May 26, 1982 | Backgrounder on International Organizations

The U.N. and Disarmament: The Second Special Session

(Archived document, may contain errors)

186 May 26, 1982 WE UN AND DISARMHIWENE THE SECOND SPECIAL SESSJON INTRODUCTION From June 7 t o July 9, 1982, the United Nations General Assembly will convene in New York for a Second Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD-11 The successor to the Firstspecial Session on Disarmament held in 1978, largely at the initiative of the so-called non-aligned majority in the General Assembly, SSOD-I1 will find the U.S. and its allies facing a paradox. On the one hand, it will afford the Reagan Administration an opportunity to explain before the community of nations its approach to arms control, including the S t rategic Arms Reduction Talks (START proposals that are expected to be fully articulated before the Session begins. Conversely, SSOD-I1 also will provide another chance for Third World countries to ffinternationalizell nuclear reduction efforts and for som e Soviet-inspired "peace groupsll to further their attempts at harassing and discrediting the U.S and the West SSOD-11, like the U.N. itself, is drawing organizations and individuals to New York like a magnet are being planned to coincide with the Session w ith the predictable veteran radical groups churning out their usualaanti-military diatribes Massive demonstrations It is ironic that the non-aligned bloc should be so boisterous in its demand for a worldwide hearing on disarmament. While the question of c o nventional arms is scheduled to. be discussed at SSOD-11, attention will undoubtedly focus on the nuclear states and primarily the West. And as serious as the threat of nuclear warfare may be, statistics, viewed in perspective, indicate that the real arms race is being run chiefly in the Third World.

While developed nations increased their military expenditures by about 3.1 percent over 1978, to a total of about $402.7 billion during 1979, the developing countries increased their military 2 spending in the same period to some $118.7 billion, up 8 percent from 1978 Furthermore, there is little doubt that the Soviet Union remains the principal supplier of armaments to the developing countries. From 1977 to 1980, for instance, Soviet arms deliveries t4 the Th i rd World totaled some $27.5 billion, compared to U.S deliveries of $17.3 billion during the same period every category of weaponry, Soviet supplies to the Third World vastly outnumber those from the West.l In virtually Such fundamental realities are barel y recognized by the U.N.

Instead, the overwhelming need to arrive at a consensus and the fear of alienating members states dilute all U.N. products to at the iflowest common denominator" in order to be as inoffensive as possible to all concerned. The U.N., therefore is unable inherently to deal with substantive issues on a pragma tic, non-theoretical basis Against this background, it is not surprising that most American officials charged with preparing for the SSOD-I1 do not see much of significance emergi n g from it. Indeed, one State Department planner said privately that 'Ithe First Session was a disappointment because expectations were high. For this one there are much lower expectations from the outset If SSOD-I1 is seen largely as an exercise in rhetor i c and polemics, a rehash of existing positions that at best could serve to crystallize world opinion. At worst, for the U.S it will be an effort at "damage limitationll unless the U.S. takes the offensive and aggressively argues its history of arms contro l initiatives and the merits of its current proposals. Otherwise, SSOD-I1 will accomplish little.

Nevertheless, SSOD-I1 appears to be a serious matter to the U.N.ls 157 member states. Led by President Reagan, the Western delegation is tentatively scheduled to include the heads of governments from Britain, Denmark, Egypt, Israel, the Netherlands the Nordic countries, and others U.S. preparations are being handled by two inter-agency committees drawing on representatives from the Department of State's Intern a tionai Organizations Bureau, Political-Military Affairs, and other branches, as well a5 officials from the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA the Pentagon, White House National Security Council, and Central Intelligence Agency i Figures are express ed in constant 1978 dollars and represent the last year for which comparable figures are available.

Disarmament Agency, World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers, 1970 1979 (Washington, D.C 28-29 U.S. Arms Control and ACDA publication #112, March 1982 pp. 1 3 THE FIRST SPECIAL SESSION The six-week SSOD-I was, in the words of one British writer Ilnotable for two opposite and distinct reasons: on the one hand it did precious little to bring the major war-blocs closer toge ther; on the other, it provided a common platform for the small and middle powers to consolidate a programme of what is called nowadays 'detente II 2 Vi.ce President Walter Mondale made the principal policy speech for the U.S. He discussed measures designed to stabilize regional arms co n trol efforts, including American assistance to co'untries that desired help in bolstering their verification procedures. Mondale also called for a U.N. peace-keeping force to be held in reserve for deployment as the Security Council saw fit. Finally, he a n nounced that President Jimmy Carter would ask Congress to aid those countries with peaceful nuclear programs provided they agreed to support non-proliferation measures.3 Other American efforts at SSOD-I centered around a three tiered approach: first, to d e velop support for Carter Admini stration arms control initiatives; second, to develop realistic new proposals consistent with American security needs; and third to ensure that resolutions passed at SSOD-I were feasible, pragma tic and in accord with the s t rategic needs of the U.S.4 Yet, by most accounts, SSOD-I produced little of substance. Talks dragged on to the early hours, producing only a commitment to talk more. "Thus, the.major success of the year's deliberations appeared to be a clear path to more d eliberations,I' as one report put it.s A delegate from Brazil most likely spoke for many others when he complained about the pressure to come up with even a modicum of compromise preparations, we were called upon to approve a document which contains a num b er of formulations on which we had in fact been unable to agree...our delegation is compelled to state its .reser vations about the procedures that have been employed hastily to In spite of the year and a half of James Avery Joyce, "Requiem on New York," Contemporary Review, October 1978, p. 186.

Bureau of International Organization Affairs, The Department of State United States Participation in the U.N.; Report by the President to the Congress for the Year 1978 (Washington, D.C State Department publication 9126, June 1980 p. 31.

General Accounting Office, United Nations Special Session on Disam'ament A Forum for International Participation (Washington, D.C ID-79-27), pp. 12-

19. For a complete review of the SSOD-I, see also Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI Yearbook, 1979 Stockholm: 1979 GAO publication United Nations Association of the United States of &erica, Issues Before the 33rd General Assembly of the United Nations (New York: UNUSA, 19781 p. 11. 4 put together certain fundame n tal sections of the final document,It he complained.6 a declaration, a program of action, and an appraisal of the means to improve the machinery dealing with disarmament, primarily through the U.N.Is Centre for Disarmament in New York. The issues that wil l come up before SSOD-I1 are largely the result of that document and subsequent work done in Geneva by the Committee on Disarmament8 and SSOD-II1s preparatory committee That final document was adopted by consensus7 and contained SSOD-11: WHAT TO EXPECT The issues expected to be on the agenda at SSOD-I1 include Assessment of the Post-SSOD-I Developments According to one ACDA official, the U.S. can expect to get beaten around the head on this one." while such pessimism may prove unjustified, this aspect of SS OD-I1 nevertheless will be largely an exercise in damage limitation for the American delega tion.

Between January 1979 and April 1982, the Committee on Disarm ament met numerous times in Geneva to deal with a variety of far-reaching and perhaps unrealistically grandiose schemes.

These included a nuclear test ban treaty that would go beyond the limited one already in place; a Itcessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmamentt1 effective international arrange ments to assure non-nuclear states aga inst the use of the threat of nuclear weaponsqt; chemical weapons; and Itnew types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons; radiological weapons. The Itprogressl1 of these discussions, though inconclu sive, will be forwarded by the Committee to the SSOD-11 9 Ibid p. 13 In other words, without taking a vote. In.the U.N a consensus document generally refers to one to which no delegation has objected strenuously enough to demand a vote.

Final Document of Assembly Session on Disarmament 23 May-1 July, 1978 New York: United Nations Office of Public Information, June 1980, U.N Document #DPI/618 to increase the Conference of the Committee.on Disarmament to 40 members 21 non-'aligned, 10 West e rn, 9 Soviet bloc), rename it simply the "Commit tee on Disarmament (CD), and establish its function as primarily a negoti ating forum Final Document paragraph 120) The CD has, since the 1960s steadily grown in number of.members, largely at the insistence of Third World countries.

Committee on Disarmament, Draft Special Report of the Committee on Disarma armament U.N. Working Paper No. 581 rev. 2; April 20, 1982 One result of the Final Document of the SSOD-I was 5 Such utopian goals are not easily reached in a world bedeviled with suspicion and uncertainty. In late 1980, for instance, the trilateral test ban negotiations between the U.K U.S and U.S.S.R. broke down over the recurring obstacle of verification and compliance, a bottleneck typical of those tha t have thwarted productive negotiations in the past.

The post-SSOD-I period has seen the proposal of other disarm ament and arms control measures, some of which could improve the U.S. position at the SSOD-

11. After the 1979 Vienna Summit between President Carter and Soviet Chief Leonid Brezhnev, for example, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. jointly proposed a ban on radiolo gical weapons of the type that spread radioactive materials without a nuclear explosion.

The year before, thenosecretary of State Cyrus Vance a nnounced in Washington, on June 12, 1978, while the SSOD-I was in session in New York, a policy of "negative security" assurances, meaning Ithe U.S. will not use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear state party to the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuc l ear Weapons or any comparable international binding commitment not to acquire nuclear explosive devices I' Vance added It is the President's view that this formulation preserves our security commitments and advances our collective security as well as enha n ces the prospect for more effective arms control and disarmament."1 This pledge, says a high ranking National Security Council specialist, is now "floating in the realm of ambiguity Never theless it puts the U.S. on record as having taken the lead in this issue, and it could give the U.S. a more advantageous position at the SSOD-I1 if American delegates forcefully remind the General Assembly that it is not the U.S. that is blocking implementation of these assurances on a multilateral scale. It should be em p ha sized further to the General Assembly that the U.S. has taken the lead on many disarmament issues from the Baruch Plan, to the embargo on advanced weapons sales in Latin America, to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to the open skies proposals, to t he foundering negotiations to limit conventional arms moreover, it is the U.S. which has called for a real reduction in nuclear arsenals through President Reagan's START proposals Most recently Comprehensive Plan for Disarmament (CPD Paragraph 13 of the S SOD-1's Final Document reads in part Enduring international peace and security cannot be built on the accumulation of weaponry by military alliances nor be sustained by a precarious balance of deterrence or doctrines of strategic superiority.

Genuine and l asting peace can only be created through 1' GAO Report, op. cit p. 17 6 the effective implementation of the security system provided for in the Charter of the United Nations and the speedy and substantial reduction of arms and armed forces, by internation a l agreement and mutual example leading ultimately to general and complete disarmament under effective international control.ll Yet; because of a number of factors including the failure of the SALT I1 Treaty to address adequately U.S. security needs the So v iet invasion of Afghanistan the SovieL-backed military crack-down in Poland, and persistent reports of chemical warfare in Asia by Soviet and Soviet-supplied forces American diplomats believe that is highly unlikely that the SSOD-I1 will arrive at any acc e ptable formula for a Comprehensive Plan for Disarmament CPD Nevertheless, the Session plans to tackle the subject and the U.S. delegation is preparing responses to a variety of poten tial proposals Central to these responses is the American rejection of b i nding agreements that fail to recognize political realities and the continuing refusal of the Soviet Union to agree to verification procedures sufficient to ensure CPD compliance. Secondly, basic questions as to the designation of a transnational body to p olice any CPD have yet to be answered.13 ledged bias of the U.N. toward non-aligned countries, the U.S would be unlikely to relinquish even partially its prerogative in maintaining and defining its security needs to another body Given the generally acknow World Disarmament Campaign ( WDC Resolution 35/152 of the General Assembly, passed December 12, 1980, repeated the SSOD-1's call for a World Disarmament Campaign. According to a U.N. prepared summary of that resolution the WDC would be aimed at Ifmobilizi n g public opinion so that it may exert a positive influence and] involve as many segments of the worldls population as possible and outline the catalytic part that the U.N. could play tI 14 After the SSOD-I, a I'group of expertst' was authorized by the U.N . Secretary-General to study the practical implications of a l1 l2 l3 SSOD-I Final Document, p 5. Based on private interviews conducted in May 19

82. For an.excellent analysis of the lack of serious thought given to the question of who would actually admin ister or.police any CPD and its practical effects on arms expenditures, see Theodore Caplow, "The Contra diction Between World Order and Disarmament The Washington Quarterly Vol 2, Summer 1979. l4 See U.N. Document #A/36/458, September 17, 1981 Review of t he Implemen tation of the Recommendation and Decisions by the General Assembly at its 10th Special Session note: SSOD-I.was the'U.N.'s 10th Special Session but the first on disarmament 7 WDC including informational campaigns geared toward journalists teac hers, and various non-governmental organizations.

While the WDC seems laudable in theory, in practice it would serve only as a one-sided effort, given the fundamental dichotomy between the open societies of the West and the closed environment of Soviet blo c countries That group came up with a long list of proposed strategies U.S. Deputy Representative to the U.N Ambassador Kenneth L. Adelman, observed that Ifthe proposals are anything but concrete, realistic and practical. They exemplify instead a well-mea n ing but fundamentally flawed approach to disarmament that has made real progress in this crucial area more rather than less difficult.If Adelman stressed the impact on closed societies: Ifpublic access to information is strictly controlled by the governme n t the public is told only what the government wishes it to be told and only when and in what context the government may wish It T]he consequences of a United Nations campaign to mobilize world opinion on behalf of disarmament are not hard to predict. Desp i te the intentions of the campaign's sponsors and we do not f0r.a moment question their sincerity the campaign would inevitably come to focus only on public opinion in the free societies of the world. Its effect on public opinion in closed societies would b e zero In other words, such. a WDC would .find the U.N largely funded by the U.S. and its allies using mostly Western funds to propagandize mostly Western societies not in the interests of the West, and American delegates to the SSOD-I1 are expected to re i terate Adelman's position Such a move is clearly Those who doubt the lack of impact a' WDC would have on Soviet bloc countries need only reconsider recent press reports of police reprisals against those few individuals who have dared to protest Soviet mil i tary policies behind the Iron Curtain.16 If the Eastern European governments will not tolerate an indigenous and spontaneous cry against excessive militarism at home, how can they be expected to allow the U.N. to coordinate an internal campaign against ar ms buildups?

Strengthening the Centre for Disarmament Another subject expected on the SSOD-I1 agenda will be proposals to strengthen the U.N.Is machinery for disarmament primarily the Centre for Disarmament in New York l5 l6 Press Release, United State Mis sion at the United Nations, Document 124(81 released November 20, 1981.

For. just one example, see "East Germany Uneasily Grapples With Grass-Roots Peace Drive," The Washington Post, May 17, 1982, p. A14 8 The Centre has been headed since 1979 by Swedish diplomat Jan Martenson, a suave and articulate veteran in international affairs. In the past, he has helped run the U.N.'s 1972 Conference on Human Environment and was Deputy Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI founded in the 1960s by the Swedish government and still financed by it. He has also been an aide to the Swedish monarch and head'of the Informa tion Department at the Swedish Foreign Ministry.

Martenson sees the role of the Centre as a Iltool for peace.

Like all tools, it has to be used to be effective He laments the fact that the Centre's budget is about $3.25 million a year the same as about five minutes of the arms race.1t17 The Centre's work currently is confined largely to research and dissemination of info r mation on the arms buildup and coordi nation of U.N. efforts at disarmament Martenson says Itto be realistic, each country has a right to security. Unilateral disarmament is not realistic.Il At the,same time, however the arms race is spiralling upward. We need to halt it, especially the nuclear race, and bring it down on a mutual, verifiable basis.I' Carefully noncommittal, Martenson would not point the finger of blame at any individual country.

As for the outcome of the SSOD-11, Martenson insists that he is "not as pessimistic as before. President Reagan's decision to attend has been a big help. Now, everything depends on the political will of the members. Delegates should come prepared to negotiate. There is a growing concern all over the world, and our task is to inform in an objective and neutral way."

Yet, just how neutral the Centre really is remains in doubt.

While Martenson professes non-partisanship in his office, American observers point with dismay to the fact that he answers to U.N.

Undersecretary-General V. Ustinov, the latest in a succession of Soviets to occupy that post. Such access gives Moscow an oppor tunity to manipulate the Centre's work and stifle potentially damaging disclosures position to block a study by the Centre on S o viet-supplied chemical weapons used in Cambodia in apparent violation of a number of multilateral treaties that the U.S.S.R. has signed In fact, in September 1981, Ustinov allegedly used his A number of proposals are expected at the SSOD-I1 by non aligned countries to make the Centre more independent of the Secretary-General's office. Senior American planners, however appear to have differing views on how to respond to these initia- tives l7 Based on an interview conducted in May 1982. 9 Some believe that t o reduce Soviet manipulation of the Centre, the U.S. should back proposals to disengage it from the General Assembly. Others stress the need to keep the non-aligned bloc from llinternationalizingll what essentially should remain an area of bilateral or li mited multilateral negotiations. These officials, therefore, want the Centre to retain its present form even.with the inherent danger of clandestine Soviet influence.

NON-CXIVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AT SSOD-I1 Various !Inon-governmental organizati msll (NGOs are of ficia1 ly recognized by the U.N. as spokesmen for citizens on a host of issues, and are accorded accreditation to take part in sessions and meetings.

At the SSOD-I, twenty-five NGOs and six "peace and research institutest1 were given the opportu nity to speak before the Assem bly. For the upcoming SSOD-11, some fifty-six NGOs and seventeen research groups, including The Heritage Foundation, have been given permission by the Session's Preparatory Committee to take part in the deliberations, no dou bt reflecting what one NGO spokesman called !Ithe realization on the part of the U.N. that there has been a considerable surge in public interest in disarm ament" since 1978.

While most of the groups are legitimate associations repre senting the full spect rum of political ideology, no fewer than eleven of them have been identified by the State Department as llfrontsll for the Soviet Union. At least three others are closely associated with front groups.

The NGOs in New York are formally but loosely organized through the NGO Committee on Disarmament, currently headed by Dr.

Homer A. Jack, Secretary-General of the World Conference on Religion and Peace and a prolific author on arms control unofficial NGO disarmament committee, based in Geneva, is headed by famed Irish radical and Lenin Peace Prize winner Sean McBride.

Jack's Ad Hoc Liais,on Group recommended, from about 150 that applied, a list of NGOs and other groups to be allowed to partici pate at SSOD-11 Another A Unitarian minister originally from Evans ton, Illinois Jack describes himself as a 'INorman Thomasite Democratic Socialistll and "truly non-aligned But an analysis of Jack's previous statements .reveals that he apparently favors U.S. unilateral disarmament measures. At a State Department confere n ce in late April, Jack said that he hoped "President Reagan could admit that we [the U.S.] have unilaterally escalated some aspects of the arms race and we are now prepared to take national initiatives to reduce the arms race, in the hope that the adversa r y might reci procate Arms limitations negotiations and agreements can be bilateral or multilateral. They can also be unilateral. This term, unilateralism, need not be a 13-lette'r swear word. There are times when a great nation, such as ours, out of stren g th,and not weakness, can assert that 'enough is enough.' Generosity can induce reciprocation, even from the Soviet Union Jack also urged Ita moratorium suspending all research production, and deployment of all nuclear weapons (of any size and their carrie rs the U.S. should be sufficiently secure psychologically not to want to be the first in everything Ill8 Notably absent from his statements was any recognition that reliable verification remains the core for any genuine disarmament.

Jack, meanwhile, says that the role of the NGOs is to "inter pret the work of the U.N."

Soviet fronts, Jack insists that the W.N. long ago accepted the fact that many of these groups are not pristine as we see it in the West While he concedes that some are The participating NGO s and research groups that have been identified as Soviet fronts are: Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organization (Cairo); Christian Peace Conference (Prague); Inter national Association of Democratic Lawyers (Brussels); International Organization of Jour n alists (Prague); International Union of Students (Prague); Women's International Democratic Federation East Berlin); World Federation of Democratic Youth (Budapest World Federation of Scientific Workers (Lyon); World Federation of Trade Unions (Prague); I nternational Institute for Peace Vienna); and the World Peace Council (Helsinki).

Even Jack, who has been willing to work with Communist front groups, felt compelled to write to The New York Times; in a letter published January 30, 1980, that !'the World P eace Council has for more than 30 years faithfully transmitted Soviet foreign policy. Its leaders have regularly been awarded the Lenin Peace Prize (never the Nobel Peace Prize I The participating groups that the State Department. links with various front organizations are: Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace (Ulan-Bator, Mongolia); Latin American Students Organi zation (Havana); and World Federation of Teachers Unions (East Berlin).

These groups differ in their organizational strategies and ostensible functions, but share a similarity of purpose, namely to promote Soviet policy and actively campaign against the West.

According to an internal State Department as sessment, "they are largely financed and controlled by MOSCOW Taken from Homer A. Jack, "Nine Sentences President Reagan Might Deliver Some Suggestions For U.S. Positions at The Second U.N. Special Session on Disarmament 28, 1982, meeting convened at the D epartment of State As noted, this paper was presented by Jack at the April 11 The report continues Lenin and Stalin saw trade unions, youth organizations and other such bodies as lltransmission belts" for conveying Communist party directives to ordinary p e ople and lteducatingl1 them in Communism. The idea was developed internationally during the Popular Front period of the 1930s, when a veteran German Communist working for the Comintern, Willi Munzenberg, spoke of such bodies as his Ilinnocents 1ub.I~ The U SSR launched the current international front organizations in the late 1940s either in their present form or by securing control of existing movements line, they have nevertheless been able to attract considerable support by advocating such causes as oppo s ition to US ltaggressionlt in Vietnam and support for Arabs against Israel. In NATO countries they have exploited fears of nuclear wars by pressing for disarma ment on Soviet terms they have also stepped up activities within the United Nations framework; m any have consultative status with its major bodies and have recently sent delegates to a variety of UN special committees and seminars Always obedient to the Soviet The World Peace Council, although exposed on a number of occasions as a Soviet front, stil l strongly influences other front groups. Formed in 1948 after a World Congress of Intellec tuals for Peace in Wroclaw, Poland, and a 1949 meeting of the World Committee of Partisans in Paris, the World Peace Council emerged in its present form in November 1951 based in Paris, but was expelled in 1951 by the French government for "fifth column activities After spells in Prague and then Vienna, where it was banned in 1957, the group settled in Helsinki where it now is based. A sister group, the International Institute for Peace, remains in Austria It was originally The Council is the supreme authority of various national organizations, including a chapter in the U.S. Total membership is estimated at about 1,600, and the Council claims to have affiliates in mo re than 135 countries. The current president Indian Communist Party Central Committee member, Romesh Chandra has been the Secretary-General of the Council since 1966.

According to the State Department assessment The WPC has campaigned vigorously to exploit its associ ation with the UN to'increase its authority, particular ly among developing nations. However, it only supports those UN activities which do not conflict with Soviet 12 policies.

NGOs' Committee on Disarmament in Geneva.l9 It has played an incr easing part in the The WPC collaborates with other international groups seeking influence at the U.N. For example, Chandra is chairman of the International Liaison Forum of Peace Forces, of which Sean McBri.de is a senior official.

The Council's pro-Sovie t slant was clearly displayed in June 1975, when Chandra said in Moscow that l'the.Soviet Union invari ably supports the peace movement. The World Peace Council in its turn positively reacts to all Soviet initiatives in international affairs Before SSOD-I , the Council issued its so-called "New Stockholm Appeal" and collected what it claimed were 700 million signatures on petitions delivered to the U.N.

At SSOD-I, Chandra said that Ilpublic opinion in all parts of the world naturally views with regret and d ismay, as well as a sense of shock, the fact that exactly at the same time as the General Assembly at the Special Session is seriously discussing concrete proposals for the ending of the arms race, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has decided on a s teady quantitative and qualitative increase in armaments. He said. not a word about the massive Soviet arms buildup.

Now the Council is gearing up for SSOD-11 It held three meetings in February alone to organize tactics. These conferences were in Aden, Sou th Yemen (February 6-9); East Berlin (February 18-19); and Athens (February 27-28 A newspaper, 'tDisarmament Forum If was launched as a Ilservice" to all 'groups working for disarmament. Issue one predicted that "this year, hundreds of thousands are expec ted to participate in mass action at the time of [SSOD-111 in demonstrations being organised by US peace forces."

Clearly, the World Peace Council will be heard from again.

DEMONSTRATIONS PLANNED FOR SSOD-I1 As the diplomats and NGOs prepare for the Speci al Session so too does a group of demonstration organizers a diverse collection of clergy, union leaders, leftists, Soviet-front activists, and political neophytes. This "June 12th Rally Commit tee" is planning to stage what one leader optimistically pred i cts will be "one of the largest political protests in American hist0ry.I l9 The WPC, however, has run into recent difficulty with the U.N. During February 1981, the Council was forced to withdraw its application for upgrading its consultative status with t he U.N.'s Economic and Social Council after Chandra refused to reveal the source of his organization's funding Oslo 2o As reported in "The Bulletin of Peace Proposals," v. 9 3, 1978, p. 267 The International Peace Research Institute) 13 The June 12 demons tration will be held on First Avenue and 42nd Street on Manhattan's East Side, near the U.N. headquarters It will feature such notables as Coretta Scott King and popular musicians, James Taylor and Jackson Browne, sure to draw crowds.

Some expect half a mi llion people to attend Two days later, on June 14, there are plans for a series of illegal sit-ins and attempts to block the U.N. missions of the.five nuclear member states It will not be a spontaneous outpouring of concern. Instead the protests will repr esent the culmination of months of calcula ted effort in large part initiated by 'known Soviet sympathizers.

One of the primary' forces behind the June 12 Committee, for example, is the so-called Mobilization for Survival group, organ ized originally for d emonstrations at SSOD-I. A co-founder of this organization is Dr. Sidney Peck, a former Communist Party USA21 and U.S. Peace Council (affiliated with the World Peace Council) member, and currently Director of International Relations for Sean McBride's Gen eva-based NGO group.

Largely through the efforts of the Mobilization for Survival and another group, the Campaign for the Special Session on Disarm ament, a coalition of some 300 disarmament activists met in New York City on January 29, 19

82. The June 12 Committee emerged from that meeting. The tally of principal member groups now reads like a Who's WhoN1 of the radical left and those attracted to it. A partial list: The Friends Service Committee, Clergy and Laity Concerned, The Coalition of Black Trade U nionists District 65 of the United Auto Workers, District 1199 of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, The Fellow ship of Reconciliation, Friends of the Earth, Green Peace, The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Wor k ers The African-American Co-ordinating Committee, Asian-American Caucus for Disarmament, Hispanics for Survival and Disarmament The Mastin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, The Ministerial Interface Association, The National Black United F ront, The Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign-National Conference The Catholic Church's Pax Christi, The Progressive National Baptist Convention, PUSH, The Riverside Church Disarmament Program SANE, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, The U.S.

Peace Council, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Women for Racial and Economic Equality, the War Resisters League, and numerous others. All told, organizers claim over 100 groups are involved in the Committee.

Leslie Cagan, a June 12 Committee leader, says the demonstra tions "have the potential to change government policy.'I She is outspoken in her belief that Itit would be very exciting if the U.S. took a unilateral step. If the U.S. would dismantle one 21 Ho u se Committee on Internal Security, Annual'Report for the Year 1971 April 10, 1972, p. 143 14 I nuclear weapon, it would be encouraging and make a statement and indicate good faith." In her enthusiasm, she betrays her ignorance of nuclear arms history, for the U.S. has dismantled many nuclear weapons and imposed a de facto freeze on its nuclear arsenal for most of the 1970s I I Demonstration leaders apparently have few qualms about working with Soviet-backed groups says that nuclear weapons 'lare a worldwid e issue. If there is a nuclear attack anywhere in the world, everyone is affected; So we welcome people of all persuasions into the movement."

But others see a more frightening motivation behind the demonstrations. Writing in the May 17, 1982, Barronls, Jo hn C. Boland reports The goal, according to organizers who speak with more candor among themselves than they do to credulous reporters is to create in the U.S. something akin to the neutralist movement to hasten the dissolution of the Atlantic'Alliance as a military force Media spokeswoman Nina Streich, in Europe a broader ambition, according to some activists, is CONCLUSION In recent years, the U.S. has found itself at a disadvantage at the United Nations. Forced to deal with a set of priorities determine d in large measure by the Third World majority, the U.S. has been confronted with what many observers see as a Ilno-winll situation. With their stranglehold on the General Assembly and its various organizations, the Third World has directed a large share o f U.N. energy against western policies and institutions.

The majority claims to be seeking a !!new international order" but has failed to demonstrate'how it promises either a better future or .a more stable and prosperous international environment.

The Soviets, meanwhile, have excelled at appeasing the majority, though many of their overtures ring hollow when compared to their actual performance.

East River and practice another in Washington. The fundamental strengths of American society the checks and ba lances in government and the accountability of political leaders mean that American policy at the U.N. must be consistent, honest, and pragmatic. In short, at present the U.S. has locked itself into a propaganda battle that it can not win The U.S on the o ther hand, must not preach one line on the So it is not surprising.that the U.S. has not been able to establish the momentum in U.N. deliberations. That was clearly true at SSOD-I and may well be the case at the upcoming SSOD-11.

The prospect looms that th e Special Session will be little more than grandiose verbiage, aimed not at arriving at workable solu tions to the rifts between power blocs but rather at continued 15 efforts to create what many see as philosophical nostrums. The presence of outside pres sure groups both in the halls of the U.N. and on the streets of New York will add to the confusion.

But it would be unwise to dismiss the SSOD-I1 prematurely as useless to the U.S. Its timing, just after President Reagan's trip to Europe in June offers the possibility of broad lobbying efforts to gain points for the American arms reduction initiatives.

The Session also should be seen as a chance to begin redirecting world discussion toward the salient issue in the disarmament process: absolute verification and compliance procedures.

The U.S to be sure, has proved itself to be the leader in meaningful arms control efforts. From the Antarctic Treaty 1959), the Partial Test Ban Treaty (1963), Outer Space Treaty 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco (1967) prohibiting nuc lear weapons in,Latin America, to the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1970), and other agreements, the U.S. has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to sign workable and balanced arms control measures. It must emphasize these realities over and over at the SSOD-11.

The onus on American delegates representing their country at the Second Special Session, therefore, will be to take the offen sive, to try to gain the momentum, and to move beyond merely controlling the damage Otherwise, SSOD- 11, like most U.N deliberation, will accomplish little of value to the West.

Prepared at the request of The Heritage Foundation by John Buckman John Buckman is a Washington-based free-lance writer.

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