. Of the changes suggested by...