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prevent two world wars and could not be counted on to prevent a third and a fourth. In a world exposed to nuclear weapons this prospect was wholly unacceptable.
The United Nations system Roosevelt and Hull established was also designed “to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural and humanitarian character.”
This design was fleshed out in succeeding years by the creation of a vast network of associated agencies in these fields: for example, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the International Labor Office, the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the UN Development Program, the UN Environmental Program and the UN Population Program.
In so doing the founding fathers perhaps built better than they knew. Whether or not they foresaw that the world would thirty years later be caught up in a population crisis, a food crisis, an energy crisis, a monetary crisis, a raw materials crisis, they provided the instruments through which these crises could be dealt with internationally. The trouble is, as we have said, that these instruments are being only half used, and less used by the United States than by most other nations.
That has not always been the case. During the first two decades of the UN, the United States provided much of the necessary inspiration, leadership and resources. Most of the agencies listed above were set up at our initiative. Even now we continue to have more influence in the UN than any other single nation.
However, during the past fifteen years UN membership has grown much more numerous and diverse. There are now 138 members of which over 90 are so-called non-aligned countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The US therefore is no longer able to obtain UN approval of action which does not have wide support among the non-aligned. Sometimes resolutions are pushed through the Assembly which we strongly disapprove. However, it is important in this connection to emphasize two points.
First, the United Nations is not a world government. Far from it. It is an association of sovereign states with significant but strictly limited powers. Its General Assembly acts by majority vote but, except in budgetary and administrative matters, can only recommend. Its Security Council can decide on action to counter threats to peace, but in the Council the US and four other permanent members have a veto. The UN cannot therefore dictate to the US—nor to any. one else.
Second, the United Nations reflects the world as it is. Whether or not this is a sensible arrangement, there are more than 130 independent nations. We cannot ignore them or get along without them. A war in the Middle East, for example, threatens peace between the US and the Soviet Union and leads to an embargo on our vital oil supplies.
Examples could be multiplied. We must in the interests of our own security deal with everyone else and we can usually do that best through an organization where most everyone else is represented.
Our Government in recent years has not seemed to understand this simple fact. It has talked a great deal about "a structure of peace" but has neglected the structure which is already there, the one we ourselves created.
What our Government has been talking about for the most part is the old balance of power. It has tried to pour the new wine of a global society into the old bottles that served Metternich and Bismarck in Victorian times. It has based its so-called "structure of peace" on fleeting personal relationships rather than on established and durable international institutions. That strategy simply will not work in the 1970's.
The members of the United Nations, when they signed and ratified its Charter, conferred upon its Security Council "primary responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security." Yet it has been the habit of most states, particularly the great powers, to seek security unilaterally or by military alliances, and to turn to the Security Council only at the last moment when war had already broken out or was imminent. Under those circumstances it is no wonder the Council sometimes "fails."
In 1971 the great powers, including the United States, resisted for months efforts of the Secretary General and others to bring the developing conflict between India and Pakistan before the Council. When war broke out, to no one's surprise, the US Government publicly blamed the UN for failing to stop it. By using the UN as a scapegoat for its own mistakes, our Government unjustly and irresponsibly damages the UN's public image and weakens its public support in the United States. There have unfortunately been far too many examples of such behavior.
The United Nations has not yet been provided by its members with the powers and resources to prevent all wars, but it has prevented many and it could prevent more. It can do so, however, only if the impending conflict is submitted to it for judgment and action in time, before public passions and military momentum have reached the point of no return. The Security Council needs a standing watchdog community, like the Environment Program's world weather watch, to survey accumulating storms threatening the peace, to conciliate and mediate among those nations responsible and, if necessary, to bring them to the Council before, not after, the bell tolls.
Similarly, when cease-fires have been imposed and wars temporarily stopped, members of the Council must not simply put the issue on ice and hope it will stay frozen. It rarely does. War has been stopped four times in the Middle East, three times in the Indian subcontinent, three times on Cyprus, but each time, since the basic issues had not been settled, it soon broke out again. Its members must enable the United Nations not only to stop wars but to make peace, peace that will be definitive and durable.
The US Government has displayed a similar inclination to deal with the new problems of economic interdependence through ad hoc blocs, in which only consumers are represented, rather than through UN bodies where everyone is. It practically ignored the special session of the UN General Assembly on raw materials last April, finally presenting a unilateral proposal the day before adjournment. It has used the rostrum of the UN to berate the oil producers but rarely its chambers to negotiate with them.
Our Government has during recent years systematically neglected the vital interests of the vast majority of nations in the Third World. Our aid program has been steadily declining in volume and scope, and what remains has been overwhelmingly for the benefit of a few client states like South Vietnam and South Korea. It is not surprising, therefore, that the majority of poor nations at recent UN conferences, such as those on the law of the sea and on population, seemed unresponsive to our interests. Cooperation is a two-way street.
In general our Government has availed itself to a minimum degree of the opportunities which the UN system offers for dealing with global problems which critically concern our national interests. The following are some of the principal ways in which we could do so.
VII 1. The United Nations could and should play a much more active role in the peaceful settlement of international disputes which might otherwise lead to war. Significant means of doing so are provided in the Charter and have been further developed in UN practice over the past 25 years. Far too often these means have not been used at all or have been used too late to prevent war. Cease-fires are not enough. No conflict is ever settled until a durable peace, accepted in good faith by the parties, has been agreed and implemented.
2. The United Nations could and should, under US leadership, play a much more active role in peacekeeping, that is, in placing forces or observers between contending parties until pacific settlements can be made. When the UN has been authorized to engage in peacekeeping, as in the Congo, Cyprus and the Middle East, it has usually succeeded, but both large and small nations still too often prefer unilateral adventures to multilateral peacekeeping.
3. The proliferation and burden of armaments, both nuclear and conventional, is one of the greatest threats to global security and progress. The waste of resources is enormous and inexcusable. None of the big powers is sufficiently using the several UN conferences and bodies charged with negotiating limitation and reduction of armaments. Conventional arms control is being almost entirely neglected. These problems cannot be resolved exclusively inside the UN, but neither can they be resolved exclusively outside.
4. The second greatest threat to mankind's future is the pressure of growing population on finite and diminishing resources. Population growth is mainly
occurring in the underdeveloped countries and only they can control it, though developed countries can help. The UN has for several years had a Population Program and in 1974 has held a Population Conference. Progress at the Conference was meagre because of a debate among participants as to whether economic development or population control should come first. This was pointless. Each is essential to the other. They must go forward together.
5. The most vital natural resource is food. Critical shortages, leading to widespread famine are likely to occur within the next year or two. The UN has also held a World Food Conference this year. As the leading producer and consumer of many staple foods, the US has an interest in helping to expand food production in countries with rapid population growth and, as the nation with the largest food consumption and largest food surpluses, an obligation to contributing to alleviate famine when it occurs. Both of these tasks can best be carried out through impartial UN agencies.
6. At the special Assembly sessions this year the UN began to organize means of dealing with global raw materials problems. For the most part, however, production, marketing and consumption of such materials continues to be unplanned and unregulated, to leave producers and consumers alike at the mercy of ups and downs in supply and price, to risk widespread economic disaster and rapid depletion of exhaustible resources. Such problems can be effectively met only by international agreements in which all or most nations participate, such as those the UN can provide.
7. Substantial increments to essential world supplies may be found in the sea and seabeds. At the same time unrestricted national competition to exploit these resources could lead both to their early depletion and to serious international conflicts. The UN has held this year a conference on the Law of the Sea, which will be continued next year. Progress so far has been disappointing, partly because of a lapse of leadership on our part. It is in the vital interest of all nations, large and small, to ensure that the conference next year succeeds..
8. The world monetary system is in great disarray. There is no present assurance it can cope with the strains produced by global inflation and the sudden accumulation of huge new payments surpluses and deficits. Common action in and through the International Monetary Fund offers the best prospect of avoiding widespread economic depression.
9. It will be impossible to obtain the cooperation of the underdeveloped countries in resolving problems of population, food and raw materials unless the rich countries contribute much more substantially to their economic development. The experience of 25 years has shown that this contribution can be made with less political involvement and embarrassment through multilateral programs. The US must expand the volume of its development assistance and direct a larger proportion of it through such UN agencies as the World Bank and its affiliates, the regional development banks, the UN Development Program, and the relevant UN specialized agencies.
10. Mankind has only just learned that its environment is not indestructible and that irreversible damage to it is already occurring. Since much of the environment is international, its protection also must be. At the Stockholm Conference in 1972 the UN established an Environmental Program which monitors emerging dangers to the international environment, advises governments what is occurring and assists them in preventive action. This Program deserves strong U.S. support.
Finally, what is the cost of all of this to the US and others? The total annual budget of the UN and its whole family of agencies is only $1.3 billion, less: than half of one percent of the US budget, no more than the cost of a single: Trident submarine. The US contribution to the total UN budget is approximately $400 million, less than half the cost of the New York City police. This would hardly seem extravagant for an organization with these vast responsibilities, which Adlai Stevenson called "the last hope of mankind.”
We live in a world of nations which are politically independent but otherwise more and more dependent on each other, in many cases for security and even survival, in all cases for economic stability and progress.
Under these circumstances a strong international organization, capable of peacemaking, peacekeeping and control of armaments, equipped to deal with global economic and environmental problems, is more and more in the national interest of every nation, including our own.
Such an international organization, the United Nations, has existed for nearly thirty years but has never been used to anywhere nearly its full capacities. There are many ways in which the UN can and should be improved, but it cannot be improved if it is ignored or neglected.
In this era of inescapable interdependence among all nations, rich and poor, strong and weak, right and left, an institution embracing all of them, given power and means to cope with problems and avert disasters threatening all of them, is more and more indispensable.
The United States, in the spirit of Franklin Roosevelt and Adlai Stevenson, in association with all our fellow passengers on this small and fragile planet, must seize the opportunities the UN offers to meet those problems of the 1970's and 1980's which are insoluble by any other means.
MULTILATERAL DIPLOMACY UNDEREMPHASIZED IN PAST
Mr. Yost. Thank you.
I should like to join my colleagues in commending the committee for undertaking this study. I agree with Governor Stassen that in the recent past we have underemphasized multilateral diplomacy in the way I think is contrary to our interests in an increasingly interdependent world. So I would think that the time has come to use many aspects of the United Nations in the way we did in the earlier years but have been less inclined to do recently.
As one who was, as you kindly recalled, Mr. Chairman, present at the creation at Dumbarton Oaks and San Francisco and have been 7 years at the U.N., I recall vividly its origins and the fact that the three principal objects for which it was created were to keep the peace, to promote economic and social developments, and to serve, in the words of the Charter, as a center for harmonizing the action of nations.
Now there was a great deal of idealism at the San Francisco conference but I don't think anyone ever expected that the U.N. was going to achieve any instant utopia or resolve all of these problems in any near future. It was intended that there be a gradual movement in this direction.
I think one could argue to a considerable extent that has taken place despite the fact that the cold war obviously slowed down progress remarkably.
But during the first 20 years of the U.N. both Democratic and Republican administrations gave it very firm support and tended to take a great many of the issues they considered paramount to the United Nations with some very successful results, which Ambassador Lodge has recounted, and I won't repeat. But that I think we should especially recall what has not received as much publicity as the political issues, and that is the U.N.'s economic contribution: The Development Fund, the World Bank, the Monetary Fund, the regional banks, the World Health Organization, Food and Agricultural Organization and many others. These have not been heavily publicized until quite recently, yet we have been making substantial contributions almost since the beginning.
Now, there was substantial change in our attitude, both the attitude of our Government and the public, in the mid-1960's and continuing to the present day. The decline in U.S. leadership and the public support is a result, and I think the reasons are clear enough. We did become very preoccupied in Vietnam and Vietnam was not popular in the United Nations. We weren't, as Justice Goldberg well knows,
able to persuade the U.N. to take up this issue, for a number of reasons, but one because of general lack of sympathy with what we were undertaking there. That, since we were so preoccupied with it, had a correspondingly discouraging effect toward the U.N. in the United States. Then we had the long hassle about trying to enforce article 19, paying for the Congo operations by the Russians and the French, which was a legal argument and became a political one. Since we couldn't persuade a majority to go along with us, this disillusioned a lot of people.
THE "TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY” ANXIETY
But the basic reason was the one that has been cited, the substantial shift in the majority at the United Nations from the earlier period, when the Western Europeans and the Latin Americans felt mainly as we did, and voted mainly as we wished, and, therefore, our majority almost always prevailed. In the present situation there is an entirely different majority, 90-odd out of 138 members are so-called developing countries, and now even the Latin Americans have switched over to vote with the Africans and Asians on a great many issues. So we are confronted by what we now call the “tyranny of the majority.” This produces wide anxiety in the United States, in the Government, among the Members of Congress and the public that our interests will be overridden.
Now, I would argue that these anxieties are exaggerated. There is an overemphasis on the actions of the General Assembly because its seems to get more publicity than the other organs. In fact, if you look at the U.N. power structure, the real decisions are made so far as the first objective I mentioned, peace, in the Security Council, in which we have a veto. While we can't always persuade the Council to do what we want it to do, we are fully protected against it doing things we don't want it to do.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND RELATIONS ISSUE
The second broad function of economic development and relations is carried out by a whole series of economic agencies. In those, of course, while there can be a great deal of rhetoric that is unpleasant to us and, as Senator Percy knows, charters can be adopted that we don't like, in fact, very little of a constructive nature can be done without the economic support that only the devolped countries can provide. Therefore, we are protected on this score.
The General Assembly and the corresponding bodies in the other agencies can only recommend, they can't bind, they can't legislate, with the single exception of their own internal procedures and budgetary matters.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY REPRESENTS SUBSTANTIAL ELEMENTS IN WORLD
Now, as Justice Goldberg pointed out, the General Assembly does represent very substantial if not majority elements in world opinion. It is important to us to listen to what they are saying. It is loud and clear, often in a tone of voice which is too strident and of a character that is really counterproductive, but it reflects resentments and frus