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I do not want to indicate that that is a maximum contribution at the U.N. I mentioned this only to indicate the degree of difficulty that is involved in coming up with agreement in a forum where you have 138 separate votes. But if you recall correctly, we voted yes on almost 80 resolutions last year. We abstained on 17 and opposed only about 10 or 12. So the opportunity to agree even in that overabundant forum sometimes is present, too.
COST OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Senator PERCY. I have heard some comment across the country about the cost of the U.N., that it is too expensive. I cannot precisely bring to mind the figure of our present contribution, or all the agencies to which we contribute. But it probably is close to half a billion dollars. And yet, years ago I can recall the comparison being made that it was less than collecting the garbage in New York. At that time, it was substantially lower in dollars but our proportionate share of the U.N.'s total cost was higher.
As the OPEC countries increase their national wealth a great deal, does that automatically mean they will be increasing their proportionate share of the cost of the U.N.? I believe the U.S. share of the U.N.'s cost is down now to about 25 percent; isn't it?
Ambassador SCALI. Senator, I wish the answer to your question was automatic. As the Arab countries increase their wealth do they also automatically increase their contributions to the United Nations and its family of_assorted agencies? I would be very happy to see this happen. I think that the U.S. Government would not be reluctant to suggest that this is perhaps a good use of the increasing funds that they have. I do not believe that the United States is contributing too much to the upkeep of the United Nations system. As you said, we are contributing about $485 million a year, which includes not only the assessed dues but all of the voluntary contributions to the more than two dozen voluntary agencies.
When you consider the unbelievably important role that the Security Council played in creating an emergency peace force in the Middle East and positioning it between the combatants in 1973, I believe that you can see evidence of how the United Nations can respond in a peacekeeping role. I think that this single action which brought the United States and Soviet Union together for the first time to create an emergency peace force and to agree on the ground rules and also to agree on finance is one of the more important achievements of the U.N. history. The success of this peace force even today, I think, is worth all of the money that the United States has spent in the 30 years that the U.N. has been in existence.
IMPORTANCE OF PEACEKEEPING FORCES
Senator PERCY. What do you think would have been the potential for peace in the Middle East if Syria had refused the U.N. presence and the extension of its presence as against the decision that had apparently been made to extend that mandate for 6 more months now?
Ambassador SCALI. I think had Syria declined to permit the U.N. peace force to remain on the Golan Heights would have created an instant world crisis of the kind whose consequences could not have been foreseen. I was most pleased when the Syrian Ambassador came to see me at the U.N. yesterday and informed me that his government was willing to extend it for 6 months more. This gives us an additional breathing space and allows us more time to see whether diplomacy cannot be brought to bear.
Senator PERCY. I would challenge anybody who says that the U.N. is just a temple of hot air and endless debate. I would say, go to the Golan Heights and visit with those international forces under the jurisdiction of the U.N., and see what is being done right there on the ground to preserve peace in one of the most dangerous areas of the world. The cost is just miminal, a fraction of 1 percent of the total armament cost of the world for this and all other peacekeeping efforts. Certainly, I think, it should be pointed out that this is one of the great contributions the U.N. has made.
RECENT UNIDO CONFERENCE ACTIONS
The second general conference of the U.N. Industrial Development Organization, (UNIDO) which met in March and adopted a declaration of action on industrial development and cooperation. The United States was the only country to vote against this resolution which was adopted by a vote of 82 in favor, one against, with seven abstentions.
What were the major elements in the program the United States was in favor of, and which elements caused us to vote negatively on this matter?
Ambassador SCALI. Senator Percy, the vote at Lima at the UNIDO Conference represents one of those movements which I alluded to earlier. The issue here was whether sitting in Lima, Peru, a group of foreign representatives with varying degrees of economic expertise could decide on behalf of their governments that all nations of the world should be assigned a specific industrialization goal and that it should be set via this forum. We thought that deciding how much industrialization should be the goal was a matter worthy of very great detailed study and that it could not be proclaimed in a meeting of very few weeks and indeed we questioned the very concept of whether any international organization can decide that county “x” should have an industrial growth rate of 10 percent, country “y” 21/2, and country “y” a different figure.
We think that basically what should govern is the ability of the country to utilize any industrial project at all, and that industralization as an objective per se has to be related to what is happening in agriculture, what is happening in the region, and indeed even the play of economic factors. So this is one of those examples where we thought that the goal while commendable in practice did not mean much, and so rather than create the illusion that somehow all of this was going to happen when it would not, we decided as a matter of principle to vote no.
Senator PERCY. Did the United States take an active leadership role in attempting to bring about the consensus?
Ambassador SCALI. Ambassador Bennett was our representative at that meeting and I can assure you, Senator Percy, he sought until the last three sessions, I think lasted, went on until 5 o'clock in the
morning, seeking an acceptable consensus. If I recall correctly, one of the sessions lasted so long that the rapporteur collapsed and was carried out of the room. The answer to your question in shorthand, Senator, is yes.
PRINCIPAL PROBLEMS AND FRUSTRATIONS OF U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
Senator Percy. On the basis of your experience as the U.S. Repre. sentative to the U.N., what have you found to be the main problems you have had in carrying out your responsibilities? What are your principal frustrations? What kept you awake nights, if anything did?
Ambassador SCALI. I think that they perhaps were two. One making sure that I knew enough about what was happening within my own government and our own policy. Two, trying to decide on the basis of whatever knowledge I did have how to deal with the north-south confrontation, third world problem, in a constructive way.
I do not necessarily believe in scolding or shouting at people because they have a different position even on the matter of deep principle, but I do think that there are moments when you have to make your views known firmly, provided that you also have enough compassion and understanding of what motivates them. I think that the whole problem of better distributing the resources of the world or making them better available to the poorer nations is going to be the problem which will occupy us for at least the next generation, and until we find a better way of doing it than we now have before us we are going to continue to have this as a crisis area which is going to dominate much of our foreign policy.
Senator PERCY. I have previously expressed appreciation to Senator Pell for his interest in these hearings, and he is, I think, the only member of the Foreign Relations Committee who served in the State Department. He is one of the leading experts on the law of the sea. I am very happy to have him join us, and yield to him now.
MORE SUCCESSES THAN FAILURES
Senator PELL. Thank you very much, Senator Percy. May I congratulate you and Senator Sparkman for taking the initiative in holding these hearings. As one who was at the San Francisco Conference, I think of all of the brave ideas that we had there. I remember we spent 3 weeks working on the charter. Then through the years our hopes have declined; the countries that were our allies have become our adversaries. Yet the organization has managed to move along. I think when you add up the successes you find they more than outweigh its failures.
I think this positive view is one that should be expressed to the American people. Perhaps it would be a good exercise sometime if our delegate to the Security Council in his own way made an inventory of the successes and failures in terms of lives have been saved from malnutrition or from warfare.
I look forward going through the transcripts of these hearings because I have not been as conscientious as I should like to have been. I will not ask any specific questions at this time, because I do not
want to ask one that has been asked. I do want to wish Mr. Scali the best of luck. I understand he is moving on to other fields.
What do you think we should do in the future at the U.N.? I remem. bered Pat Moynihan's article in Commentary magazine and I also remembered your own statement about the tyranny of the majority. I am wondering what we should do to avoid this tyranny? Do you have any positive steps to recommend ?
Ambassador SCALI. Thank you Senator Pell. I appreciate your generous word and I want to join with Senator Percy in noting publicly that you have played a unique and important role particularly in the problems of, enormously important problem of how to deal with the Law of the Sea. I know this continues to be an area where you have great and continuing interest and I wish to say you have made a very positive contribution to the problem that still is before us. I also recognize that your longstanding diplomatic
background gives you insight into the U.N. few of us have had and I value your support and your counsel as I leave the U.N. I think, I leave with more hope than when I arrived. I think the U.N. is alive and well and that not only is working, it can be made to work better.
I believe that the degree of confrontation that reached a climax last December is now beginning to subside and if we allow quiet, patient, and understanding negotiations to take place, in an atmosphere devoid of recrimination and fiery exchange, we can, I think, inch forward further on the road to peace. It is not going to be easy, progress will be uneven, and there will be moments of frustration, but I think that there is evidence now of a spirit of increasing readiness to conciliate, a recognition that all of these problems are not only interdependent, they are interconnected in a way that makes it mandatory for us to work closely together.
I might note in this regard that one of the pleasant surprises has been during the past year that the United States and the Soviet Union have worked together not only for the cause of peace in the Middle East, as evidenced by the creation of the United Nations Peace Force, but that on a surprising number of issues, perhaps reflecting détente, U.S. and the Soviet Union did vote the same way and that the moments of acrimony and bitter debate were far less frequent than they were. We still have important differences between us but I think that this should be a matter of record and I think also is for perhaps even better cooperation in the days ahead.
I wish to note that we have fundamental differences on such issues where we do speak very directly to one another, but the number of moments when it has been necessary to engage in the kind of debate that used to characterize the U.N., are now fewer.
Senator PELL. I would agree with you. I have noted in some of the conferences I have attended that relations between the Soviet Union and the United States seem closer than between the United States and any other nation. Either we agree to agree or agree to disagree. It is odd our great adversary and we are very, very close together indeed, very often behind the scenes, I think. You are right, too, that the problems of energy and population go beyond any national borders and require global solutions. I am a member of the Club of Rome. We work
very hard on these global problems. When it comes to solutions a small nation in population and riches is still a sovereign nation, and its cooperation is just as necessary as that of a larger one.
U.S. VOTE ON SOVIET ENVIRONMENTAL MODIFICATION RESOLUTION
Finally, there is one specific question that bothered me a good deal at the last General Assembly, and that is the environmental warfare resolution, which I took an interest in, now that the Law of the Sea movement is launched. We passed a resolution in the Senate by 82 to 10, calling for the Department and Government to move ahead with the idea of a treaty outlawing environmental warfare. Then, when such a treaty was tabled by the Soviet Union, at the General Assembly, we joined with four other nations in abstaining simply because our nose was out of joint. We two big boys were supposed to continue our consideration a little bit further before it was actually tabled. I think that was very small potatoes on our part. I was curious if you had any view why the advice of the Senate, which passed the resolution 82 to 10, was so fantastically ignored in the position that was adopted at the General Assembly.
Ambassador Scali. Senator Pell, this is one of those embarrassing moments when speaking personally, I must say that I agree with you that it perhaps would have been better on reflection on our overall view had we joined in voting yes. That was the recommendation of our mission. Now there were other factors that were cranked into this equation, as I understand it, so I am not criticizing the instructions but I just thought perhaps you should be aware that there were those within the U.S. mission, including, I think, Senator Percy and Senator Symington, who felt pretty strongly about that.
Senator PELL. Thank you very much for your personal opinion. I hope that this 82 to 10 vote of the Senate will be borne in mind by the executive branch as it moves ahead. I know Dr. Ikle would like to see us move in this direction and this needs support from the other Government departments as well as the State Department and ACDA. Thank you very much.
Senator Percy. Senator Javits, I commented in opening the hearings today on my appreciation to you for your interest in them. We are very happy to have you with us this morning. It is my first opportunity to congratulate you on the initiative that you and some of our colleagues took in connection with the letter to the President on Israel. I think, as you know, I was with you in spirit and heart. I simply chose to express it in my own words.
We have a common, deep desire for peace in the Middle East. We had previously commented in the hearings and again this morning on the very important role that the peacekeeping forces the U.N. can have in the Middle East. Certainly we want to use every resource that the U.N. has to help us resolve this dilemma. The peace of the world really depends upon our finding stability there, an objective that we very deeply both share.
Senator Javits. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.