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time, do not like me to tell how long they have been there and are afraid it is an indication of their age. I hope Miss Frederick will not mind my saying that I first knew her 25 years ago at the United Nations, and we are glad to have you. STATEMENT OF MISS PAULINE FREDERICK, FORMER U.N.
CORRESPONDENT FOR NBC, WESTPORT, CONN. Miss FREDERICK. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Senator Javits, and Senator Humphrey.
I appreciate very much the opportunity to appear before you today. When I attended the American University here in Washington quite a few years ago and subsequently covered the State Department as a journalist, I felt rather close to the processes by which our foreign policy was made and implemented.
ALIENATION BETWEEN U.N. AND WASHINGTON
In the nearly 30 years since, during which I have been reporting on the United Nations in New York, an invitation to an official Washington function connected with the U.N. has seemed like a bid to enter a foreign land. There have been only three such occasions including this one today. The first was for a so-called U.N. dinner at the Pan American Union where, according to the dictates of protocol, the members of the Washington diplomatic corps outranked the United Nations ambassadors. The second was to attend a dinner at the White House for the United Nations Secretary-General who soon thereafter became less than welcome in the mansion because of his pleas against the bombing of Asians, of which he was one.
The reverse traffic has not eased this sense of alienation. In recent years, particularly, when the President and Secretary of State have gone to the United Nations, one could have the impression the purpose was mainly ritualistic—a public relations bow to what some in this city, I fear, regard as an anachronism. These visitations have aroused little belief that the United States was reaffirming the full commitment it made in 1945 in San Francisco to the treaty known as the United Nations Charter.
U.S. OFFICIAL CALLS TO THE U.N.
When the President comes to the U.N. these days, there are the usual courtesy calls on the Secretary-General and the Presidents of the Security Council and the General Assembly. There is a more or less pro forma speech about peace, sometimes including criticism of. U.N. members adjudged less high-minded than the United States. This is followed by a handshake with delegates, excluding representatives of governments not recognized by Washington, and lunch hosted by the Secretary-General. Then the Chief Executive flies back to the White House.
If the official call is timed for the opening of the General Assembly, which it usually is, the Secretary of State is left behind in New York to pursue a routine inaugurated by one of his predecessors. He moves across the street to the United States Mission, and down the street to the Waldorf Towers, followed by the State Department press corps.
In these quarters, isolated from the U.N., he holds mini-summit talks with delegates who need American help, or can be persuaded that they do, in the interest of shoring up loyalty to the United States. These talks are always described as "useful.” Publicity is thereby focused on American bilateral relations while the activities in the assembly hall receive scant notice, if any, unless there are harsh words for the U.N. host country. And so it can appear to the American public, and to the world, that the United States rather than the United Nations is meeting in New York.
Of course, this procedure may reduce the traveling time abroad for the Secretary of State, since he is able to take advantage of the presence of world leaders in New York to pursue bilateralism. It can also emphasize to delegates and the American people that the United Nations does not have high priority with Washington foreign policy makers. A recent President highlighted this fact when, on learning that other chiefs of state would attend U.N. anniversary ceremonies to be climaxed with an evening concert by distinguished artists (which he, too, should have attended), invited the visiting dignitaries to a state dinner at the White House the very same evening and sent an official plane to New York to bring them to Washington. At least one government leader went home rather than make the embarrassing choice between the United States and the United Nations.
REASSESSMENT OF U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
In the aftermath of Indochina there is much discussion about reassessing American foreign policy. This would mean reaffirming the bilateral power-balancing used with some success in the last century to maintain the status quo of similar cultures in a limited geographical area, but applied more recently with disastrous consequences. Or reassessment could mean recognition of the interdependence today of all nations with different systems when the economic, social, and political ills of some can afflict the stability of all. Obviously the vastly interconnected human problems of the present cannot be resolved by force because war, like pestilence in a closely-knit community, can now be epidemic. Therapy can be found, however, in the institution so largely of American creation and so frequently disparaged by its principal sponsor, the United Nations.
The direction the United States takes from now on rests, as in the past, with you gentlemen here in Washington, in the executive branch and in the Congress. I say "gentlemen” with due deliberation because no women have had decisive roles in plotting a course which has relied so heavily on intervention in other countries. Nor have the American people had any determining voice, judging by the lack of official interest in a recent Gallup Poll showing that 75 percent of them do not want the United States to give up its membership in the United Nations. This expression of opinion would imply that a majority of Americans would not object to constructive participation in this organization.
One reason why the United Nations was located in New York was to make it accessible to delegates traveling by steamship. I respectfully suggest that it is long since time for the United States to get off the steamship dock and onto a changing world where time and tide wait for no Nation.
It might be well to clarify here a mistaken notion found all too frequently, even in Washington. It is that the United Nations is a kind of world government that can legislate peace, if it only wants to. Of course this is not true.. The United Nations, in effect, is machinery that can be set in motion only by its member governments. Consequently, when the United Nations is blamed for what it does, or fails to do, it is a scapegoat for the behavior of the governments which belong to it.
True to much past Washington practice, the United Nations was asked, through Secretary General Waldheim only yesterday, to do something to free the American vessel in Cambodian hands, but only after the United States had initiated military action.
IMPORTANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS TO THE
I suppose it is only natural for skeptics to ask, what can the United Nations do for the United States? How many divisions does the Secretary-General have? Of course, the answer is none, that is, if what is meant are divisions to fight. But the Secretary-General does have something more valuable, peacekeeping forces that have stood between hostile armies and saved the world from even more conflict than it would otherwise have experienced.
Since October 1973 until this day, the men in blue U.N. berets have separated the fighters of Israel and Egypt, and Israel and Syria, thereby giving the parties time to try to negotiate. Twelve nations are taking part in this peacekeeping; for the first time eastern Europe is involved and the Soviet Union is helping to pay a peacekeeping bill for the first time. From 1956 to 1967, U.N. peacekeepers made possible a lull in the battles of the Middle East, and from 1949 to 1956 a U.N. truce, watched over by U.N. observers, helped to shield the area from any major confrontation.
For nearly a decade U.N. peacekeepers stood between hostile Greek and Turkish communities on the island of Cyprus. They have now resumed their positions after last year's violent outside intervention. A U.N. emergency force was in the Congo for 4 years, during which Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold gave his life in trying to bring peace to a nation which had become a battlefield for outside rival interests. And the presence of U.N. representatives has helped to prevent, tamp down and even end hostilities, at various times in such farflung areas as Kashmir, West Irian, Yemen, Lebanon, and Greece.
In view of the tendency today for overarmed nations to fight first and talk last, this U.N. record is unique. It should convince the United States that there can be security in an international peace force, even a small one. Since the United States has so much to lose by war, would it not be more realistic to help create a permanent and enlarged international peace force rather than continuing to expand national war power, already strong enough to destroy the world, to compete with the Soviet Union? It would, undoubtedly, be much cheaper for the American taxpayers.
U.N. COSTS COMPARED TO ARMS COSTS
Some Members of Congress seem to be more concerned about what the United Nations costs than what it does. Last year the American assessments for the upkeep of the organization and its specialized agencies, as well as voluntary contributions for human development and disaster relief through the U.N., all came to something less than half a billion dollars. By contrast, the Pentagon estimates that $5 billion worth of American military equipment was left behind on the withdrawal from Indochina, after a war that cost at least $160 billion, not counting the human toll. Just one item in the arms race, the projected B-1 bomber fleet, is estimated to run between $50 and $75 billion.
Of course, the arms cost figures never cover the waste of so much of the Earth's resources in nonproductive output at a time when even the American living style is threatened by shortages. Moreover, those who cavil about alloting millions to the United Nations while endorsing billions for military purposes, ignore the millions in return to the American economy from the mere presence of the United Nations in the United States.
U.N. CONCERN WITH CAUSES OF HUMAN MISERY
The United Nations, through its specialized and associated agencies is going beyond peacekeeping to try to uncover the sources of war, in the hope that this scourge may someday be controlled. U.N. agencies are looking into causes of human misery, frustration and futility which can trigger violence. These include scarcities of food, energy, and raw materials, inequitable distribution of the Earth's bounty, instability of prices, dislocation of finance and trade, overpopulation, social injustice, the arms race, and the unmastered explosion of technology. Since these problems respect no boundaries, they cannot be diagnosed and treated on a bilateral basis. They are multilateral in scope and, consequently, demand multinational attention which the U.Ñ. can provide.
These needs of the human race have come to particular focus in the United Nations because of the influx of many new members from Africa and Asia. These countries have entered the organization directly from their colonial liberation. If their demands sometimes sound impatient and angry, it is because their exploitation by white colonists is so recent. We Americans could probably have understood them better 200 years ago.
DÉTENTE WITH THIRD WORLD URGED The challenge for the United States now is how to respond to the heretofore underprivileged who would turn around the economy which has been going so well for the rest of us. There are those who say,
in effect, pay no attention to the upstarts in that worthless U.N. Let's go about our bilateral business as usual. There are those who say, in effect, go into the U.N. and give them hell, and if they try to gang up on us, gang right back. Finally, there are those who say, the world has changed, the United States is no longer "an island entire of itself;" it is now part of a global community, whether we Americans like it or not, dependent and interdependent. Our responsibility, therefore, is to help fashion a new civilized society from new conditions.
It is to be hoped that the would-be resigners and the shouters back are in the minority. There were too many of them, to no avail, during the cold war to anticipate a repetition with equanimity. Since the United States has decided that the better part of international wisdom is détente with the Soviet Union, it could be valuable also to reach a détente with the third world. If we were to lower our voices to a dialog it ought to be possible to adjust the new economic order espoused by the developing nations so that the United States could participate in a constructive consensus, rather than developing a reputation as an isolated nay sayer to the world's poor.
UPGRADING U.S. REPRESENTATION AT THE U.N.
If you gentlemen in Washington reach the conclusion that understanding adjustment is more conducive to international harmony than rhetorical confrontation in the interest of the United States, it would seem to follow that American representatives in international parleys should be selected for their status and ability to confirm this image, Men and women I say hopefully—who are chosen for the United Nations should be of rank at least comparable to that of their peers from other nations. For instance, the Soviet Union's U.N. permanent representative at the United Nations, Yakov Malik, is a Deputy Foreign Minister and the delegate Moscow sent to the UNESCO executive meeting to engineer the decisions that caused so much anger in this country was none other than the widely experienced Ambassador Valerian Zorin.
Furthermore, at least the head of the American delegation should be assured some tenure in the interest of self-confidence and standing among other delegates. Although the American ambassador is supposed to serve at the pleasure of the President, the sudden firing of this person, sometimes without prior notice, scarcely enhances the pres tige or influence of the delegation as well as the United States. Furthermore, since there are 137 other ambassadors at the United Nations whose cultivation is essentail to good international relations, Congress should increase the American representative's entertainment allowance so that a highly qualified person does not have to weigh personal resources as a condition for taking the post.
Of course, the United Nations is not perfect. Nor is the U.S. Government, or the Members of Congress would have little to do. Both are subject to human frailties. Since there is no thought of discarding democracy for another system because it is flawed, why should a United Nations be judged by harsher standards when it is designed in a democratic pattern which may not be understood by some of its members? The best American talent and most dedicated persons should be enlisted to help improve the U.N., if our aim is really peace.