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29th Regular Session of the General Assembly and will be considered again at the forthcoming 7th Special Session. United Nations commissions such as the Group of Eminent Persons investigating multinational enterprises are studying special problems. Such U.N. initiatives compel even reluctant nations to face crucial issues. The United Nations is serving the world community well by alerting and educating it to mounting global problems and by providing an opportunity for traditional diplomacy to function in conference settings.
On balance, the United Nations performs its immediate role reasonably well; its weakest area is political action concerned with peace and security. Effective international organization is essential today. If the United Nations were suddenly eliminated, some alternative institution would have to be created quickly. If the United Nations were given stronger economic and political support and higher priority by the powerful nations of the world-particularly the Soviet Union and the United States—its near term contributions would be even more significant.
APPRAISAL-LONGER RANGE ROLE Evaluation of the longer range role of the United Nations-fostering a more adequate international political system is less specific but on the whole, favorable for the following reasons :
1. Despite diversity and disunity among nation-states, the United Nations is now 30 years of age. It has outlived prior efforts to establish a universally accepted international body to facilitate the cooperation of nations. This continued existence demonstrates the need for it.
2. The General Assembly provides a forum where any nation, large or small, powerful or weak, can voice its aspirations, concerns and complaints. Even the superpowers are challenged to defend their positions. The United Nations debate brings a desirable and healthy openness to international affairs.
3. Alternative approaches to world problems are repeatedly offered by the U. N. system: multilateral action, non-military initiative and third party intervention. These are important alternatives to the traditional exercise of unlimited national sovereignty, divisive power balances and ultimate resort to armed force.
4. The United Nations, with its family of specialized agencies, promotes and in the final analysis, tests methods of cooperation among nation-states. By providing a wide range of experience, successful as well as frustrating, it demonstrates the weaknesses of the United Nations and points the way to needed reforms and improvements. The result has been an ongoing evolutionary process of study and improvement of organizational procedures within the United Nations.
5. Finally, the United Nations serves as a vehicle for member states to rise occasionally above narrow national interest and act in the common long-term interests of the world community.
Mr. Chairman, I am convinced that the United Nations should be credited with performing both its immediate and longer range roles tolerably well and I have answered your question with a qualified but definite, yes.
MAKING THE UNITED NATIONS WORK BETTER Before I close, however, I want to emphasize the importance of making the United Nations work better, and urge the United States to do more to make it work better.
Many citizens of the United States, including some in official positions, are disenchanted with the United Nations. We no longer commend, for our proposals to the General Assembly, the strong voting majority we marshalled in its early years. The enlarged United Nations now reflects world opinion: no nation or group can dominate. The "tyranny of the majority” became irresponsible in the 29th General Assembly when South Africa was deprived of a vote, Palestinian leader, Yassir Arafat was accorded Head of State honors and the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States was adopted by an overwhelming vote despite protests and negative votes or abstention of many developed nations. Such events quite properly alarm and annoy most Americans.
But each of these explosive and widely publicized events was the result of a smoldering unresolved problem : degrading apartheid in South Africa, the festering Palestinian refugee situation and the futile and rebuffed efforts of the developing world to gain greater stake and voice in international economic affairs. Have we overlooked the fact that these events, however embarrassing, allowed Ambassador John Scali to set the stage for frank and fruitful debate regarding the United Nations in the closing days of the General Assembly?
Such experiences demonstrate again the importance of cooperation rather than confrontation if global problems are to be dealt with effectively. The United States and other developed nations cannot achieve desired objectives if they ignore, dismiss or neglect the major concerns of the developing world : development, the remnant of colonialism-Rhodesia and Namibia, for instance and apartheid in South Africa. The United States and other industrial nations need the resources, the markets and the political support of the less developed nations. Nor can the developing nations gain greater benefits and participation in the world economic order if they disregard or scoff at such problems as resource/ population balance, environmental protection and enhancement, terrorism and peace and security. They need the monetary and technological assistance of the developed countries. Without cooperation and compromise, verbal confrontation will rule the General Assembly and essential U. N. programs will stagnate.
Unfortunately, the last several administrations of the United States government, obsessively burdened by our tragic intervention in Vietnam, assigned a dangerously low priority to the United Nations. We flouted U. N. sanctions against Rhodesia by continued importation of chrome. We are reducing our funding of specialized agencies despite an implied commitment to them as our assessed contribution to the U. N. general budget was lowered from 31.2 to 25 percent. We thwart U. N. efforts to limit or reduce armaments by such actions as opposition to the World Disarmament Conference and lukewarm reaction to nuclear free zones. But we maintain, in company with the Soviet Union, a massive arms race that convinces the world of our complete disinterest in disarmament. Presidents, including Gerald Ford, make major foreign policy adresses with little or no mention of the United Nations. Our State Department has a studied practice of bypassing the United Nations as it implements our foreign policy. Exceptions occur only when all else seems to fail. Examples include the current U. N. Emergency Force in the Middle East and recent proposals to channel humanitarian aid to Vietnam through the United Nations.
Despite our leadership in the U. N. Law of the Seas Conference and World Population Conference, our posture at other recent U. N. conferences touching upon aspects of the world's economic order, has been one of blunt confrontation. Unfortunately, both the low priority assigned to the U. N. and this recent hard line, are creating a neo-isolationist image and one that appears to oppose the legitimate efforts of the developing world to upgrade itself.
Certainly U.S. economic interests must be protected. But this will not be accomplished by denying or disregarding political, economic and social changes in the world, including change in the very nature of power. It is time to recognize that even as a most powerful nation, we cannot control or dominate the world's economic and political developments. We can, however, greatly influence change by active participation and constructive cooperation.
In conclusion, the United Nations is working tolerably well considering that it is not a perfect institution, but rather an institution of 138 imperfect nations. The United Nations is what the nation-states made it and we should remember that the United States had a major role in writing the U.N. Charter. The United Nations as the only global organization we have today, must be allowed and helped to better perform its roles. To do this, it must be used and strengthened.
Along with a vast constituency across the country, I express the hope that the Congress and the Administration will cooperatively provide strong leadership to the United Nations by deed as well as word. The priority given the United Nations should be raised and procedures within our government to deal with U.N. matters should be improved. Do not underestimate the interest and the support that would surface if our government would give the United Nations the higher priority in foreign affairs that it deserves. Now is the time to press forward to achieve a United Nations that can better serve mankind. Now is the time to respond to the heritage that inspired us to play the leading role in creating the United Nations. Until we do this, there is little hope for a sane, sound world order capable of enhancing peace with freedom, justice and progress adequate to cope with the many threatening global problems.
Senator PERCY [presiding]. Thank you, Mr. Stanley. I think this is a very fitting closing comment.
Senator Clark, I would be happy to divide the remaining time equally with
you and suggest that you start right off.
COMMENDATION OF WITNESS
Senator CLARK. You said at the outset, Senator Percy, that three of these gentlemen were friends, and uniquely enough, I know three of the gentlemen as well and have had occasion to work with them recently. Since we have shared the same prejudices, I suspect, I was particularly happy with the statements that you made, and I thought they were most perceptive. I am particularly proud, of course, that Maxwell Stanley is from our State, and proud of the commitment, both financially and personally, that he has made to this cause.
I was also very happy to hear Professor Yeselson because it seems to me that one of the great problems in congressional hearings is that we tend to have only those people that we agree with. I was delighted that he made a statement which was different from the others, and which I thought provoked a good deal of thought.
As I understand the thesis, it is that the United Nations all too often has been a forum for conflict rather than for peace, that we ought to have a more realistic view of this institution and that we won't be as disappointed if we do.
I would like to take my brief time to ask Professor Yeselson two or three questions with regard to that thesis.
HAVE PEACEKEEPING ASPECTS BEEN CONFLICT PRODUCING RATHER THAN
CONFLICT AVOIDING ?
You addressed yourself, as I understood your statement, primarily to political issues—the peacemaking issues—rather than to other aspects. But, do you really feel that the peacekeeping aspects of the United Nations—I refer to the peacekeeping forces in the Middle East now, in Cyprus, the Congo, and Kashmir-do
you really feel those have been conflict producing rather than conflict avoiding?
I don't mean by that that they were peacemaking. I don't think they created any peace at all; that wasn't their function.
But don't you think they did help to maintain the peace from time to time?
Mr. YESELSON. No.
For example, there is the widespread feeling that the United Nations since its separating Egyptian-Israeli and Syrian-Israeli forces, is making a positive contribution to peace. I think this is unrealistic. When the war ended the Israeli's were clearly in a winning position. The Arab side then was willing to negotiate the end of the
You will recall, of course, that you could not even get a meeting of the Security Council on a cease-fire prior to the change on the battlefield. Now, the Israelis opposed having a United Nations troop separating force but they were not sufficiently strong in their negotiating position to have a different force. Now, consider what happens when it is a United Nations force against the wishes of one of the parties in conflict. We have the force in 'being, not a force which is the result of agreement by both sides, whose composition, duration, and functions are the result of that kind of agreement, but the force which essentially reflected the ability of one side to get its kind of force there. There would have been a force in any case.
Now, that force, because it is a U.N. force, is subject to the authority of the Security Council. Its first period of duration was 6 months. You approach the 6-month period and tensions began to build, for one reason alone, only one side can use the U.N. as a weapon in this conflict. That is to say, when, as, and if Syria and/or Egypt decide that it is in their interest to remove the force, they can do so simply by having the veto, which is always available to them, apply and remove the force. The force has now been extended for 3 more months. We are now into the 3-month period. In both, actually, Sinai and Golan, we are now into the 3-month period. Again the tensions are going to build. Both sides will arm toward the 3-month period. They will prepare toward the 3-month period. Only the Arab side can say whether or not the force will be continued.
In other words, this is not a peacemaking force, it is an instrument of conflict for one side.
Senator CLARK. But it seems to me
Mr. YESELSON. Although you do not have fighting, it was quite clear that once the United States and the Soviet Union decided in effect that this fighting had to stop, the fighting was going to stop. To stop it in this way was not the most constructive way of doing so, and I think I could apply a similar kind of analysis in other cases.
In other words, the existence of U.N. forces is often given credit for peace when in fact world political conditions required that certain action be taken.
After the 1956 war, for example, clearly Israel could not stay in the canal. If there had been a treaty between Israel and Egypt and not the U.N. Emergency Force which prevented really any discourse between the two parties.
Senator CLARK. A treaty would have occurred otherwise ?
Mr. YESELSON. Something had to happen at that point. In other words, the Israelis might well have been willing at that point to sacrifice their territorial gains for what they continued to seek in their relations with Egypt—let us say the neutralization of Sinai which they didn't get. What they got was a force, and Mr. Hammarskjold did his best to interpret his mandate so that the force could not be removable simply upon the instruction of one side.
DISAGREEMENT REGARDING EFFECT OF PEACEKEEPING ASPECTS
Senator CLARK. I am going to cut down to one more question. I appreciate that, that is exactly the kind of opinion I wanted.
I wanted to ask Mr. Gardner if he agrees with Professor Yeselson on this point.
Mr. ĜARDNER. No; I don't agree and I think the statements we have just heard are manifestly contrary to historical fact.
The fact is that when Secretary of State Kissinger undertook his extraordinary bilateral diplomacy in the wake of the 1973 war, he found out that there was literally no way of getting a disengagement of opposing forces without the interposition of the U.N. forces; and when the negotiations took place on the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force in Syria, it was Israel that wanted a more numerous force with a stronger mandate and the final arrangements for that force ended up reflecting Israel's point of view much more than
Syria's. This will be confirmed, I believe, by the people who participated in the negotiation, Secretary of State Kissinger and Under Secretary of State Sisco.
The same can be pointed out with respect to the 1956 war, and the participants in that episode, the U.S. negotiators, Canadian Foreign Minister, Lester Pearson, U.N. Under Secretary General, Andrew Cordier, all have testified that U.N. was an essential ingredient for peace.
When I was in the Department of State in the Kennedy adminis. tration I had some involvement in the Congo operation. From my own experience I would say categorically that had the U.N. not been available to go into the Congo in the situation that existed in the summer of 1960, there was a clear and present threat of direct Soviet involvement and possibly, American involvement, in the heart of Africa, with unforeseeable consequences.
So I do not myself see how from these historical or other experiences one could make the statement that on balance the UN is a cause of conflict rather than a solver of conflict.
The basic fallacy in the statements we have heard from Professor Yeselson is that he mistakes the symptoms for the reality. When he sees friction in the U.N. he says the U.N. is causing it. The U.N. is not causing it, the U.N. is reflecting some of the problems of the world. Its capacity to take executive action through forces of interposition or border patrol is a resource for damping down conflict and separating the contending parties.
It has been said the U.N. hasn't brought the great powers together. But what the U.N. has done is keep the great powers apart—separated to some extent, at least from conflicts in the Third World, and that surely is a major historical contribution.
Senator CLARK. I will ask another question—did you want to comment further?
Mr. YESELSON. No; I think we would get into an academic quarrel about who has the better perception of history, and so forth.
I think we might resolve it in a weekend together if we are put into a room.
IS U.N. PROPER FORUM FOR GLOBAL MANAGEMENT ?
Senator CLARK. The last question, Professor Yeselson. As we said at the beginning, you are talking really more about the political aspects of the U.N.
What about the other aspects, what about the activities Mr. Segel and Max Stanley mention, the social and economic and humanitarian programs. You seem to share the view that some kind of global management is necessary in the world.
Do you feel that the U.N. is the right kind of forum for that and, if so, do you think that might contribute to reducing conflict in the world?
Mr. YESELSON. No; I do not think the U.N. is the correct forum. The problems are very real, as stated by all of us. Myself I have stated it the least because I have concentrated on the political. What happens I think is that by politicizing issues through the use of the U.N. there is a spillover into essentially the same approach into the so-called func