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6. Arms Control, Zones of Peace and Disarmament: Nonproliferation;
SALT; link between "vertical" and "horizontal” proliferation; urgency of full nuclear test ban; "conventional” arms exports ; negotiated reduction of armaments and military budgets; World
Disarmament Conference; Decade of Disarmament 7. Economic Problems: International development: rule of the newly
affluent; continuing US responsibilities to support UN institutions; urgency of US role in preparing for September 1 General Assembly special session; need for a code of conduct for both
MNCs and LDCs 8. Food, Population, Environment: Priority for US role in implementing
recommendations of UN conferences on these three subjects 9. Law of the Sea: Threat to the global interest: need for strong US
leadership for an international legal order for the oceans 10. Outer Space: More help needed for UN space applications program ;
keep remote sensing available to all; a moderate stand on rules for future internatinoal TV broadcasts via satellite; support for
a future UN world TV broadcasting network 11. Human Rights: Despite some successes, a bleak outlook for many
human rights priorities ; need for greater US attention for majority concerns, e.g., by ratifying Genocide and Racial Discrimination Conventions; a stronger State Department human rights staff ;
opposition to UN double standard and to Arab blackiist of Jews 12. UNESCO: The General Conference's actions against Israel con
demned; politicizing of UNESCO deplored ; appeal to US to make
every possible effort for reversal of these actions 13. UNICEF: Commendation of its work; appeal for increased US
official and private support for its expanded work, particularly in
Indochina 14. International Women's Year and the Status of Women: Need for
more women on US delegations to UN conferences ; ratification of UN conventions related to women; enforcement of Percy amendment stressing status of women as priority for US aid ; need for equality in hiring at all levels in UN Secretariat; vigorous par
ticipation in and follow-up to Mexico City Conference in June 15. Finance and Personnel: Need to raise US contributions to UN volun
tary programs in line with 1972 pledge by US; need for new US initiative to end perennial $90 million UN deficit; US must set example to support competence and impartiality of UN Secretariat.
Two years ago, the Delegates to the 1973 Biennial Convention of the United Nations Association of the USA stated "the central issue" facing our country in the United Nations in these words:
“Will the United States return to a course of meaningful support for and serious attention to multilateral diplomacy, as represented by the United Nations, or will we contribute to its neglect ?”
Today, as the UN approaches its 30th anniversary, that central issue remains the same. Indeed, recent events have posed it more sharply and more insistently than ever.
In these two years the United Nations has achieved important successes and, at the same time, has entered a period of dangerous crisis. Its achievements are a reminder of what the Organization can do at its best. The crisis should be taken as a clear warning that the long deterioration in relations between the US and the majority of UN members must be reversed. Otherwise the UN's capacity to act in the common interest will be further diminished, the framework of world order undermined, and the future of all nations, our own included, made still more insecure.
We believe, therefore, that the US should support the purposes of the UN as central to its foreign policy. In particular, we are convinced of three broad propositions which must shape future American policy in the United Nations:
1. Reinvigoration of the United Nations, the world's only near-universal, all-purpose organization of nations, is essential to the management of major world problems, and to a peaceful and decent human existence.
2. A vigorous United Nations must be founded on a new and durable community of effort involving the industrialized as well as the developing nations on key economic, political and technological questions whose solution is beyond the separate reach of either. In this partnership, each should search for areas of compromise on issues of key importance.
3. No time should be lost, or effort spared, in developing the “north-south” dialogue that must precede and shape this new community.
Most conspicuous among the UN's recent achievements are its actions in the Middle East crisis of October 1973. The Security Council, with unprecedented Soviet support, established two new UN peacekeeping forces to police a ceasefire and disengagement in the Suez and Golan areas. Equally important, for the first time the Council placed its unanimous weight behind the search for a settlement by direct negotiation “between the parties concerned.” These creative steps toward peacemaking could scarcely have been performed outside the UX. They are key elements in today's delicately poised hopes for peace in the area.
Ranking with these achievements is the series of four major UN conferences of 1972–75, each dealing with a major world problem of our technological age: environment, law of the sea, population, and food. By these conferences—and by common efforts in other fields such as disaster relief, care of refugees, control of the drug traffic, etc.—the community of nations is, however haltingly, framing common rules and instruments of global management in those spheres where human need now far transcends political boundaries.
These recent achievements are steps—but no more than steps—toward the solution of great international problems, and toward the “comprehensive institutionalized peace” which Secretary Kissinger envisioned in his first address to the General Assembly in 1973. The outlook for continued progress is now threatened by the crisis of the United Nations itself.
The crisis of the UN today has come as the climax of a long-building tension between the US and other leaders of the non-communist "north,” now in the minority, and the new majority of the “south,” generally non-aligned, in most cases recently independent, either very poor or newly rich, and increasingly restive concerning the relationships existing between the two groups. This crisis is most visible in the veto-free, 138-member General Assembly. There, the new majority can now muster overwhelming voting support for its demands on a wide range of political and economic issues—especially resources and development, racial and colonial grievances in southern Africa and Arab grievances against Israel. Some of these have led to intemperate UN actions of doubtful legality. By the same token, the majority sometimes tends to avoid UX action on issues to which the West assigns high priority, such as terrorism and violation of individual rights, and even to undermine such rights in pursuit of political objectives. On occasion militant leaders in the majority camp have mustered majority votes to curb free debate, and even to exclude unpopular members in disregard of procedural safeguards laid down in the Charter.
Such tendencies have long been apparent but were especially strong at the 29th session in 1974. It was against them that US Ambassador John Scali warned last December in his UN speech deploring the “tyranny of the majority."
THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM
We deplore such excesses. But we believe that to respond to them by turning away from the United Nations, or reducing US contributions and participation in it, would miss the meaning of what has happened. It would neither remedy the actions complained of nor prevent their repetition; instead, it would deal a heavy blow to the interests of this country and of world peace.
The confrontation of 1974 did not originate overnight. Most of the trouble in the United Nations in recent years occurred because some Western nations. including the United States, tended to underrate the importance of the Third World in international affairs and to shrug off the perennial majority votes expressing their views. Now, however, the nations of the Third World—not just in the UN but in the world which it mirrors-have begun organizing to secure far better terms for the resources they export to the industrial West. They have thus acquired important economic and political weight. Their increasingly assertive and coordinated policies can be modified by negotiation, but they cannot be ignored. New relationships must be found in which, as they and the industrial world discover their mutual interdependence, bargains will be struck which all can accept as equitable.
We recognize the importance of building peaceful and constructive relations among the major power centers of the Northern Hemisphere, including large adversary states, and we applaud the creative labors of Secretary Kissinger to this end. But such relations, vital though they are to world peace, are not sufficient. The oil crisis is a glaring reminder of how global interests are intertwinedand how impermanent are equations of national power. The resources also highlights the plight of the “Fourth World,” now more than ever in need of a new humanitarianism on the part of both the old and newly rich nations. We support the United Nation's policy of humanitarian criteria for aid, technical assistance and services, and oppose political, racial or religious motivation for excluding peoples or nations from UN assistance programs.
The structure of peace remain dangerously incomplete if great power relations are cemented at the expense of, or in indifference to, the underprivileged majority of mankind. Only an inclusive world order can be secure. Seen in this light, the General Assembly's repeated demands upon the West appear not as irritating trifles but as ominous symptoms of the breakdown of the old international economic and social order and the absence of a new and more equitable order to replace it.
TOWARD A NEW PARTNERSHIP
The more lasting—though too little noticed—moral of Ambassador Scali's famous December speech lies not in its complaints against the majority, justified though these were in many ways, but in its eloquent appeal for a common rededication to making the United Nations work:
"The reasons for which the World Organization was founded remain as valid and as compelling today as they were in 1945. If anything, there is added reason : the specters of nuclear holocaust, world depression, mass famine, overpopulation and a permanently ravaged environment.
"If we are to succeed, we (the members of the UN) must now renew our commitment to the central principles of tolerance and harmony upon which the United Nations was built. We must redouble our efforts to use this Organization as the world's ultimate instrument for compromise and negotiation.”
Significantly, in the debate that followed number of speakers of the Third World responded in a similar vein, appealing for consultation and compromise on both sides. If these appeals are sufficiently heeded, the debate of December 1974 may prove to have been the prologue to new entente between the founders of the United Nations and its new majority.
The dialogue within such an entente will have many issues to resolve, some of them already prominent in the UN's agenda. Most of the key issues in the dialogue—such as trading rules, access to and prices of oil and other resources, national control over foreign private investment, the conflicts of the Middle East and Southern Africa--are inherently difficult. But given sufficient priority, they can be made manageable. Further neglected, on the other hand, these issues could soon become tangled in a Gordian knot of confrontation politics beyond the capacity of diplomacy to untie. To avert an impasse profoundly dangerous to peace, and to construct a more inclusive world order which all UN members will have a stake in upholding, the dialogue now begun must be pursued-with increased energy, patience, insight, and a determination not to fail.
II. SPECIFIC ISSUES
1. THE MIDDLE EAST
Today as throughout its existence, the United Nations remains deeply involved in efforts to mitigate and resolve the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The UN played an indispensable role in halting the war of October 1973, policing the cease-fire and disengagement of forces in the Suez and Golan areas, and initiating the first direct negotiating contact ever achieved between the major parties to the conflict. The periodic renewal of the two peacekeeping forces by the Security Council is a hopeful sign of the solidity of these steps. Pending a definitive settlement, the UN's humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees also remains of special importance, as it has been for many years.
There is widespread agreement that peace in the Middle East is essential to peace in the world. We therefore support all efforts for a negotiated settlement consistent with the following principles :
Israeli withdrawal to secure and recognized boundaries, matched by termination of all Arab claims or states of belligerency, along with respect for, and acknowledgement of, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of every state in the area.
Recognition of Palestinian national aspirations and termination of their protracted refugee status, matched by firm acknowledgement of the right of all states in the area to live in peace, free from guerrilla or terrorist action or any other threats or acts of force.
Feedom of navigation for all countries through international waterways of the region without discrimination.
The final borders between Israel and its neighbors to be guaranteed by international agreement and if necessary by the US and other great powers.
We deplore the failure of the General Assembly—and parties to the dispute to implement these principles.
We commend our government for its continuing efforts to promote a peace settlement consistent with these principles and we deeply regret that the bilateral negotiations involving Israel and Egypt, aimed at further partial steps toward peace, failed during March despite the intensive mediation of Secretary Kissinger. It is now critically important that the Security Council, as an interim measure, extend the life of the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights, whose current mandate expires May 30. However, the temporary character of UN buffer forces only points up the urgency of regaining the lost momentum of peace negotiations. We appeal to all the parties and all concerned governments, our own included, to strive unremittingly, through every available channel including the Geneva Conference soon to be resumed under UN auspices, to reconcile the wide differences that still remain.
Americans deeply desire and need friendship with all countries of the Middle East. We again appeal to the parties, and to all states concerned, to hasten the conclusion of a negotiated peace that will be fair and honorable for all. That this will involve painful concessions on all sides is obvious. It should be even more obvious that such concessions will be far less painful than the alternative of continued and mounting violence in that explosive area, whose conflicts have for far too long threatened the peace of the entire world.
2. THE U.N. AND INDOCHINA
The searing experience of past US intervention in Indochina must warn against any attempt to reverse present tragedies by still further interventions. We urge that the U.S. as a long-range policy seek to develop constructive relations with all governments in the area, and work within the prudent limits of its influence and resources to improve the lot of the peoples of Indochina. We further propose that the U.S. join with other nations in seeking an international guarantee, if possible through the Security Council, for the independence, neutrality, and security of all states of Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile the immediate need is to relieve the desperate plight of refugees and other suffering civilians, men, women, and children, in the stricken areas. We commend the private voluntary agencies and U.N. agencies now engaged in this humanitarian work, and the U.S. Government for its support of their efforts. We note especially that UNICEF and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees are providing humanitarian services throughout Indochina. We urge that all U.N. humanitarian programs in the area be kept under strict international control and not become subservient to the political purposes of any of the parties to the conflict. We also urge our government, and all Americans of good will, to increase their support for these U.N. efforts so that they may meet the greatly increased demands upon them.
For over 20 years the U.N. has been involved in attempts to settle the strife between Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus. Since 1964 a U.N. peacekeeping force has stood guard in the island republic to discourage further incidents. Last July the fragile truce collapsed when the then Greek government launched a coup in Nicosia. Turkey quickly reacted by invading and occupying 40 percent of the island, precipitating severe fighting and suffering for many thousands of refugees on both sides.
Despite renewed attempts at a negotiatied solution, the outlook for a settlement again darkened this year when the Turkish Cypriot community announced in February a "separated federated state” in the part of the island they occupy. In March the Security Council adopted a resolution reaffirming the independence and integrity of Cyprus and urging a resumption of talks under the auspices of the Secretary-General, the return of refugees and the withdrawl of Turkish troops. We strongly support this U.N. diplomatic effort now in progress. The need for creative diplomacy on the Cyprus issue is highlighted by mounting dangers of a new war in the sensitive region of the Eastern Mediterranean.
U.S. policy in this tragic episode is open to severe criticism. After the July coup in Nicosia, the U.S. is reported to have actively discouraged any countermove including use of the Security Council. No such move was made and Turkish apprehensions deepened, setting the stage for the invasion. When the initial Turkish invasion was expanded, after the events which gave rise to it had been reversed, the U.S. did not effectively oppose Turkey's use of U.S. weapons, acquired under NATO programs, to pursue its aims in Cyprus. In the circumstances, we believe the action of Congress in cutting off military aid to Turkey was justified. Any modification of this action should be designed solely to strengthen the President's hand in promoting negotiations for a permanent settlement.
We pay tribute to the courage and effectiveness of the U.N. peacekeeping force, UNFICYP, in mitigating civilian suffering during and since the 1974 fighting, in some cases at great risk and cost in casualties. We also pay tribute to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees for his program of humanitarian aid in Cyprus, and commend our government for its contribution of $10.9 million to this cause.
4. PEACEKEEPING AND PEACEMAKING
The United Nations scored major achievements for peace in halting the Middle East war of October 1973 and in creating the two new international peacekeeping forces—UNEF-II and UNDOF—to stand guard between opposing forces in the Suez and Golan areas. The vote of the Soviet Union to create these forces, its participation in their financing, and the inclusion in UNEF of a battalion from a member of the Warsaw Pact, are all without precedent in the history of UN peacekeeping. They demonstrate-contrary to some predictions—that the UN's capacity to improvise peacekeeping forces in an emergency was not destroyed by the bitter controversy of the 1960s. On the contrary, time, circumstances, and years of patient dialogue evidently convinced the Soviet Union and others that such impartial forces have a part to play on the world scene.
We commend all governments involved, including our own, for these creative steps. And we salute the valor of soldiers from 11 countries serving under UN: colors—both in the Middle East and in UNFICYP, the invaluable UN force in Cyprus-over 400 of whom have become casualties in the service of peace since October 1973. We urge our government to give vigorous support to existing UN peacekeeping forces.
It cannot be assumed, however, that these steps guarantee the UN's peacekeeping capacity in future emergencies. It is important that the recent progress toward agreed peacekeeping principles, reported by the General Assembly's Committee of 33 on Peacekeeping Operations, be followed up vigorously, supported by continued close consultation between the United States and the Soviet Union. Wisely, these efforts are now aimed at a set of general principles rather than at detailed guidelines. Such principles must provide adequate operating flexibility for the Secretary-General's command of a peacekeeping force under the general oversight of the Security Council; strong safeguards against premature dismissal by a host government; and equitable sharing of costs. We believe an agreement on such principles might be reached if the US and Soviet governments placed peacekeeping on the agenda for the next summit meeting, and we urge that this be done.
A still more basic need is for more ready and consistent application of the Charter obligation (article 33) to settle international disputes by peaceful means. Such means can often be, but need not be, provided within the UN framework.