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In the political role related to peace and security, the answer is more ambivalent. The United Nations has demonstrated the feasibility of third party intervention. There is a list of 120 cases where it played such a role. In the area of arms control and disarmament it has been notably unsuccessful due largely to the adamant opposition of the nuclear powers. Moreover, it has not demonstrated an ability to deal with peace and security in areas where there is any chance of confrontation between the major powers.
More recently the United Nations has performed an additional role through a series of conferences that have alerted and focused world attention upon pending global problems, and, to some extent, sensitized world opinion to cope with them. These include trade, environment, population, food, law of the sea, human settlements, and a more effective economic order. Such U.N. initiatives compel even reluctant nations to face up to these crucial issues, although they may react very slowly.
CRITICAL WORLD ISSUES FACED BY U.N.
It seems to me that the world community today, due to the impact of a technological revolution, and the collapse of Western colonialism, faces a half dozen very critical world issues. In addition to the ongoing one of peace and security I would add achieving a tolerable and workable resource population balance in the world, protecting and enhancing the environment, accelerating economic and social development, improving world economic order, and perhaps most fundamental of all, expanding human rights. None of these problems begins or ends at the national boundaries, all require international cooperation among the nations of the world.
CONCLUSIONS CONCERNING LONGER RANGE ROLE OF U.N.
If we look briefly to the longer range role of the United Nations, I would conclude that the U.N. is performing a useful service in five ways, despite the diversity and disunity among nation-states:
(1) Its continued existence demonstrates the need for an organization.
(2) The General Assembly provides a forum where any nation, large or small, powerful or weak, can voice its aspirations, concerns, and complaints. Even the United States and other major powers can be challenged to defend positions. This brings a healthy openness into international affairs.
(3) Alternative approaches to world problems are repeatedly offered. Multilateral action, nonmilitary initiative, third-party intervention.
(4) The U.N. Tests methods of cooperation among nation-states, demonstrates weakness, of which there are many, and points the way to needed reforms and improvements. This has led to an ongoing evolutionary process both of study and improvement of organizational procedures within the U.N.
(5) The U.N. on occasion serves as a vehicle for member states to rise above narrow national interests and act in the common long-term interests of the world community-the pattern that we trust will become more common as the world becomes more aware of its considerable interdependence.
NEED TO GIVE HIGHER PRIORITY TO U.N. EMPHASIZED
Thus, Mr. Chairman, I would say the U.N. is working tolerably well, but not nearly as well as we want it to, or as it would if it had broader support from the nations of the world. While we as individuals may not be able to influence the conduct of other nations, I sincerely hope we can emphasize the need for the United States to give higher priority to the United Nations, to use and strengthen it, and to develop cooperation within the United Nations.
I yearn for the day when I can listen to a national broadcast by the President of the United States in which he will mention, or at least give more than slighting mention, to the United Nations as an element of our foreign policy.
We have, it seems to me, very much downgraded our participation in the United Nations. We have flouted U.N. sanctions, reduced funding to specialized agencies, and thwarted U.N. efforts to bring attention to the need of limiting and reducing armaments by our opposition to the World Disarmament Conference, and lukewarm reaction to nuclear free zones. That in company with our continuing massive arms race convinces most of the world of our complete disinterest in lifting the burden of armaments from the backs of the people of the world and finding ways to peacefully resolve the differences that inevitably arises among nations.
Our State Department seems to bypass the U.N. until all other things fail, and then as a last resort go to it. We recently took an unfortunately hard position on matters that deal with resources and world economic order, at the Lima Conference and the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) sponsored Conference on Resources in Tokyo. Such action together with the low priority we assign to the U.N. tends to create a neoisolationist image and one that appears to oppose the legitimate efforts of developing countries.
We have certain things we want to see happen in the United Nations in the interests of the United States. We give high emphasis on peace and security, the curtailment of terrorism, and others. But we are not going to achieve them if we continue to give the back of our land to the developing nations and their desires. Neither will the developing nations accomplish their aims regarding apartheid, the remTiants of colonialism and above all, economic and social development. They may enact all the economic charters on economic rights and privileges they wish, but they stil need the backing and cooperation of the developed nations for technology, for financial help. In other words, it is a situation that above all calls for cooperation. This I trust is an area to which our Government will return to its earlier pattern.
We should remember that we have the heritage of contributing greatly to the formation of the U.N. and the writing of the Charter.
There are numerous opportunities for strengthening the United Nations over the years. One of the series of conferences our Stanley Foundation sponsors called the United Nations of the Next Decade, has dealt often with ways to make the U.N. more effective. Last summer our conference discussed the decisionmaking processes of the United Nations, which have been stressed here by Senator Fulbright and by Mr. Gardner. Among other sugestions that came forward from its participants, an international group, was the greater use of consensus in reaching decisions.
Mr. Chairman, it is my sincere hope and trust, along with a great many other people in this country, that the Congress and the administration will cooperate and provide strong leadership to the U.N. by deed as well as word. The priority given U.N. should be raised. Procedures within our Government to deal with U.N. matters should be improved ; that could be a subject of a hearing all of its own.
I would close by saying you must not underestimate the interest and support that would surface around the country if our Government would give the United Nations the higher priority in foreign affairs that it deserves. Now is the time for this Nation to respond to the heritage that inspired us to play a leading role in creating a United Nations.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF C. MAXWELL STANLEY
My name is C. Maxwell Stanley. I am a professional engineer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Stanley Consultants, Inc., international consultants in engineering, architecture, planning and management, having over 500 employees. I am also a founder and now Chairman of the Board of Directors of HON INDUSTRIES, Inc., a leading manufacturer of metal office furniture and material handling equipment, having over 1,800 employees.
For more than a quarter of a century, I have been deeply concerned with the foreign policy of this country, particularly as it relates to the role of international organization in achieving world peace and security and managing serious problems confronting the world community. I have been actively involved in several private organizations urging a more enlightened U.S. foreign policy including expanded use and strengthening of the United Nations. I have traveled widely and have participated in a variety of international conferences concerned with world organization.
In addition, I am co-founder and President of The Stanley Foundation which, for years, has encouraged study and education on the strengthening of international organization. In this capacity, I have chaired over 40 national and international gatherings including 15 Strategy for Peace Conferences, 9 Conferences on the United Nations of the Next Decade, 6 Conferences on United Nations Procedures and numerous seminars. I have written and spoken extensively on these matters and have authored the book, WAGING PEACE, “A Businessman Looks at United States Foreign Policy."
These activities have involved formal and informal exchanges regarding international organizations, especially the United Nations, with diplomats, civil servants and elected officials of many governments and with concerned scholars and businessmen from the private sector. My testimony is based upon this background.
I speak as an individual. I am firmly committed to the belief that in today's world there must be effective mechanisms and organization on the world level to manage the critical problems we face: (1) assuring peace and security, (2) achieving a tolerable and workable resource/population balance, (3) protecting and enhancing the environment, (4) accelerating economic and social development, (5) improving the world economic order and (6) perhaps most fundamental of all, expanding human rights. None of these problems begins or ends at national boundaries.
Mr. Chairman, answers to your topical question, “Is the United Nations Working?" are dependent upon the appraiser's viewpoint and the criteria used to judge U.N. performance. They are also dependent upon the functions being appraised and upon the relative weight assigned to short-term and longer-term needs and objectives. You may receive both strong affirmative and strong negative replies to that simple question. But I believe an objective answer must be some mixutre of yes, no and maybe.
Appraisal of the United Nations is more credible and relevant if viewed in the evolving historical perspective. Ours is a world in limbo between a battered, centuries old political system and a fledgling new world order, more responsive to the demands of peace, security, justice, progress and human dignity. The system that has served nations for centuries is beleaguered by its inability to adequately deal with the issues and problems of the post War II era. This nation-state political system originated long before the revolution of science and technology of the last half century and the overdue but sudden collapse of Western colonialism in the 1950s and 1960s. New and exceedingly complex international issues have been tabled; dealing with them is more difficult in a world crowded with over 140 nation-states. While the evolution of a new world order is apparent to most scholars, many statesmen and some politicians, its parameters are indistinct and its pace of emergence is highly speculative. Progress in no small measure depends upon the performance of the United Nations—our only major international organization.
The nation-state system model does not fully describe reality. While nationstates are still the leading actors on the world stage, the cast of characters is becoming more transnational. The actions or inactions of nations are no longer self-contained. The 30-year existence of the United Nations demonstrates that nations recognize the need for regional, multi-national and international institutions to facilitate cooperation. But the traumas of an increasingly interdependent world are also symbolized in the United Nations. Its inadequacies clearly reflect that the United Nations is an instrument of the nation-state system lacking institutional autonomy and authority and employed—sometimes eagerly, sometimes reluctantly—by nation-states to enhance national interests and international cooperation. Because the Charter fully protects members' sovereign rights, the United Nations acts only with their concurrence, particularly that of major powers.
The United Nations, serving as a primitive bridge between the nation-state political system and a more effective political order, has dual roles. Its immediate role is aiding and abetting the cooperation of nation-states to manage international crisis and solve global problems—a role that cannot be over-emphasized. Today's stakes are high, avoiding debilitating war and assuring quality of lifeand perhaps survval. The longer range but equally important role of the United Nations is fostering an emerging international political system tailored for tomorrow.
In applying your question, “Is the United Nations Working ?” to its immediate role, my answer is a qualified but definite affirmative. Yes, because United Nations work is successful in more areas than it is not. Yes, because its accomplishments are substantial even though its failures are more spectacular and thus more newsworthy. Yes, because its successes occur despite significant barriers ; lack of independent authority, marginal funding and failure of many nations, including our own, to consistently assign high priority to the U.N.'s work.
Normally, two functions of the United Nations are appraised, economic and political. I add a third role, the United Nations more recent focus upon the world's important transnational problems. How well is the United Nations working in these three areas?
For nearly three decades, the United Nations and its family of specialized agencies have performed immensely important and useful tasks in the areas of economic and social development. Although these activities only siightly touch our affluent country, they are vital to the deveolping nations. In the long run, world development is very important to every nation from an economic as well as security perspective. The long roster of U.N. activities includes the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Meteorology Organization (WMO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), International Labour Organization (ILO) and others. To these should be added ongoing and ad hoc units dealing with human rights, population, trade agreements, disaster relief and other matters. The significant contributions made by the United Nations through such organizations are well documented. The importance of these activities is generally recognized but poorly publicized. Valuable assistance has enabled many less developed countries, most of which are excolonial territories, to initiate the difficult processes of economic and social development. Despite fund limitations, errors of judgment and lack of coordination, U.N. activities in the economic area are working.
In the political area, the answer to your question is more ambivalent. The United Nations has not fulfilled the early dreams of its advocates. War has not been avoided nor has security been assured universally. During nearly three decades, however, the General Assembly, the Security Council and/or the Secretary General of the United Nations have performed more than 120 tasks as a third party. These have been endeavors to contain or resolve potential or actual disputes, provide the good office of the Secretary General or supervise and assure peaceful self-determination and decolonization activities. Well know actions include the posting of U.N. observers following the first Middle East war in 1948, supervising the cease-fire in the India-Pakistan conflict of 1949 and again in 1966, deploying the first U.N. Emergency Force in 1956 following the Suez crisis, dispatching observers to Lebanon in 1958, using military assistance to maintain order in the Congo in 1960, employing a U.N. force in Cyprus in 1964 and more recently, authorizing the UNEF and the U.N. disengagement observer force now helping to keep peace in the Middle East. While some of these actions have been controversial, each has served a useful peacekeeping or peacemaking purpose and demonstrated the U.N.'s ability to act when serious confrontations between the major powers are not involved.
The other half of the U.N. peace and security role relates to arms control and disarmament which the General Assembly consistently emphasizes. The United Nations in 1961, endorsed and continues to support, the Geneva disarmament talks-Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD)—and is now adrocating the convening of a World Disarmament Conference (WDC) to focus attention, not only upon disarmament itself, but also upon revision of mechanism to deal with the problem. While U.N efforts to reduce armaments have been unsuccessful due to adamant opposition of the major nuclear powers, several significant treaties aimed at limiting extension of armaments, have come into force under U.N. sponsorship. These include: the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water (1963); the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space (1967); the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1970); and the Seabed Arms Control Treaty (1972).
While the United Nations has made important contributions in the area of peacekeeping, peacemaking and arms control, its overall performance in these areas is far less than desired. The United Nations has not found a way to prevent or resolve conflicts involving any degree of potential great power confrontation, the Non-Proliferation Treaty has not gained wide acceptance and efforts of the General Assembly to prod the superpowers towards arms reduction have been notably unsuccessful. Progress towards World Disarmament Conference is strongly opposed by the United States and China. It is, therefore, unrealistic to say the United Nations is working well in the political area related to peace and security. Although the United Nations has only marginally performed this political role, the continuation and, hopefully expansion, of the role is essential to progress toward lifting the burden of heavy armaments from the backs of taxpayers, while advancing non-military procedures to deal with inevitable conflicts and controversies between nations.
The United Nations is now undertaking a third important function : focusing world attention upon pending global problems and sensitizing world opinion to cope with them. Periodic meetings of the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have emphasized the importance of better trade mechanisms. The 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment initiated global action to protect and enhance the earth's environment. It also crystallized action in many nations to protect the biosphere and led to the establishment in Nairobi of the United Nations Environmental Programme. In 1974 both the World Population Conference in Burcharest and the World Food Conference in Rome emphasized the importance of resource/population balance. Population stabilization principles articulated in Bucharest are finding their way into the policies of many governments. The new World Food Council in Rome under the direction of John Hannah, former director of AID, focuses ongoing attention on world food supplies. Currently the resumed Third U.N. Cnference on the Law of the Seas is meeting in Geneva in an effort to reach accord on the complex and difficult problems of managing the oceans, man's common heritage. Resources were the concern at the Lima Conference of the United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO) and the Tokyo Conference sponsored by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Next year the United Nations will convene Habitat: A Conference on Human Settlements in Vancouver to consider the mounting problems of urbanization. The complex and controversial issue of a more effective economic order was emphasized at the Sixth Special and the