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Ambassador SCALI. I think that there was no desire to bypass the U.N. if we had thought that the U.N. offered a quick avenue to the new Cambodian Government. I am sure that this route would have been chosen because it would amount to basically choosing the right post office to deliver the message. But we did have a mission in Peking where we thought, and we did have good reason for knowing, that the Chinese were not only in touch with but very friendly to the new Cambodian Government, so I think it was logical for us to believe that perhaps this avenue could produce results faster than going through the U.N. when we knew the Secretary-General was not sure how to get in touch with the Cambodian authorities.
Senator Percy. Would you care to comment on the initiative that we took with the Chinese and how you evaluate what happened there and why?
Ambassador SCALI. Senator, I am afraid I do not know enough about that to respond with any real meaning.
MORE DELEGATION OF POWERS TO THE U.S. MISSION AND DELEGATION
Senator PERCY. When I left the U.S. delegation at the end of last year, I wrote a report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and made a number of suggestions as to how I felt the delegation could improve its relationship with the State Department and vice versa. Among these were suggestions for the State Department delegating more responsibility to the U.S. Delegation and Mission at the U.N.not nitpicking so much on words and phrases, allowing more initiative to be taken and having some confidence in giving the delegation the sense that they did not have to get the directions from Washington on every last little thing, that they could take initiatives.
Would you care to make any comments from a personal standpoint ? I think the State Department would be interested in how the delegation can be strengthened, how it can be improved, how the relationship between Washington and New York, which are connected by many, many cables, could be improved ?
Ambassador Scali. Senator, most of the time I had no difficulty with the basic instructions under which I operated in the U.N. As the U.S. permanent representative you are an instructed Ambassador and it is very carefully spelled out that you operate under the instructions of the Secretary of State and the Department of State.
However, there were occasions, as I think you know first hand, when we felt that there was excessive quarterbacking from the distance that did not sufficiently take into account what we thought was our special knowledge about the intimate conditions. I would hope that the Department would give greater latitude and greater flexibility to the U.S. mission, specifically to the Ambassadors and the public delegates during the assembly time, with the understanding that if they are worthy of being appointed they are worthy of being allowed to make decisions, and if the decisions do not work out I suspect there is some way to get rid of them.
GREATER INVOLVEMENT OF SECRETARY IN U.N. MATTERS
Senator PERCY. A number of suggestions have been made that the Secretary of State should take a much more active interest in the
United Nations and should be physically present in New York, not just to hold bilateral talks on the business between the United States and a particular country, but to actually engage in the dialog and the United Nations problems on the agenda. Would you care to offer any advice or counsel in this respect ?
Ambassador SCALI. As you know, Secretary of State Kissinger has been very heavily engaged with international shuttle diplomacy and this has necessarily limited the amount of time that he can spend in New York let alone Washington.
I would hope that as the need for the Middle East phase of this diplomacy abates he could spend more time at the U.N. I think that among other things that it would be a handy locale to meet assorted foreign ministers and perhaps even cut down on the need for some of this travel.
But I would also like to see the Secretary, and I have reason to believe that this may happen, look at the U.N. as a more promising avenue of initiatives of the kind that can fit in with American foreign policy objectives.
RECOMMENDATION OF PANEL OF EXPERTS
Senator PERCY. One of our earlier witnesses observed that serious consideration was being given in the U.S. policy community to setting up some kind of umbrella economic organization within the U.N. system that would absorb the functions of existing organs. This was also a recommendation of the group of experts which reported this week. How far has thinking moved in this direction within the State Department, what kind of organization is being projected, what would its functions be?
Ambassador SCALI. Senator, I cannot answer that question because I am not sufficiently familiar with all of the details. The report of the committee of experts, is 160 pages long, and it is a highly complicated document. I received my copy just 2 days ago and until I have had a far better chance to study it I am going to have to ask to be excused from answering that.
GREATER STATUS FOR NGO's
Senator PERCY. Yesterday, Alvin Toffler, author of "Future Shock," suggested that the 2,600 or so nongovernmental organizationsNGO's—now in existence are unrecognized global resources and that they should be given special status within the U.N. system. Do you view this as a feasible and desirable proposal ?
Ambassador SCALI. I think it is a proposal well worth considering but I see problems in it. To begin with, we would then face the problem of deciding which nongovernmental organizations should be given this special status. To give them status wholesale might lead to some rather unwieldy conferences or moments, but I think it is a proposal well worth studying.
Senator PERCY. Do you feel that any steps should be taken to see whether or not such NGO's should be institutionalized within the U.N. framework?
Ambassador SCALI. I have not given that any serious thought, Senator, but I think along with other proposals it is well worth looking into it.
SITUATION WITH RESPECT TO MEMBERSHIP OF SOUTH VIETNAM
Senator PERCY. It has been suggested that one method of countering a possible move by the next U.N. General Assembly to suspend Israel would be to argue the principle of universality of membership. In support of this principle the United States might take the lead in sponsoring U.N. membership for the new Government of South Vietnam. What is your own reaction to this suggestion?
Ambassador SCALI. I see no immediate prospects that the United States is going to sponsor the new Government of South Vietnam. I think their arguing the principle of universality would have hardly any impact at all upon the nations that might decide that it was time for Israel either to be expelled from the U.N. or to be suspended from participation in the Assembly.
Senator PERCY. Would you relate more exactly whether you feel there is any possibility of such an effort being made at the next General Assembly and what its success may be? And then would you indicate the reasons why you feel-I am sure, and I would share them with you—that this would be a very, very wrong move for the U.N. to make? Why it would be ill advised and could be quite disastrous in this country's attitude toward the U.N.?
Ambassador SCALI. Senator, I will have to speak, I must emphasize, personally.
A subcommittee of the nonalined group which met in Havana last month decided that it would recommend to a meeting of the nonalined foreign ministers a proposal whereby Israel's expulsion or suspension from the U.N. be considered as an overall position by the nonalined.
To begin with, if there was any move made within the Security Council to expel Ísrael, I confidently believe the United States would veto this move. I also expect that perhaps Britain and
Senator PERCY. I think their veto would have broad support. Ambassador Scali. I think Britain and France would join in this.
If, on the other hand, the Arab countries took the lead in seeking to do to Israel what they did to South Africa; namely, to suspend it for the session from the assembly, then we would be faced with a different problem. I would hope that the nonalined countries recognize that this would be an exceedingly reckless move at this time, that it could ruin the more promising atmosphere for conciliation and accommodation.
In the event they decided that as a political tactic they wanted to go through with this, regardless of the consequences, which I have described, I would recommend that our Government take concrete action to demonstrate that it would not accept illegal action of the kind that threatens the continued existence of the U.N.
I cannot spell out right now what this concrete action might be. I know that you have had a variety of suggestions put before you, which
include freezing American contributions, perhaps suspending ourselves voluntarily from the Assembly during the time that Israel is suspended, but I would think that it might be improper for me and perhaps unwise to single out any step that we should adopt because it would depend on the nature of the resolution, it would depend, for example, on the status of peace negotiations, and indeed the energy discussions and the overall prospects for a more harmonious relationship in the whole economic area.
But I do think that American public opinion and Congress would virtually demand that we adopt some kind of retaliatory action, and as one who recognizes what a disastrous impact this could have on American public support for the U.N., I would be very much inclined to recommend some concrete response.
SELF-FINANCING FOR THE U.N.
Senator PERCY. The U.N. also seems to have a financial problem, and I do not think this is just because the U.N. is located in New York City and the city's problems are contagious. I can think of one trust fund in this country that does not have any trouble, the highway trust fund, because it is self-funding, it even has a surplus. I was interested that Australia's opera house which is funded by a lottery, is perhaps the only institution of art in the world that has a surplus, and steady source of income, and is assured of its continuation. From time to time, proposals have been made for self-funding the U.N. system through a postal tax or by taxing profits derived from the seabeds.
What is the U.S. position toward self-financing in general? Has the State Department developed any specific proposals? What is your own personal thinking about this?
Ambassador SCALI. I do not know that the Department has yet focused on this. I do not believe it has a position. If you could persuade enough Congressmen to weigh this seriously, I would be happy to join you in recommending it.
Senator PERCY. I am moving to abolish the highway trust fund. I am not exactly in favor of self-financing. But I felt on behalf of those who have made such proposals I ought to get your judgment.
PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO COORDINATE U.S. APPROACH
Richard Gardner, appearing before us, suggested a coordinated U.S. approach to multilateral issues that would cut across many departments in the U.S. Government. It might best be handled in the process used in the Law of Sea negotiations; that is, establishment of an interagency task force as a subgroup of the National Security Council, to elicit regular congressional consultation and private sector involvement through a working, not ceremonial, public advisory committee.
Would this be feasible, in your opinion?
Ambassador SCALI. Senator, that is the first I have heard of that suggestion. It sounds like a very comprehensive one. I think I would have to take time to look at it very carefully.
Senator PERCY. Suppose I provide that to you in writing and should you wish to comment we will hold this record open for a week or so to give you adequate time to reply to it if you would like to study it and reply.
IS THE U.N. AN ARENA FOR COMBAT ?
The fundamental approach of Abraham Yeselson, who testified before us on May 8, was that the U.N. is an arena for combat and that member states, including the United States, use the organization to advance what he called national conflict positions. In his view, the U.N. is not necessarily functioning in the interest of international peace. What is your response to his particular thesis?
Ambassador Scali. I think that is an exaggeration. Of course, there are debates of the kind that involve diplomats speaking for the home folk back home to advertise the purity and sanctity and the rightness of positions, but I think there are ample interests of cooperation of the kind which helps the international community as, for example, the success of the Security Council in agreeing on a 12-nation peace force in the Middle East, which even today is patrolling both the Golan Heights and the Egyptian front and giving us the time we need hopefully to see whether there is to be a next step in this disengagement or indeed important movement toward permanent peace.
ANNUAL U.N. SESSIONS-OPPORTUNITY AND HEADACHE
Senator PERCY. Now, I would like to ask you to try to give us a feeling of the mood of the State Department toward the annual U.N. sessions. There have been inferences by some of our witnesses, and a great many other people, that the State Department really reacts quite negatively to these annual sessions. How does it, in your judgment, react? I recognize that it is a composite, and it is very difficult to get a response from such a large number of people as that. But for those who have responsibility, at top levels or medium or lower levels, are the sessions viewed as just another chore which they must endure, or are they recognized as a real opportunity for U.S. representatives to examine the pulse of the world? Do we just drag out last year's positions on each agenda item, or does the Department review and examine the issues before the Assembly for changing circumstances—and look for opportunities for U.S. leadership in actually resolving some of those problems? Does it look forward to the chance to use this forum to see what can be done?
Ambassador SCALI. Senator, I think the Department looks on the annual United Nations as part opportunity and part headache. Sometimes it is more headache than opportunity, particularly in the past few years when the Third World has used the U.N. more as a platform for advancing special ideas, including some radical positions rather than a central arena for accommodation.
I do think, for example, that we have used the United Nations positively to advance proposals such as the World Food Council, as you know, and to call for meetings of the Law of the Sea, to talk about the problem of population growth and other issues.
I am also very pleased to say that after many, many years of discussion we have finally agreed on the definition of the word "aggression.” This may not sound like much but when you have 138 different people stirring the pot and you finally come up with the definition of the word "aggression,” it has to be noted in history.