The SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organization) was an organization sponsored by the Western powers, notably the USA and the UK who have hooked in some South-East Asian countries, who were deriving or hoped to derive several types of advantages from their rich western allies and protectors, and hoped to derive greater advantage from this association and were therefore too willing to fall into line with the views and wishes of the western masters.
The following were the chief members of the organization- the USA, the UK, France, Australia, Thailand, the Phillippines and Pakistan. What was the object behind the formation of this organization? This was, as then declared, to hold back or meet and beat communism by their united strength.
Next to preach and prove to those at present under the subjugation or spell of communism or committed that the way of life of the free world is the only way of life for mankind.
Such military alliances, as the SEATo and the Baghdad Pact (of which the chief members are Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey and the UK) have been openly and repeatedly denounced by leaders of all neutral countries, but especially by our Late Prime Minister Nehru. These military alliances leading to world tensions instead of abating them.
The council considered the strengthening of the permanent civil organization in Bangkok, and to that end decided to appoint a Secretary-general and a deputy Secretary-general. They directed the council representatives to determine the terms of reference of those officers and the timings of appointment and to consider and report on nomination from member governments for these posts.
On 8th September 1954, the United States, Great Britian, France, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand and the Phillippines signed a treaty known as the “Treaty of Collective Defence of South East Asia” at Manila.
Provisions of SEATO:
Article 1 provided that the parties undertook, as set forth in the Charter of United Nations, to settle any international disputes in which they might be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice were not in danger. They also undertook to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.
Article 2 provided in order to achieve the objective of the treaty the parties separately and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, would maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack and to prevent and counter subversive activities directed from without against their territorial integrity and political stability.
In Article 3, the parties undertook to strengthen their free institutions and cooperate with one another in further development of economic measures, including technical assistance, designed both to promote economic progress and social well-being, to further the individual and collective efforts of the government towards these ends.
Article 4 provided that each party recognized that aggression by means of armed attack in the “Treaty Area” against any of the parties or against any state or territory which the parties by unanimous agreement might hereinafter designate, would endanger its own peace and safety. Each party agreed that it would in that event act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes. The measures taken were to be immediately reported to the Security Council of the United Nations. If in the opinion of any of the parties, the inviolability or the integrity of the territory or the sovereignty or political independence of any part in the ‘treaty area, or any other state or territory to which the provisions of the Article from time to time applied, was threatened in any way other than by armed attack or was affected or threatened by any fact or situation which might endanger the peace of the area, the parties were required to consult immediately in order to agree on the measures which should be taken for the common defence. It was understood that no action on the territory of any state designated by a unanimous agreement under the article or on any territory so designated should be taken except at the invitation or with the consent of the government concerned.
Article 5 provided for the establishment of a council on which each of the contracting parties was to be represented. The council was to consider matters concerning the implementation of the treaty. It was also to provide for consultation with regard to military or any other planning as the situation obtaining in the “treaty area might from time to time require. The council was to be so organized as to be able to meet at any time”.
Article 6 provided that this treaty did not affect and was not to be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligation of any of the parties under the Charter of the United Nations or the responsibility of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security. Each party declared that none of the international engagements then in force between it and any other of the parties or any third party was in conflict with the provisions of the treaty. Each party undertook not to enter into any international engagement in conflict with that treaty.
Article 7 provided that any other state in a position to further the objectives of that Treaty and to contribute to the security of the area could be invited to accede to the Treaty by the unanimous agreement of the parties.
Article 8 provided that the “treaty area” mentioned in the Treaty was the general area of Southeast Asia, including also the entire territories of the Asian parties and the general area of the South-West Pacific, not including the Pacific area north of 21 degrees North Latitude. However, the parties were authorized to amend by unanimous agreement the Article so as to include within the “Treaty Area” a territory of any state according to this treaty in accordance with Article 7 or otherwise to change the “Treaty Area”.
Article 10 provided that the treaty was to remain in force indefinitely. However, any party would cease to be a party after giving a notice of one month.