90 F.R.D. 695 (D.D.C. 1981), C. A. 81-0170, United States-South West Africa/Namibia Trade and Cultural Council v. United States Dept. of State

Docket Nº:Civ. A. 81-0170.
Citation:90 F.R.D. 695
Opinion Judge:JOYCE HENS GREEN, District Judge.
Party Name:UNITED STATES-SOUTH WEST AFRICA/NAMIBIA TRADE AND CULTURAL COUNCIL, Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE, et al., Defendants.
Attorney:Thomas C. Henry, Washington, D.C., for plaintiff. Patricia J. Kenney, Washington, D.C., for defendants.
Case Date:July 15, 1981
Court:United States District Courts, District of Columbia

Page 695

90 F.R.D. 695 (D.D.C. 1981)

UNITED STATES-SOUTH WEST AFRICA/NAMIBIA TRADE AND CULTURAL COUNCIL, Plaintiff,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE, et al., Defendants.

Civ. A. No. 81-0170.

United States District Court, District of Columbia.

July 15, 1981

Membership corporation, which was registered foreign agent for council of ministers of Namibia and organized for purposes of strengthening national security, trade and cultural relationships between United States and Namibia, brought action for declaration that disbursal of United States funds, as part of its assessed and voluntary contributions to United Nations, to support South West Africa Peoples Organization was in violation of Constitution, federal statute, and United Nations charter. On defendants' motion to dismiss on grounds that plaintiff lacked standing and had presented nonjusticiable political question, the District Court, Joyce Hens Green, J., held that: (1) corporation lacked standing to challenge United States' disbursal of funds to SWAPO where, although plaintiff claimed violation of right to earn livelihood, no further illumination of such connection had been presented nor had any other direct injury been alleged and, even if plaintiff had right to represent interests of Namibian people allegedly subjected to SWAPO terrorism, effectiveness of remedy sought was entirely speculative, and (2) decisions as to propriety of United Nations expenditures and whether United States should withhold money from United Nations for expenditures because they allegedly violated United Nations charter presented nonjusticiable political questions.

Motion granted; cause dismissed.

Page 696

Thomas C. Henry, Washington, D.C., for plaintiff.

Patricia J. Kenney, Washington, D.C., for defendants.

ORDER OF DISMISSAL

JOYCE HENS GREEN, District Judge.

Plaintiff United States-South West Africa/Namibia Trade and Cultural Council is a non-profit membership corporation organized pursuant to the laws of the District of Columbia. Its purposes include " the strengthening of national security, trade and cultural relationships between the people of the United States and the people of South West Africa/Namibia." It is the registered foreign agent for the Administrator-General of the Territory of South West Africa/Namibia and the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers was established by the nation of South Africa to assist in the administration of Namibia, which was a former League of Nations mandate of South Africa. Although plaintiff asserts in its complaint that " (t)he Council of Ministers consists of 12 members elected by the Territory's National Assembly, and together with the Assembly, are the only legitimate and duly elected representatives of the people of the Territory", Complaint P 3, this contention is disputed in the world community. The United Nations has revoked South Africa's mandate over Namibia,1 and this decision was upheld by the International Court of Justice in 1971.2 In 1978, the Security Council declared the election of the Namibia Council of Ministers null and void. 3

In 1976, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution designating the South West Africa Peoples Organization (SWAPO) the " sole and authentic" representatives of the people of Namibia. Complaint P 7. According to plaintiff, SWAPO is a " Soviet-bloc terrorist organization which represents no one but the leaders who established it as a means of organizing aggression against the civilian population of Namibia." Id. Plaintiff further alleges that since 1976 the United Nations has contributed and continues to contribute millions of dollars to SWAPO, which uses those funds to finance its terrorist activities. Id. Plaintiff challenges the disbursal of United States funds, as part of its assessed and voluntary contributions to the United Nations, to support SWAPO. These contributions, plaintiff argues, are in violation of Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, providing that " (n)o

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money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law" and of Article I, Section 8, Clause 18, providing that " Congress has the power to make laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers enumerated in the Constitution." Plaintiff also views the contributions to SWAPO as a violation of the United Nations Charter, Chapter I, Article 1, providing that one of its purposes is to achieve the peaceful settlement of disputes without acts of aggression, and thereby a violation of 22 U.S.C. s 287e, which provides for the authorization of appropriations and the payment of expenses relating to the United Nations " such sums as may be necessary for the payment by the United States of its share of the expenses of the...

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