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have made to them. I do not know of a single Member of the Senate who has had greater impact than you on the work of this Committee, during the brief period that you have served on it. I think your participation in these hearings has been exceptionally good, and I am pleased to join you in the letter to Secretary Kissinger about preparations for the forthcoming special session of the General Assembly.
I would also like to express appreciation to our Chairman, Senator Sparkman, and our ranking minority member, Senator Case, for their diligence in being here. They both deeply regret their inability to be here today. Senator Javits has also participated very actively, as has Stuart Symington, who served at the United Nations with me. Claiborne Pell, Gale McGee, Hubert Humphrey, and our other Members have not been able to be here as much but they have all been deeply interested.
LETTER FROM SENATOR M'GEE I know, Ambassador Scali, that you have had a telephone call from Gale McGee from Wyoming, expressing his regret. I have a letter from him in which he asked that I read his statement on the closing of these hearings. I know that he wrote it because of his high regard for you personally, and wanted me to read it at this hearing. So I am sure you will not mind a short delay. It will just take a few minutes to read it.
Senator McGee says: “First, I would just like to say that prior commitments, including hearings my Post Office and Civil Service Committee held on voter registration legislation, have prevented my
ttending this series of hearings on the United Nations. My absence should in no way be interpreted to mean my interest in, and zeal for, the United Nations has diminished in any way. It has not.
“I also want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to our distinguished colleague, Senator Charles Percy, for being the catalyst in this series of hearings. In my estimation, this has been one of the most important undertakings of this committee in recent years.
"In addition, I commend two of our colleagues not only for their participation in the hearings, but for their continued substantive contributions to our efforts to strengthen the role of our Nation in the United Nations–Senator Hubert Humphrey and Senator Dick Clark.
“Finally, I particularly regret being unable to attend today's hearings, not only because the committee will be discussing relevant United Nations issues with our Ambassador, John Scali, but also because of the friendship which has developed between John and me as we have worked together on so many issues important to our effective participation in that organization. I, personally, appreciate the many contributions he has made in this regard.
“Three years ago, I had the distinct honor of serving as a delegate to the 27th General Assembly of the United Nations. In the report I compiled on my experiences at the United Nations, I made the following observation which I believe is even more relevant than 3 years ago. At that time, I noted : ‘The United Nations is presently at the crossroads of its development as an international institution. What it will come to be in the future is contingent upon our ability to exercise foresight and wisdom to insure its viability and its increased efficiency and effectiveness.
“ “Yet, this will require a much greater commitment and involvement on the part of the United States than we have recently been willing to devote to the United Nations.
6 Thus, even as the United Nations faces an uncertain future of almost crisis proportions, its chances for viability are threatened by a declining interest and support on the part of the United States. Indeed, there is a great danger that the United States could be responsible for the unraveling of the United Nations unless we recommit ourselves to strengthening the institution.
“'In Congress, we are witnessing an erosion of support for the United Nations. The executive branch of Government is no less culpable in this regard, for it has not provided the leadership to stem the increasing congressional hostility to the United Nations, let alone promote a greater spirit of support for, and understanding of, the institution.
“ 'In sum, both Congress and the administration are guilty of placing the United Nations far down the list of their respective priorities.'
"Three years ago, this was the state of affairs as I perceived them. Today, the situation has deteriorated even further.
“The United Nations has become a convenient tool only when we want to make it that instrument. Despite the efforts of a handful of people within the Congress and the executive branch, the institution suffers from a lack of attention or even a lack of regard on the part of our Government.
“The many positive contributions—contributions which are essential to our own well-being-are continually overlooked as the assaults upon the institution have increased in frequency in recent years. The potential of the United Nations as a viable institution is undermined by our own shortsighted disregard for the organization.
“I would like to make an additional observation. Once again, I quote from my report: 'I am very disturbed with the attitude expressed from time to time in the U.S. Congress that, somehow, 80 nations of the world are not qualified to have their views aired in an international forum. I am particularly referring to a dialogue this session of Congress on the floor of the Senate, where the view was expressed that the United Nations was much better off when only 50 nations comprised its membership. This view concluded that admission of some 82 additional members has somehow had a deleterious effect on the organization. I am disturbed, since we are extremely proud of our own national sovereignty, that we should not have the decency to respect the sovereignty of all nations of the world, no matter how small, no matter how underdeveloped, or no matter how much we may disagree with their positions. I believe in the integrity of all nations, I respect the sovereignty of all nations.
“In many ways, the United Nations, particularly the General Assembly, is reflective of our own bilateral relationships around the world. We have given the developing nations of the world short shrift in our foreign policy considerations. The United Nations is the one forum where our insensitivities to these nations is manifested, oftentimes much to our dislike."
“In concluding my remarks, I want to make one final observation.
“At a time when there has never been a greater need to strengthen and expand multilateral institutional approaches to global problems which are increasing in severity-problems which threaten our own viability as a nation—the United States is slowly turning its back on the United Nations.
“I have never felt more strongly than I do now that the United Nations offers mankind its best hope for achieving peace and stability in the world. Yet, we are allowing this hope to slip through our fingers."
Senator PERCY. Now, I would like to introduce Ambassador Scali.
Seventy-five percent of the American people still affirm their faith in the United Nations, despite the United States having been told to get out of the U.N., and the U.N. having been told by some Americans to get out of the United States. I cannot imagine the reaction of young people, who have never lived in a world without a United Nations if we were to leave the U.N. I think if we did not have the U.N., we would have to invent something like it. Maybe we can strengthen and perfect what we actually do have. Ambassador Scali, you have spent a lifetime observing the problems of the world in the field of journalism. During the Cuban missile crisis, you participated in the top councils of decision in the White House. Most recently, you have been our Permanent Representative at the United Nations. There could be no more appropriate witness to close our hearings and provide us with some concluding thoughts.
STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR JOHN SCALI, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
Ambassador SCALI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Percy, Senator Clark, as I begin what I expect will be my last appearance before this committee in my role as Ambassador to the United Nations, I want to thank you for your generous comments as well as those of Senator McGee.
I deeply appreciate the kind word at this particular time, and I will do my best to answer your questions honestly. In that context, I think, I will accept Senator Percy's suggestion that I give my personal views. I will seek to be responsive, but I think that speaking personally, perhaps I could have a little more flexibility in giving you my innermost thoughts on some of the issues which face us.
TRIBUTES TO SENATORS
I want to, before I begin, pay particular tribute to Senator Percy for suggesting and organizing these hearings. They could not have come at a better time. As the United Nations nears its 30th anniversary, as it begins the process of looking inward, as well as outward to decide how better to cope with the world, I think that some of the suggestions and ideas that have been laid forward by the witnesses that vou have had here are well worthy of thought by two committees which are already at work within the United Nations to decide whether there can be improvement, and I have in mind the Committee of 42, which is trying to decide whether there should be charter reform and the Committee of 25 experts which only a few days ago put forward a 160-page report on how to reform the international economic arena in which the United Nations operates. And as we have a changing of the guard at the U.S. Mission, I suspect, too, that the thoughts that are being expressed within this room could be a useful guide, not only for the administration, but for us all.
I wish to note, and I am not exaggerating, that it has been a rare privilege for me to work closely with Senator Percy during the last special session. I have known many Members of Congress who have been public members of the U.S. Delegation at the United Nations and am familiar with the amount of work that some of them have devoted to this project, while continuing to serve as active Members of Congress. I can say honestly and without the slightest exaggeration that I do not think I have ever been as impressed as I have been by the amount of time and careful attention that Senator Percy devoted to his work at the United Nations. I marveled at the number of times that he flew back and forth, even in the course of one day, in order to be on hand, and particularly to carry out the work which he took on in terms of the American role on whether there was to be a Charter of Economic Rights and Duties.
Senator Percy, I think that was in the highest tradition of statesmanship and I just wish to make this point for the record.
Senator McGee, of course, is a tried and true and tested friend of us all and of the United Nations in particular, and he has been a man who has led the way in many areas in mobilizing American support. He has done so in the spirit of realism, and one which takes full account of the national security and other objectives which are important to the U.S. Government.
I remember meeting Senator Clark for the first time at the U.S. Mission just for a few days prior to the beginning of the Rome Food Conference. If you remember, Senator, we shared a deep and I think common interest in seeing to it that the U.S. Government contributed more than appeared to be the likely result of whatever pledges we were to make.
And, if you remember, I encouraged you in your thought that perhaps you would fly to Rome to be on hand to exert whatever positive influence that you could. You not only did fly there but you exerted a powerful positive influence along with Senator Humphrey, Senator Percy, and others, and as a result, we as a government wound up surpassing all previous pledges that we had made to help feed the hungry, and I wish to pay a suitable tribute to you for that.
I will begin this brief prepared text that I have before me with the emphasis that I am speaking personally now, because of my unique status.
THE U.N.-DANGER AND OPPORTUNITY
The Chinese word for crisis combines the characters for danger and opportunity. This is a good description of the current state of the United Nations, an organization in crisis, poised between imminent opportunity and eventual disaster.
Over the past 2 years the United Nations has in assorted forums approved a series of thoroughly one-sided economic declarations. It has taken discriminatory action against Israel in UNESCO, invited Yasir Arafat to speak in New York and illegally suspended South Africa. Yet, during this same period the United Nations played an indispensable role in limiting and eventually halting dangerous wars in the Middle East and on Cyprus. It convened successful world conferences on two of the most critical issues of our time, those of food and population. In just the past few weeks it has moved swiftly to seek to bring relief to the war victims in Indochina.
Unpalatable and arbitrary as some recent United Nations decisions are, we must face the possibility that there may be worse in store. Unless we move with care and understanding, our confrontation with the Third World will worsen. If we, as a government, stand immovable in a rapidly changing world, we may wind up standing alone. If, on the other hand, we choose to lead the way, we can still lead the United Nations into an era of historic achievement.
No one can predict with any certainty which of these paths the United Nations will take. I do believe, however, that the decisive turning point will be reached sooner rather than latér.
SOURCES OF TENSIONS AT THE U.N.
It is not hard to pinpoint the present sources of tension at the United Nations. There are three—the Arab-Israeli dispute, the battle for racial justice in Southern Africa and the growing gap in living standards between developed and developing nations. These three issues dominate all United Nations deliberations for a good reason: These are the problems that most of the world's people feel most keenly. For most member nations a United Nations which cannot promote progress on these issues is not worth having.
On December 6, I spoke to the General Assembly about the unfair, unrealistic, one-sided and even illegal actions which the Third World majority was forcing on the United Nations in pursuing these goals. I warned of the damage these decisions were doing to the United Nations and to the real interests of all its members.
These remarks set off one of the most comprehensive and, in my opinion, most constructive debates in the Assembly's recent history. Representative after representative frankly laid out his country's policies, fears, and hopes about the fundamental problems now faced by us all. This debate was helpful, but it did not resolve our differences. It did, however, create a more hopeful atmosphere and gave us a better idea of the deep-seated emotions that exist on both sides.
We and the nations of the Third World are divided on issues of major importance. We differ on how to achieve peace in the Middle East, how to bring social justice to Southern Africa and how to insure a more equitable sharing of the world's wealth. We are not divided on goals, however, and we are not fundamentally divided on the role which the United Nations can play.
There is no single surefire formula which can reform the United Nations and reverse the trend toward confrontation there. The tone in which we conduct our dialog can soothe, or it can inflame our current differences. Our language, our posture, can enhance or set back the prospects of compromise. But only sincere negotiation on the problems of critical importance to the Third World can halt the continued deterioration in our relations with these nations.
If, because of choice or neglect, the world community fails to make the United Nations work, the alternative is not cooperation elsewhere