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PARTICIPANT ATTITUDE CHANGES OBSERVED TOWARD U.N. AS AN
Mr. Stanley, the Stanley Foundation since 1965 has sponsored nine conferences on the topic, “The U.N. in the Next Decade.” Participants, who for the most part have been intimately involved with the U.N., have observed changes in the attitude of participants toward the U.N. as an organization. What are some of the most persistent defects and shortcomings of the U.N. as identified at your conferences through the years? Perhaps you would like to comment on one or two now and expand on the answer for the record.
Mr. STANLEY. I would like to expand on that because it covers quite a bit of ground. I would say among the people we have worked with at these conferences—they come from nations large and small-I have observed a continuing and growing recognition of the necessity of making the U.N. work, not only in its peacekeeping and security but also in the various economic areas, and in dealing with the several new global problems now facing us. I would like to expand by letter if I may. [The following information was subsequently supplied :] ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY SENATOR PERCY AND RESPONSES OF
C. MAXWELL STANLEY
THE STANLEY FOUNDATION,
Muscatine, Iowa, May 15, 1975. Hon. SENATOR CHARLES PERCY, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR : At the conclusion of my Senate Foreign Relations Committee Testimony on May 8, I was asked to respond to several written questions.
Your first question concerns the attitudes of participants at our United Nations of the Next Decade Conference towards the United Nations. It also concerns the defects and shortcomings consistently identified at our nine conferences of this series.
Participants at these conferences show an increasing awareness of the vital need for the United Nations to advance international coperation, particularly regarding the critical world issues mentioned in my testimony. There has been, in my opinion, a broadening consensus that the United Nations system should be strengthened and improved. There has been limited discussion of Charter revision but stronger emphasis has been placed on specific improvements in various functional areas.
The identification of defects and shortcomings of the United Nations depends, of course, upon the individual and national viewpoints of participants. Generally speaking, there is agreement that a major defect is the lack of willingness of the superpowers to make full use of the United Nations. Most participants feel the Soviet Union and the United States tend to bypass or ignore the United Nations in the urgent areas of arms control, peace and security. Broad agreement also exists that the decision-making and procedural practices of the United Nations need improvement. Inadequate funding is another recognized shortcoming. Many conference participants are disturbed by the Security Council veto, others by bloc voting in the General Assembly.
The Stanley Foundation's Ninth Conference on the United Nations of the Next Decade focused upon “Decision-Making Processes of the United Nations.” The enclosed Conference Report contains various recommendations. I call attention to the following:
1. Member states must recognize that there is a constellation of issues facing the world community. Ranking of these is dependent upon different national viewpoints. Harmonization will be achieved when nations recognize that few, if any, of these issues can be resolved independently of others. Cooperation, coupled with a conscientious effort toward mutual understanding and accommodation between all nations, is essential (page 5).
2. The General Assembly should elect its officers and constitute its General Committee at the close of the prior General Assembly, or at a brief session early in the calendar year (page 8).
3. Easily implemented change in committee operation and structure should be made such as:
A. Working committees with Main Committees should function on a yearround basis.
B. General debate within committees should be reduced to avoid repetition of General Assembly plenary debate.
C. Speeches in committees in explanation of votes should be severely limited in length.
D. The number and responsibilities of committees should be reviewed.
E. Steps should be taken to eliminate assignment of same subject matter to more than one committee and to minimize repetitious consideration.
F. Informal consultation and negotiations should be encouraged to resolve differences and avoid expensive committee debate. (See pages 9 and 10.)
4. For the longer range, many participants recommended that the present pattern of Committees of the Whole be replaced by smaller committees (page 11).
5. Use of decision by consensus should be encouraged cautiously and selectively (page 12).
6. Mini-states should have some form of Associate U.N. Membership as an optional alternate (page 14).
7. Since a trend towards gradual circumscription of the use of the veto in Security Council is visible, adoption of resolutions with abstention of one or more permanent members could be helpful (page 17).
8. A standing committee should be established in the Security Council to assist in monitoring potential trouble spots and bringing difficulties to the attention of the Security Council (page 18).
9. Better coordination between the General Assembly and ECOSOC is important to achieve a proper relationship (page 20).
It would be pure speculation to discuss what differences there might have been in actions of the 29th General Assembly if the recommendations of the Ninth Conference had been in effect. Thus, in response to your second question. I would only suggest that the recommendations from our Conference would improve the functioning of the General Assembly, allowing more time to deal with substantive issues and permitting better preparation before matters are discussed on the Assembly floor.
If a standing committee of the Security Council existed (Item 8 above), attention could be focused upon smoldering, unresolved problems such as those giving rise to the explosive and widely publicized events of the 29th General Assembly : degrading apartheid in South Africa, the festering Palestinian refugee situation and the repeatedly rebuffed efforts of the developing world to gain a greater stake and voice in international economic matters.
Trusting these answers may be helpful in the deliberations of your Committee and again expressing my thanks for the opportunity to testify, I remain Sincerely yours,
C. MAXWELL STANLEY, President. Senator PERCY. Certainly.
The committee thanks our distinguished panel very much. I think you have made an invaluable record that will help lay a foundation for the rest of these hearings.
The hearings are recessed until May 14.
[Whereupon, at 1 p.m., the committee adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.]
THE UNITED STATES AND THE UNITED NATIONS
WEDNESDAY, MAY 14, 1975
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m., in room 4221, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. John Sparkman [chairman) presiding
Present: Senators Sparkman, Humphrey, Clark, Case, Javits, Percy, and Baker.
Also present: Senator Buckley.
Nine Senators have indicated they will be here. I suppose they will be coming in. I think we had better get started.
We today are continuing the 'hearings on the United States and the United Nations by discussing the impact of the détente and the impact of the Third World on the United Nations.
For the first topic the committee has invited Mr. William F. Buckley, Jr., who is not only a writer and editor-in-chief of the National Review but also a former U.S. delegate to the United Nations and Prof. Alexander Dallin of Stanford University, a distinguished authority on the Soviet Union, including author of a book on the Soviet Union at the United Nations.
We welcome you, gentlemen here and I invite you to take a seat at the table and we will begin with Mr. Buckley.
I understand you composed your statement on a flight from Israel and Greece yesterday and copies are now being made and should be available to the committee shortly; is that correct ? STATEMENT OF WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, JR., EDITOR-IN-CHIEF,
THE NATIONAL REVIEW
Mr. BUCKLEY. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I may say, I ask you the question rather facetiously, if we were going to hear some firing line material this morning.
Mr. BUCKLEY. That depends on whether you provoke me, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, gentlemen, a communication from your committee
The CHAIRMAN. May I interrupt. I believe you refer every once in a while to your sainted brother.
Mr. BUCKLEY. Sainted junior Senator.
A communication from your committee, signed by the chairman, advises me in language most civil, but tilting rather toward sternness than permissiveness, that I am to address you for 10 minutes in a prepared statement.
Last night I gave some thought as to how I might best serve your purposes under these circumstances. Needless to say, I should be happy to answer any questions you subsequently put to me. But to compress an analysis of the impact of détente on the policy of the United States in the United Nations is taxing, and requires a most stringent economy of language. I have decided therefore to give you a pastiche. In order to introduce it I need very little commentary. In order to give you the connective tissue that brings the narrative together, I require only a sentence or two.
WITNESS' EXPERIENCE ON U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE Accordingly, I begin. The preliminary data are that in 1973 I was appointed a public member of the U.S. Delegation to the 28th General Assembly during that summer in which, it is recorded, President Nixon made other, perhaps even graver, mistakes.
I was induced to accept this appointment by being advised that I would represent the United States in the so-called Third Committeethe Human Rights Committee.
I move without further ado in medias res. There I am, at my first Third Committee meeting. I go back to my office and address a memorandum to the U.S. Ambassador, copy to the Secretary of State. I excerpt from that memorandum.
The policy of détente with the Soviet Union and with China governs the activity of the State Department, and the State Department obviously will move in ways consistent with that policy.
United States participation in the United Nations is in part a direct expression of United States foreign policy, in part it is an expression of the United States' contribution to strategic ideals of peace, justice, and freedom. It is not, in my opinion, inconsistent for the United States to express itself cordially to the representatives of the Soviet Union in Washington and in Moscow-while at the same time representatives of the United States, in public debates on strategic questions having to do with human rights, maintain a dogged position seeking to reaffirm the ideals of the United Nations.
... The purpose of the extra political agencies of the U.N. is ultimately diplomatic. When the Committee talks about the necessity for freedom of information, it votes for improved communications, which in turn should lead to the encouragement of democratic and libertarian impulse. When the Committee talks about the right of emigration, or the right to practice one's religion, it argues for preassures upon totalitarian entities which lure them towards the open society which is the most reliable friend of stability and equilibrium.
The genius of the committee system, and of the public member conception, lies surely in the effort slightly to distinguish between the direct agents of the State Department and the slightly detached agents that constitute the delegation.
Accordingly, unless I am instructed to do otherwise, I plan, as the U.S. member in the Committee on Human Rights, to feel free to discuss human rights even if the inference can be drawn from what I say that I also believe in human rights within the Soviet Union...
I concluded the memorandum with vows to a most tactful performance of my duties as I saw them, and was advised most tactfully the next day by the U.S. Ambassador, for whom I have the highest respect, that any such approach would in fact stand in the way of the tactical demands of détente.
EFFECT OF DÉTENTE ON HUMAN RIGHTS DISCUSSION
A second act—I choose arbitrarily from a number that would serve. I am, as public delegate, instructed to deliver a short speech on how the United Nations might appropriately celebrate the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I wrote, attempting to conform to the State Department cabled instructions, a few paragraphs, the relevant ones of which I quote:
Mr. Chairman, on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, what is there to say this side of the cant which I hope to spare you? I plead inexperience in the art of saying nothing with much wind, and surely if we find, on meditating the thirty Articles in the Declaration, that there ought to be thirty-one, we should consider recommending an Article that declares that all men were born free of the weight of political rhetoric, but everywhere, man is, in respect of this freedom in chains.
My government desires to make one or two observations, some of them concrete, some ceremonial.
The Human Rights document is the best-known and therefore the preeminent catalogue of human rights in the world today.
The Declaration has been useful to several countries that have sought to devise bills of rights of their own. By consulting the UN Declaration of Human Rights, they can at least count those rights they have left out.
My government desires to call attention, on the 25th Anniversary of the Declaration, to a few of the enumerated rights which are conspicuously transgressed upon
[I proceeded to enumerate these, as suggested in the telegram from the State Department. And I concluded :]
Now, Mr. President, the world is divided not between those who say they do not believe in torture and those who say that they do believe in torture. Rather it is divided between those who practice torture and those who do not practice torture. Indeed, the world is divided not between those who say they believe in human rights and those who say they do not believe in human rights, but between those who grant human beings human rights and those who do not grant human beings human rights. . . . So that this organization is committed, for instance, to the proposition that there is a right to leave one's country. And yet we have not heard more profuse compliments paid to the Declaration of Human Rights than by some who maintain huge fortifications calculated to prevent precisely the exercise of that right.
The United Nations was not designated as a military juggernaut at the service of the Human Rights Committee to ensure that signatories practice those rights they praise. But, Mr. President, surely it would mark the solemnity of the occasion if, on the 25th Anniversary of the Declaration next December 10th, those nations that systematically deny the human rights associated with the United Nations Declarations should gracefully absent themselves from this chamber for one day?
I was advised, most gracefully and warmly, that my short analysis, whatever its great philosophical merits to the contrary notwithstanding, were inconsistent with détente and, accordingly, pleading the urgency of business elsewhere, I arranged for an aide to read a speech recalling in copious detail the exhalted oratory that had celebrated the promulgation of the United Nations Declaration 25 years ago.
UNITED NATIONS FANTASY
Mr. Chairman, the time having elapsed, I close with a paragraph, a fantasy from a journal I wrote. At the end of that I am at your disposal to draw out the implications of this statement.
I wrote: Wednesday. While sitting at the chair of the plenary, attending to a few administrative details in the session following the day of the formal closing,