The Manila Pact or SEATO (1954)

The South-east Asia Collective Defence Treaty, sometimes referred to as the Manila Pact or SEATO, was signed in the Philippines in September 1954. Its signatory members were the United States, the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and France. Dubbed the ‘Asian NATO’, SEATO became an important Cold War alliance:

The parties to this Treaty, recognizing the sovereign equality of all the parties, reiterating their faith in the purposes and principles set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all governments…, intending to declare publicly and formally their sense of unity, so that any potential aggressor will appreciate that the parties stand together in the area, and desiring further to coordinate their efforts for collective defence for the preservation of peace and security, therefore agree as follows:

Article I

The parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international disputes in which they may be involved by peaceful means, in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and 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 II

In order more effectively to achieve the objectives of this Treaty, the parties, separately and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid will 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.

Article III

The parties undertake to strengthen their free institutions and to cooperate with one another in the further development of economic measures, including technical assistance, designed both to promote economic progress and social well-being and to further the individual and collective efforts of governments toward these ends.

Article IV

1. Each party recognizes 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 may hereafter designate, would endanger its own peace and safety, and agrees that it will in that event act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes. Measures taken under this paragraph shall be immediately reported to the Security Council of the United Nations.

2. 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 party in the treaty area… is threatened in any way other than by armed attack, or is affected or threatened by any fact or situation which might endanger the peace of the area, the parties shall consult immediately in order to agree on the measures which should be taken for the common defense…

Article V

The parties hereby establish a Council, on which each of them shall be represented, to consider matters concerning the implementation of this Treaty. The Council shall provide for consultation with regard to military and any other planning as the situation obtaining in the treaty area may from time to time require. The Council shall be so organized as to be able to meet at any time…

Article VIII

As used in this Treaty, the “treaty area” is 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 30 minutes north latitude. The parties may, by unanimous agreement, amend this Article to include within the treaty area the territory of any State acceding to this Treaty…

Signed in Manila, September 8th 1954.