The State shall endeavour to—


(a) promote international peace and security;


(b) maintain just and honourable relations between nations;


(c) foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another; and


(d) encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration

Debate Summary

Draft Article 40 (Article 51 of the Constitution of India, 1950) was debated on November 25, 1948. The Assembly debated extensively on India’s role in championing international peace, fostering respect for international law and maintaining international relations.  The members endorsed and reiterated the Gandhian ideal of non-violence exalting it to the status of a cardinal principle of India’s foreign policy. Being a fledgling nation, some members of the Assembly considered it important for India pledge itself unreservedly to peace and against all forms of warfare, drawing from its history and tradition of non-aggression.  In the context of disarmament and the power struggle within the U.N. Security Council, it was put forth that India should be able to lead by example and make an unwavering commitment to peace.


Settlement of international disputes through peaceful means was also debated at length as a necessary corollary to the objective of securing peace.  Some members were of the view that merely laying down promotion of peace as an objective is insufficient. A method for promoting peace must be devised and promoted.  Arbitration as one such viable method was discussed and accordingly incorporated.