August 27, 1982 | Backgrounder on International Organizations
206 August 30, 1.982 THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS THE POLITICAL. CUL TURE OF THE U.N INTRODUCTION Were Humpty Dumpty, Lewis Carroll's colorful character, to stumble into the halls of the United Nation's General Assembly, he would be flattered by the nea rly universal adoption of his famous principle: When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less."
Ignoring logic, rejecting consistency, the U.N. has fashioned its own strange reality-understood only by venturing through t he looking glass to a weird wonderland nations, for example, consistently castigate the U.S. for such llcrimes as trading with South Africa (never mind that Zimbabwe does too or for Ifaggression" against two Libyan fighters shot down in the Mediterranean a fter they opened fire on two U.S jets. Among the countries allowed to "dehateBf in the Assembly missing'are Taiwan (replaced by the People's Republic of China in 1971) and South Africa. This despite the total lack of political and civil liberties in mainl a nd China, despite the spectacular economic success and relative freedom in Taiwan, and despite the fact that South Africa, one of the U.N.'s founders, legally remains a U.N. member. Though South Africa, in violation of the U.N. Charter, was kicked out of t he General Assembly in 1974 several terrorist groups, such as the Palestine Liberation Organi zation (PLO) and the South West African People's Organization SWAPO), not only enjoy the legitimacy of observer status in the General Assembly a departure from t h e U.N.Is original practice to extend this honor only to states and groups of states1), they even receive substantial financial support from the U.N.2 A majority of about 100 The Representative of the United Kingdom expressed a widely shared senti ment whe n he said, in 1974 Consistently with that position, the status of permanent observers has Only States may be Members of the U..N. 2 In short, what thrives at the U.N. is a Humpty Dumpty-like standard affecting rhetoric and practice. This amounts to a polit i cal culture a mood and atmosphere, an evolved system of practices dictating which behavior is preferred and which taboo what can be said and what best remains unspoken culture dominated by a majority of developing countries, which are seduced or intimidat e d into extremism by a well-organized totalitarian minority. The result, as one top-level member of the U.N. Secretariat admits in private, is the production of onsense.Il And many a seasoned Western delegate will agree (as many American journalists know) t hat the U.N. has been staging a Itheatre of the absurdt1 for quite some time. A longtime U.N observer Moses Moskowitz, captures the situation well in his 1980 book, The Roots and Reaches of U.N. Actions and Decisions There is a surrealist quality to many e vents taking place in the U.N. which makes it very difficult to believe that they are happening in the real world.3 On issues of great importance to world peace, member states It is a political tend to draw together into grotesque voting blocs that foster , in the words of former Permanent Representative Carl W. A. Schurmann of the Netherlands la new kind of diplomacy,'I namely, IIa diplomacy of speech-making and of lobbying.114 Shurmann argues that this diplomacy "forces governments to take a stand (if not by making a speech, then, at least, by voting) on a great many questions and conflicts that either do not really concern them or on which they would much have preferred to keep their opinions to themselves.Il U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the U. N Kenneth Adelman agrees: the U.N.'s political culture, he says repeatedly, exacer bates rather than relieves conflict, and fosters double-talk.
A member of a Western European Mission to the U.N. observes that one reason so little has been written about th e U.N.'s political culture is the fear by many scholars in the West to expose some of the more unpleasant features of that organization also hitherto been confined to non-Member States such as Switzerland or the Vatican, and to regional organizations of S tates, such as the OAU and, most recently, the EEC and the CMEA A/PV.2296, pp. 22-
25. He deplored the fact that the PLO will be able to participate in the proceedings of the General Assembly, with "the right to take part in the proceedings of all U.N. con ferences and indeed [the specialized agencies are] virtually instruct[ed] to follow a similar course All of which seems "to bring into question the nature of'the U.N. as it has hitherto been accepted."
See Thomas Gulick; "How the U.N. Aids Marxist Guerrilla Groups," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder #177.
Mbses Moskowitz, The Roots and Reaches of United Nations Actions and Deci sions (Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands: Sitjhoff Noordhoff 1980 p. 173. 4 "Two Kinds of Diplomacy," address delivered at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, Proceedings, 1969, pp. 246-248. 3 The General Assembly, in fact, seems like a House of Mirrors that distorts reality: some things are exaggerated, others diminished, and still others obscur e d. Unlike a House of Mirrors however, the General Assembly's distortions form a pattern=-and it is this aspect that makes it a full-fledged culture. U.N rhetoric and most policies are anti-free enterprise, anti-West and especially anti-U.S A member of the West German Mission to the U.N. notes that Ifthe U.S. has to have its resolutions sponsored by another country: hardly anyone wants to be voting in favor of a U.S.-initiated resolution.11 The U.S. is attacked by name in .a General Assembly resolution for s o minor an act as extraditing an alien accused of ~nurder the Soviet Union, on the other hand, is not mentioned by name, even when it invades Afghanistan the Ifrules of the game of U.N. political culture So go Learning the rules is easy for a newcomer at t he U.N he wishes to be on the winning side, all he must do is 1) Lambast the perennial scapegoats-Namibia and South Africa, the arms race (denounce NATO, but not Moscow), Israel violations of human rights in Chile (but not in Iran, North Korea, or Ethiopi a ) at every possible U.N. forum-whether an International Women's Conference, a Conference on the Environment or a UNESCO meeting If 2) Treat the U.S. as a colonial power by demanding the Ifliberation of Puerto Rice--never mind that polls show a majority of its population.prefers its present political status 3) Talk about lfZionismlf and lfracism,lf even I1fascism,lf in the same breath, echoing the resolution passed by the General Assembly in November 19
75. Condemn Israeli trade with South Africa say that you have not seen the evidence.
Do not bring up Soviet diamond trade with South Africa;6 4) Use the Credentials Committee as a political in~trument now that Israel has been condemned, on February 15, 1982, as a Ikon-peaceloving statelI--the only U.N. membe r so named-it could be denied participation in the General Assembly, since the U.N is reserved, by Charter, only to 31peace-loving11 states. Do not do the same to lfpeace-lovinglf Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, or the USSR Resolution 36/171 passed on December 16, 1 981, relating to the case of Ziad Abu Eain.
See Edward Jay Epstein, The Rise and Fall of Diamonds (New York Schuster. 1982).
Simon Marjorie- Ann Browne, Credentials in the U.N. General Assembly: Selected Precedents, CRS, September 30, 1980 In the last ana lysis, the actions taken by the membership of the U.N. in the General Assembly on the contro versial credentials questions are based primarily on political rather than legal considerations p. 21 I 4 5) Tell the Americans, at cocktail parties or in the Del e gates' Lounge, that you did not really mean what you said from U.N. podiums and insist that no one really believes such rhetoric.
Ignore U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Charles Lichenstein, and some of his colleagues when they tell you that things are changing and the U.S. really does care what is said in public 6) Demand at every opportunity economic "reparation" from the developed industrial states, even from those who have never had colonies. This "moral" obligation of the "North" to aid the South" h as been consecrated in several U.N. reports, such as Measures for Development of Underdeveloped Countries1' (1951 The First U.N. Conference and Trade and Development 1964), and the W.N. Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Orde r " (1974 In fact, this obligation has been insti tutionalized through such organs as United Nations Development Program (UNDP United Nations Industrial Development Organization UNIDO United Nations Institute for Training and Research UNITAR),.and others. A c cording to a veteran of seventeen General Assembly sessions, Israel's liaison with the Afro-Asian group Arieh Eilan, things have come to a point where even Norway, though it has never had any colonies, is nonethe less regarded as an accessory to the "crim e " of colonial ism and imperialism, while the Soviet Union is portrayed as the defender of oppressed humanity this may sound, these assumptions are no longer disputed not even by the Norwegians, Danes, or Swedes. On the contrary, they seem almost to respon d joyfully to the role of penitent sinner.8 However irrational The new nations learn fast. The U.S., therefore, cannot afford to pretend that the game does not exist. For the game is deadly and subtle with repercussions affecting the entire inter national e nvironment. This realization prompted U.S. Permanent Representative to 'the U.N., Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, in a widely publicized speech at a Heritage Foundation conference on June 7 1982, to chastise the U.S. for being unable to understand, let alone partic i pate in, the U.N.'s political culture. Said Ambassa dor Kirkpatrick a] consequence of ignoring the political character of the U.N. is that we operate as though there were no difference between our relations with supporters and opponents, with no penalties for opposing our views and values, and no rewards for cooperating By not really learning the rules, the players, the game, we have often behaved like a bunch of amateurs in the United Nations Arieh Eilan The Soviet Union and] Conference Diplomacy," Washin g ton Quarterly, Autumn 1981 p. 28. I 5 THE TERMS OF DISCOURSE The organ of the U.N. that has played the decisive role in shaping the organization's political vocabulary is the so-called Committee of 24, elaborately titled The Special Committee on the Situa tion with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
Recommendations of the Committee of 24 have usually become first resolutions of the Fourth of the General Assembly's six Committees and then of the Assembly itself. The U.S. and Britain have long since withdrawn from the Committee because of its virulent rhetoric.
By now, the tone of its resolutions is well known. Says former U.N. diplomat, Seymour Finger If such resolutions are chan ged from one year to the next, the change has usually been in the form of adding inflating adjectives or inserting still more unattainable provisions lr9 pledged to ensure had been Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's gift to the U.N. on its 15th anniversar y in 19
60. It was the first of a series of moves shaping the U.N.'s ideological climate that led to the admission of so-called "National Liberation Movements NLMs) as observers at the General Assembly on a par with nation states. The 1960 Declaration stat ed that self determination is Ira right belonging to all people," hence ''all armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples shall cease A memorandum circulated by the Soviet Union in 1960 threatened that either the pe o ples' demands are ''recognized by all states, or the oppressed peoples, with the support of their numerous friends throughout the world, will take their destiny in their own hands."1 of colonialism to support of its overthrow by force, was in the offing T h e Declaration whose implementation the Committee of 24 is A subtle move, from rejection Five years later, Resolution 2105(XX) of December 20, 1965 recognizes 'Ithe legitimacy of the struggle by the peoples under colonial rule to exercise their right to se l f-determination and independence, and invites all states to provide material and moral assistance to the national liberation movements in colonial territories This was followed in 1970 by an endorsement of using 'la11 the necessary means at their disposal " to achieve their ends (Resolution 2708(XXV) of December 15 The sum of these resolutions: official encouragement to extremists and terrorists to read the Charter as legitimizing the use of force.
And this in an organization founded to preserve world peace Seymour Maxwell Finger, Your Man at the U.N People, Politics, and Bureaucracy in Making Foreign Policy (New York and London: New York University Press, 1980 p. 30 See Request for Inclusion of a New Item in the Agenda of the 15th Session of the General As sembly text see A/4502/Corr.l, September 23, 1960, p. 7 lo Item Proposed by the U.S.S.R., Annex
11. For 6 Oscar Schachter, former Director of the General Legal Divi sion of the U.N., finds that "in recent years, at first almost imperceptibly, we have witn essed a countertrend toward the justi fication and, one might say, the licensing of international violencefll at the U.N.
The U.N. has been careful, however, to define "wars of 1iberation.ll The U.N. blessing is not extended to members of Poland's Solidar ity movement, nor to Czechs or Hungarians fighting for their liberation from MOSCOW'S rule, indeed, not even to nonextremist black African groups such as Inkatha, led by Gaftsa Buthelese, head of the Zulu nation, which is the chief black opposition to the South African government definition is ideology. llImperialismlt at the U.N. is a label routinely attached to the U.S. and the West, but never to the USSR.
Roa Kouri, delivered at a meeting of the Sixth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly in January 1980, dealing with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, states that Helping craft this A speech by Cuba's Permanent Representative to the U.N the United States rulers do their utmost to demand before international public opinion respect for instit u tions which traditionally have been violated by armed interventions or conspiracies plotted by United States administrations since the turn of the century. The Yankee chorus has been joined by the Pinochets, guilty of the genocide of their peoples Indeed , it is "the Government of the United States which advocates intervention in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and is intent on reimposing on the countries of that region the status of pawns of its imperialist policies. O'mellianism runs rampant: the U.S . , not the Soviet Union, advocates llimperialisml' in Afghanistan unequivocally ltMarxist,ll given its varying nuances and degrees of forcefulness, sociology Professor Peter Berger of the University of Massachusetts observes Though it would be simplistic t o call Third World rhetoric it is possible to point to a series of propositions as the common core of Third World ideology [which] has gone hand in hand with various political initiatives almost all of them within the U.N. system.
He notes that the construction of that ideology is, broadly speaking, leftist-indeed, it depends on elements of Marxist theory.12 l1 l2 Oscar Schachter The Generation Gap in International Law," Proceedings 1969, p. 232.
Peter Berger Speaking to the Third World Commentary, October 1981, p 31 I 7 The architects of that ideology are well aware of the mecha nics that operate in linguistics: connotations are woven from associations. Thus, words like imperialism It 'tcolonialism, It and ItracismIt are deliberately used together. Cuba's foreign minister addressing the General Assembly in 1975, condemned Chile's junta as follows Latin American fascism is the natural ally of racism and colonialism It is in fact in their service. It seeks to act as a wedge that will break the necessary soli darity between the peoples of the three continents.
The struggle against it, therefore, becomes of primary importance for all the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin ~merica He then points out that not a single international conference of note" in the U.N. d uring the past year had failed to express Itits most categorical repudiation of the atrocities committed by the Pinochet junta" including such agencies as the International Labor Organization, UNESCO, and the World Conference of the International Women's Year.
The majority's political rhetoric that condemns colonialism aims too at free enterprise. Resolution A/FtES/36/51 passed on December 22, 1981, for example, "condemns the activities of foreign, economic, and other interests in the the colonial terri to rities and requests the U.N. Centre on Transnational Corpora tions to prepare a register of profits for the next session of the General Assembly territories left. The principle now is established that such a register is a legitimate U.N. undertaking, and the link is estab lished between alleged llcolonialismlt and free enterprise, in particular, the activities of multinational corporations.l Never mind that there are almost no colonial l3 l4 See A/PV.2380, esp. pp. 53-
57. Professor Georgy I. Mirsky of the Institute of World Economy and Interna tional Relations of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences made the connection between "colonialism" and "economic injustice" before a UNITAR Conference held in Moscow in June, 1974 the interests of a lasting peace requir e the speediest liquida tion of the aftermaths of long years of colonialism, of the system of inequitable international economic relations and social and economic injustice that to this day plague the bigger part of mankind.
He then proposed "organizing a Technology Bank that would make it easier for the developing countries to get access to modern scientific-technical achievements so as "to profoundly transform social relations, to embark on the road to progressive socioecon omic and political development."
The U.N. and the Future (Moscow, 1976), p. 142.
The rhetorical offensive in the economic sphere had its first major victory in 1964 at a meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development when 77 countries f ormed the IIGroup of 77 today numbering over 120 nations Throughout the sixties, the group argued for strong trade concessions, compensa tory financing, and other preferential trade and credit measures.
On May 1, 1974, the Sixth Special Session of the Gen eral Assembly formally adop.ted a resolution that stressed the need to work urgently for the establishment of a New International Economic Order (NIEO) which "shall correct inequalities and redress exist ing injustices, make it possible to eliminate the w idening gap between the developed and developing countries in short, estab lish a scheme for redistributing the output of developed states to developing countries.
Seven months later, on December 12, 1974, the General Assembly adopted a Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, which sets out the demands of developing countries, questioning the very principles of economic exchange. The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, which entered into force on January 3, 1976, conti nued the,Third World offensive.
Arguing that they are at a disadvantage under the international economic order established after World War 11, the developing countries proclaimed the right to "freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without pr ejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic cooperation.l# They also claim a right to form primary commodity producer cartels as well as the right to be granted generalized preferential, nonreciprocal treatment in all international ec onomic activities. The U.S. has refused to ratify the Convenant.
The arguments underlying the NIEO are infiltrating the Western political ~1imate.l~ Its presuppositions are very much alive in 19
82. According to the 1982 Report of the U.N. Director Genera l for Development and International Economic Cooperation entitled IITowards the NIEO, the existing economic order-"which is] characterized by inequality, domination; dependence, narrow self-interest and segmentationll--should be changed. The system of fre e enterprise, that is, should give way to the kind of interdependence dictated by the Third World.
Conferences, resolutions, and reports cannot be dismissed as mere rhetoric.
Even if the results at times are belated, they are not difficult to trace. Notes Finger They mold the international diplomatic culture.
Some of the most important results of Assembly sessions do not come from resolutions at all but rather from changes in attitudes of key governments that result l5 William L. Scully, "The Brandt Commi ssion: Deluding the Third World Heritage Backgrounder 8182. 9 from both formal debates and informal talks during the session. Having represented the U.S. in the Second Economic) Committee of the General Assembly from 1956 to 1963, and having watched it cl o sely since then, I have been impressed by the way prolonged discussion there can bring about major changes in attitudes on economic issues.16 He cites the discussion of soft, low-interest loans, in the form of the Special United Nations Fund for Economic Development.
Although the Western nations had rejected the concept when first introduced by the less developed countries in the early fifties the U.S. caved in by 1959 and advocated establishment of the International Development Association as a soft-loan affiliate of the World Bank. Two decades later, the World Bank is recognizing its mistake and is trying to, reverse its rather too liberal lending p01icies.l Other examples include the notion of compensatory financing put forth in the 1950s, which in 1975 former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger proposed through'the establishment of a $10 billion facility in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which would provide preferential credit terms to less developed countries.
Nonreciprocal tariff concessions ha ve now been put into practice as well, despite initial Western rejection, as a result, says Finger, of "many years of discussion in the U.N.'s General Assembly and UNCTAD General Assembly resolutions and speeches alone do not shape the rhetorical atmosphe re of the U.N. and the world community.
There is another dimension behind the public image, as Ambassador Kirkpatrick discovered when some of the Third World delegates joined Cuba and several other totalitarian countries in signing a v ituperative anti-U.S., anti-West llCommuniqu&il--the product of the September 1981 meeting of the nonaligned countries in Havana.lg In'a letter responding to the Communiqu6, she stated what should have been obvious In fact, your excellency, I think you no more believe these vicious lies than do I and I do not believe they are an accurate reflection of your government's outlook."
The Christian Science Monitor reported on October 16, 1981, that many U.N. diplomats thought this letter a mere Vempest in a teapot [and] many moderate nonaligned diplomats shrugged off her statement as rhetoric political game at the U.N."
They believe that rhetoric is part of the l6 l8 Finger, op. cit., p. 30.
Far Eastern Economic Review, July 23, 1982.
For a description of the entire Generalized System of Preferences instituted to benefit less developed nations, see William R. Cline, editor, Policy Alternatives for a New International Economic Order: An Economic Analysis pp. 219-248 and pp. 333-351.
Cited by Senator Daniel Patr ick Moynihan in the Congressional Record October 22, 1981 l9 I 10 Though rhetoric indeed may be part of the game, it is a very serious game. By ignoring it for so many years, the U.S. sacri ficed important ground in the U.N. Only now does the U.S. Mission appreciate the importance of rhetoric in shaping the U.N.'s political culture. For this reason the U.S. should continue responding to rhetorical assaults.
BEYOND THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY With the General Assembly as the U.N. focal point, its political culture inevitably spills over into the rest of the U.N. system. South Africa, for example, illustrates the many dimensions of the U.N.'s consistent effort to isolate a member state from all of the U.N.Is activities. As far back as 1963 the U.N.'s Economic and S o cial Council (ECOSOC) had decided to suspend South Africa from participation in the work of the Economic Commission for Africa. This had been the first instance of suspension or expulsion of a member state from a permanent subsi diary organ of the U.N. Fi v e years later, at the 1,238th meeting of the Second (Economic) Committee of the General Assembly, Upper Volta moved to suspend South Africa from UNCTAD.20 was rushed to a vote even before the Committee had an opportunity to consider, at Denmark's urging, the opinion of the Legal Counsel.
It was adopted by a vote of 49 to 22, with 23 abstentions The resolution The Legal Counsel's eventual opinion cast serious doubt on the constitutionality of Upper Volta's resolution, arguing that while the General Assembly could set up committees of limited membership, it could not establish a committee open to all member nations--such as UNCTAD-and then exclude one or more of them from activity.21 Yet the rules at the U.N. are often at the mercy of majority interpretation , as are considerations of what is relevant in a particular forum. Walter Berns, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, who attended a U.N. seminar on human rights was offered a lesson in the U.N.'s political culture when he objected to a d e finition of I'human rights" that, for example allowed for doing away with freedom of the press Cuba's answer to this is that, unlike 1945, the U.N now represents the majority of the world's people, so it can say what human rights are-and the U.S. better g et used to it. Syria denounces Israel, and we adjourn for lunch. Resuming at 3:40, Czechoslovakia, in the 2o A/C. 2/L. 10
22. The draft resolution also endorsed UNCTAD' s Resolution 26(II) suspending South Africa. For text see Proceedings of UNCTAD second session, vol. I, annex I, p. 56 21 For text see A/C.P/L. 1030, December 2, 1968. 11 person of a rather attractive young woman, gives its version of the Soviet line, but gives it in English.22 Another issue that pervades U.N. activities almost as much as S o uth Africa and the Middle East is the New International Economic Order. The latest move is to bring the NIEO into the space age. In August 1982, the U.N. is holding a Wnispace 82 conference, which promises to be another propaganda circus. It is being stag e d by the same nations that have already pushed the Moon Treaty, the Law of the Sea Treaty, and other preparations for a new world economic order. Their goal is to gain the benefits of technology developed in the industrialized nations-by inter national fi at rather than free trade.
The Third World aims to establish a U.N. agency to monitor and govern all space activities. Dr. Jerry Grey, who in January was appointed deputy secretary-general for the conference, observes that Vhese U.N. conferences are politi cal in nature, not techni cal.Il Yet at previous meetings the U.S. has limited itself almost exclusively to technical presentations, which resulted in both the USSR and the Third World scoring political and propaganda victories at, Dr. Grey believes, Amer ica's expense.
The U.S. successfully resisted the attacks on free enterprise implicit in the Law of the Sea Treaty by refusing to sign it.23 But on other occasions, the U.S. has not been so wise. What Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan has called ''the blindn ess of American diplomacyN1 involved ignoring attacks on American and, in general, capitalist achievements. One notable example is a document of the Economic and Social Council entitled "World Social Report," which first appeared in 1963 notes Moynihan Ov e r the years it was becoming a document based on the veritably totali tarian idea that social justice means social stability and that social stability means the absence of social protest. Thus by 1970, the Soviet Union-not much social protest there!--emerg e s as the very embodiment of the just state, while the U.S. is a nation in near turmoil from the injustices it wreaks upon the poor and the protest these injustices have provoked. And Western Europe hardly comes off any better.24 Evidently, the U.N. Secret ariat, which produced the document showed the developing and the Communist countries in a good light, the result of what Moynihan calls a llFinlandizationll of 22 23 24 Where the Majority Rules 14 no. 11, November 1981, p. 8.
Roger A. Brooks, "The Law of t he Sea Treaty: Can the U.S. Afford to Sign Heritage Foundation Backgrounder #188 The U.S. in Opposition," Commentary, March 1975, pp. 5-6 A U.N. Diary," The American Spectator, vol i i I 12 I the Secretariat. Interviews with Secretariat officials who wish to remain anonymous do, indeed, indicate that there is near unanimous support for the U.N. as a Third World forum, where developing countries should be treated by the U.S. with tolerance even when there is strident, exaggerated criticism of the U.S.
Moyni han comments: IIComplacency of this order could only arise from the failure to perceive that a distinctive ideology was at work, and that skill and intelligence were required to deal with it successfully 25 Another example is the 1974 World Food Conferenc e in Rome.
Though convened mainly at American initiative, it turned into a plenary forum by the less developed countries for blasting the U.S.--the major source of the world's surplus food supply--as responsible for the current fo od crisis. Proclaimed India's Food Minister It is obvious that the developed nations can be held responsible for [the developing nations'] present plight Whatever help comes from the developed West, therefore, is not a matter of generosity but of entitlem ent.
Among the Third World's most effective U.N. instruments are the ad hoc Ilinvestigating bodies Seldom do they investigate anything; their missions are determined from the outset.26 A careful reading of the records shows, for example, that, whenever the U.N..voted to inquire into allegations of misdeeds by Israel and to create fact-finding bodies to examine the facts and verify the conditions, Israel always stood condemned by the very resolu tion that ordered the inquiry; the issues were almost always p rejudged, the allegations set forth as proved facts, and the members of the fact-finding bodies appointed despite their bias.
An early example is General Assembly Resolution 2443(XXIII) of December 19, 1968, which practically dictated the conclusions of th e Committee. Indeed, the resolution adopted the following sections from an earlier--May 7, 1968--resolution, which a) Expressed its grave concern at the violation of human rights in Arab territories occupied by Israel b) Drew the attention of the Governme n t of Israel to the grave consequences resulting from the disregard of fundamental freedoms and human rights in occupied terroritories c) Called upon the Government of Israel to desist forthwith from acts of destroying homes of the Arab civilian population 25 Ibid p. 36. 26 Asker Human Rights Commission Chairman, Felix Ermacora, has pointed out in the present [U.N system there is no objective search for or choice of persons having the personal qualities to work in an investigation commission Cited in Julian a Geron Pilon, "The U.N. and Human Rights The Double Standard," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder #183, p. 9 I I 13 In short, it condemned even before investigating. So biased was the resolution that uncommitted member states refused to serve on the Special Committee. The President of the General Assembly ended up appointing members from Ceylon, Somalia, and Yugoslavia none of which had diplomatic relations with Israel--indeed Somalia did not even recognize the right of Israel to independence and sovereignty .
Some U.N. reports are not intended for reading. One example is Section I11 of a report entitled "Military and Nuclear Collabo ration with South Africa], which was meant to show that Israel and South Africa collaborate on nuclear weapons In fact, the repo rt contains no such information whatsoever. There is not one word about nuclear collaboration between Israel and South Africa strongly intimating that such collaboration cannot be documented because it does not exist It exists only in the title and in the table of contents of the Committee's report, presumably because the Committee no longer expects anyone to read the report or take it seriously.
Yet this did not stop Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh Benin, Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Laos, Libya , Senegal Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Syria, Uganda, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zambia from sponsoring a resolution expressing grave concern over the "persistence of Israel in escalating its collaboration and strengthening its relations with the racist regime of South Africa The resolution was adopted on January 24, 1979, by a vote of 82 to 18 with 28 abstentions.
Misuse of information is not uncommon in the U.N. system In May 1981, the U.N. admitted funneling $432,000 to fifteen foreign newspapers that ran suppl ements promoting its views on the economic needs of the Third World.27 tip of political efforts by developing countries, with the aid of the Soviet bloc, to use the U.N. to reshape world opinion. As Rita Stollman reported in Business Week on July 20, 1981 , the evidence is mounting that the U.N.'s $300 million-plus economic research programs are being manipulated to promote the New Inter national Economic Order. Tampering with research appears to be pervasive. The director of the Manufacturers Division of t h e Geneva-based UNCTAD, for example, deleted an entire section of a consultant's 1979 study on structural problems in the slow-growth steel industry because it painted too negative a scenario for This is surely but the 27 The U.N. Department of Public Info r mation paid fifteen top foreign news papers, including the prestigious left wing Le Monde, to publish propaganda articles advocating economic, social, and political proposals that would favor the.Third World. A $1,250,000 slush fund given by a Japanese mu ltimillionaire for the propaganda operation was taken by the U.N.
Department of Public Information in violation of Article 100 of Chapter XV of the U.N. Charter which prohibits the Secretariat from seeking or receiving instructions (or funds) from any outside source. 14 less developed countries' steel producers.
World Economy, a major study by a research team led by Nobel laureate, Wassily W. Leontief of New York University, was altered by a high-level Soviet official in the New York-based Economic and Soc ial Affairs Department of the U.N. Secretariat. The study was changed to show much higher potential growth rates and a rosier' economic situation than the data originally indicated The Future of the During the Law of the Sea Conference in 1977, a staff re p ort was suppressed that showed that, if private firms were to mine the seabed, then copper-producing countries would not lose as much market share as they were claiming. Elliott L. Richardson President Carter's special representative to the Conference, sh ed some light on the reason why the report was spiked: the copper rich less-developed countries, he said, had complained about the results.
Harvard University economist Hendrik S. Houthakker admits Frankly I don't pay much attention to U.N. research today because I know much of it is propaganda He contends that in 1975 UNCTAD officials tried to stymie a U.N. study that he was supervising because it contradicted the widely held belief that the prices of manufactured goods imported by poor countries always r ise much faster than the prices they get for their exports.
Houthakker appealed successfully directly to Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim. But few seem to be as lucky as Houthakker.
Economist Ingo Walter of New York University stopped working for UNCTAD in 1980 because 1 could no longer recognize my work by the time it was published Rangaswami Krishnamurti, a former high-ranking UNCTAD official who often supervised Walter's work acknowledged that many of these changes were made to reflect Vhe very substant ial differences of view and approach among many Third World and Western economists.Il By prescribing a specific outcome for the U.N.'s economic studies, the political culture may be flattering the Third World.
But it is doing the underdeveloped states no f avor these countries only what they want to hear, the U.N.'s political culture is preventing their receiving the kind of tough advice and bitter medicine that is required for a sound strategy of economic growth By telling EVOLUTION OF THE POLITICAL CULTUR E The Cast-A General Profile The U.N. is inevitably a function of its members, not simply This has been true since its member states but the cast of characters who represent those states. On occasion, there is disagreement between the Missions in New York a nd their home governments the U.N.'s inception. In 1963, when the Japanese representative Kakitsuba said that "there is only one real class struggle nowa days--the struggle between the governments and their missions," 15 he reportedly !!gave everyone a go o d laugh, precisely because there was a grain of truth in it.1128 The tapestry of the U.N.'s political culture is woven mostly behind the scenes, primarily in the Delegates' Lounge--a spacious room on the second floor of the U.N. building. Writes Seymour F i nger The Delegates! Lounge is full of valuable contacts especially just before and just after lunch. There individual brief contacts can frequently be made with four or five delegates in half an hour, faster and more effectively than by any other means. D u ring my years as minister counselor, we made Itlounge assignmentsll to make sure someone was there at all times, and many of us made frequent forays. The lounge is probably the best place to use antennas, but it offers only one of the many opportunities t h at must be used if the U.S. is to reach out effectively, as it must.29 Certainly the most important part of the General Assembly's work takes place before a resolution is actually brought to a vote, in what is commonly known as !Ithe kitchen when the dele g ates are approached in elevators, at dinner parties, even in the men's rooms, to bargain on votes, compromise on wording of a controversial paragraph, or just gossip that brings political dividends. Individual ambitions and vulnerabilities play an importa nt role in this. The Soviet Union, for instance, is very adept at keeping track of the career hopes of various representa tives, especially those from the smaller nations.30 For them, a career at the U.N. offers high pay and high living in Manhattan.
Mosco w uses its control of several U.N. administrative units to influence or delay the promotion of a Third World colleague depending on'that colleague's political usefulness. To ignore this fact, or that the international bureaucracy is as full of intrigue an d as much the scene of cutthroa? competition as is any national' civil service, is simply naive The Western Minority The West usually commands about 20 votes out of the U.N.'s total 1
57. At the core are the European lllO.ll Yet there are divisions within that group.
Norway, Denmark, and Iceland--are NATO members, they generally seem influenced more by neutralist Sweden than by the U.S. Carl Gershman, Advisor at the U.S. Mission to the U.N., expressed his dismay that the European members of the Human Rights Commission Though three Scandinavian countries 28 29 Ibid 30 Finger, op. cit p. 36.
Eilan The Soviet Union and] Conference Diplomacy Washington Quarterly Autumn 1981, pp. 25-26. 16 in March 1982, would criticize the Soviet Unio n only if they also condemned El Salvador. Gershman sees this, rightfully, as a glaring, and probably hypocritical, disregard for the differences.
As one U.S. participant at the Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva stated, many of his Western European colleagues appeared to lack philosophical commitment and were either cynical about the U.N. or utterly discouraged by it.
German Mission admitted that the average tenure at his Mission is about three years: IIMost people do not want to stay longer becau se they are frustrated by the fact that the votes appear to be 'locked in' at the U.N.ll A member of the West Another dimension that might explain the behavior of the Europeans at the U.N. was revealed in a discussion recorded in a secret document capture d by the Israelis in Lebanon in June 1982.
This discussion was between PLO leader Yaser Arafat and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and took place in Moscow on November 13, 19
79. Said Arafat Our [PLO] activity in Europe is based on Europe's need fo r Arab oil factor in the battle, but there is apprehension of that there Oil has not yet been introduced as a Some of the Arab states help us in this respect.31 The Europeans are aware that the major force at'the U.N. is the group of so-called 'Inonaligne dll nations, which have embraced the PLO as one of their'members.
The Nonaligned An Asian diplomat, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of Soviet reprisals against his country, observes that the develop ing countries usually side with the Soviet Union, even though many realize that Moscow does not always help them. He admits that the June 1982 meeting of the nonaligned in Havana saw some Third World states taking the Soviet Union to task for giving them almost nothing in foreign aid. They also objected to the fact that the USSR contributes to the U.N. Development Program in rubles, a nonconvertible currency good mainly to buy Soviet products. The Soviets were unmoved. Yet the bond between the Communist bloc and the less developed nations is strong even though their interests do not always coincide anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist ideology.
Pennsylvania explains that Ilmost concessions to anti-capitalist unity mean little in operational terms.1132 At the 1968 meeting They share an Political scientist Richard E. Bissell of the University of 31 32 Protocol of Talks Between PLO and Soviet Delegations in Moscow, November 13, 1979, Document captured by Israel's army in Lebanon, June 1982.
Richard Bissell, "The Fourth World at the U.N The World Today, Septe mber 1975 p. 377. 17 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development instance, the USSR masnanimously eliminated all tariffs on for products from the lesser developed countries; what was not stated was that the effect of tariffs on the state con t rolled price mechanism in the USSR is nil. The affinity between the Third World and the Soviet Union, however, goes even beyond philosophy and such issues as foreign aid. Writes veteran U.N. observer Arieh Eilan this fact has wider implications than the m e re use of similar political clichks in speeches and resolutions it has affected the practice of parliamentary democracy in the U.N. and has gradually destroyed all claims of objective adjudication that its [the U.N.'s] Charter so clearly stipulates. 33 Th e pro-Soviet lobby, apart from clients such as Angola, Cuba Ethiopia, Mozambique and Vietnam, consists also of countries whose relationship with the USSR is more tenuous but which, for a variety of reasons, end up adopting a political stance that is more c l early anti-Western than it is pro-Soviet reservations, and sometimes downright opposition of some of the 92 nonaligned.states to the wording of Soviet engineered resolu tions, however, are rarely reflected in the final text. The decision-making process kn own as "democratic centralism was well demonstrated-at the 1979 meeting of the nonaligned in Havana.
The text of the conference's official declaration was hammered out in all-day and all-night sessions of the political committee where the Cubans and their allies succeeded in exhausting their opponents and placating them with marginal concessions,. Also during the conference, Cuba kept the roster of speakers a closely guarded secret and gave priority to ideological friends.34 The hesitations The right to di ssent, inherent in the voting system of the U.N., essentially is frowned upon in the nonaligned movement.
Some of the resolutions of the nonaligned meetings are then presented as draft resolutions at the General Assembly, since the U.N. is the movement's m ain stage of operation and almost the only venue where its collective strength is of political conse quence.
U.N. among the nonaligned. The percentage of support for the Soviet Union during the 1981 General Assembly shows overall agreement to be 84.9 perc ent (compared with 25 percent average agreement with the U.S Keeping in mind that the U.S. and the Soviet Union voted together only 17.6 percent of the time (usually on matters involving the U.N. budget or on efforts to revise the The result is a remarkab ly pro-Soviet voting pattern at the 33 34 Arieh Eilan, "Soviet Hegemonism and the Nonaligned I Washington Quarterly Winter 1981, p. 98.
K. P. Misra, "Burma's Farewell to the Nonaligned Movement," Asian Affairs vol. XII, Part I, February 1981, p. 56. Vietnam Laos Seychelles Afghanistan Cuba Cape Verde South Yemen Mozambique Angola 2 imbabwe Sao Tome Botswana Syria Guyana Ethiopia Madagasca r Algeria Lebanon Benin Chad Congo Como ro s Libya Nicaragua Guinea Bissau Tanzania Grenada Cyprus Bhutan Djibouti Iraq India I ran Malta Yugoslavia Bahrain North Yemen Guinea Ruwanda Equatorial Guinea Burundi Mali Jordan Nepa 1 Kuwait U.N. Charter this is an alarming illustration of the isolation the U.S. faces at the U.N. today 36TH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 1981 VOTING PATTERNS OF NONALIGNED MEMBERS Agreement with USSR Agreement with U.S in percentages 99.6 99.5 98.4 97.3 94.4 93.7 91.9 91.6 91.5 9 1.1 90.9 90.8 90 o 89.3 89.0 89.0 88.7 88.7 88.6 88.5 88.1 88.1 88.0 87.8 87.8 87.5 87.5 87.4 87.3 87.0 86.9 86.3 86.2 86.2 86.1 86.1 86.0 85.8 85.5 85.4 85.3 85.2 85.1 84.8 84.7 11.2 13.1 8.6 12.2 11.6 15.3 13.4 11.2 16.9 18.1 15.7 28.6 15.2 21.2 17.1 18 . 6 13.9 24.5 17.1 21.6 17.0 28.3 14.1 19.0 19.7 17.1 16.9 20.9 24.8 22.1 18.7 18.8 19.0 26.0 21.1 21.2 20.1 19.8 25.4 33.3 23.6 23.4 21.9 29.4 20.9 Uganda Qatar Mauritania Surinam Trinidad/Tobago Cameroon Saudi Arabia Emirates Niger Zambia Sierra Leone Sri Lanka Oman Maldive Kenya Swazi land Bangladesh Lesotho Mauritius Ecuador Indonesia St Lucia Argentina Ivory Coast Sudan Somalia Nigeria Gambia Ghana Emt Kampuchea Tunisia Pakistan Gabon Ma lays ia Peru Belize Panama Upper Volta Togo Central Africa Senegal Singapore Zaire Morocco Bolivia Jamaica Liberia Malawi A list not devoid 19 84.6 84.6 84.5 84.4 84.3 84.3 84.3 84.2 83.9 83.8 83.6 83.6 83.3 83.3 83.0 83.0 82.9 82.4 82.2 81.9 81.7 81.5 81.5 81.4 81.1 81.0 80.9 80.8 80.8 80.8 80.7 80.6 80.4 80.3 80.0 80.0 79.5 79.4 79.1 78.3 77.5 77.5 77.0 76.8 75.7 74.9 73.7 64.9 81 ;6 22.4 24.4 22.2 25.0 26.5 24.6 25.6 22.3 28.2 26.3 20.7 28.0 24.9 28.1 26.0 31.1 28.2 27.1 27.5 27.6 27.0 28.9 30.0 32.2 28.6 31.8 27.8 24.8 30.8 29.1 34.4 29.2 26.5 31.4 32.8 31.4 30.4 27.4 29.9 30.6 34.1 35.4 40.1 36.9 36.6 42.0 39.7 33.9 47.2 of surprises. In Africa: New Guinea is currently urging stepped-up Afnerican private investment, yet it voted with the U.S. 19.9 percent of the time and with Moscow 85.8 20 percent. Tanzania, a pro-Ch inese dictatorship that lies in virtual economic ruin, received over $37 million in economic assistance from the U.S. in 19
81. Yet Tanzania voted with the U.S. only 17.1 percent and with Moscow 87.5 percent.
Algeria received 7 million in U.S. taxpayer subsidized Eximbank loans in 1981; Eximbank also loaned Angola a total of $87.8 million during the past three years, in addition to $10 million in economic grants assistance from the U.S. in 19
81. Yet Algeria voted with the U.S. 13.9 percent, Angola 16.9 p ercent, and Mozambique only 11.2 percent. Tunisia, which now wants the U.S. to sell it arms received in 1981 $39.8 million in economic aid alone, plus $15.7 million in military assistance, and $56.9 million in loans from Eximbank Even militant Mozambique received $8.7 million in economic In Asia: Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia are in most respects closer to the West than they are to the Soviet Union.
Singapore's economy, for example, is often held up as an example of the success of free enterprise in t he Third World. Pakistan often considered to be a moderating influence in the nonaligned movement, receives a considerable amount of American aid 76.8 million in economic assistance in '1981 alone. Yet Singapore Malaysia, Indonesia, and Pakistan seldom ba ck the U.S. at the U.N. India, of course, is a notoriously anti-American recipient of U.S. largesse.
It is well known that the more moderate members of the nonaligned movement find it difficult to resist the militant Cubans. But some have the courage to stand up and protest.
Burma left the movement in 1979 as a result of pressure from the radicals, with the following comment delivered on September 7 1979 The principles of the movement are not recognizable any more; they are not merely dim, they are dying T here are those among us who deliberately exploit the movement to gain their own grand designs allow ourselves to be exploited.35 We cannot TKE PARIAHS South Africa The ousting of South Africa from participation in the General Assembly in 1974 did not stop the U.N.'s campaign against that member state. On March 23, 1977, the Permanent Representative of Yugoslavia declared 35 Misra, op. cit p. 53. 21 Racism, apartheid and oppression in Southern Africa represent a violation of fundamental human rights and pri n ciples of justice and freedom and constitute a threat to peace and international security.36 Yet when Western states raise questions about violations of fundamental human rights in a Communist country, the government under attack proceeds to cite Article 2 7) of the U.N. Charter which states that the U.N. is not authorized Ifto intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state."
The U.N.'s campaign against South Africa represents a clear departure from the its origina l mandate. The debate that took place in the General Assembly in Autumn of 1976 is indicative of the problem: the ninth resolution in a series of ten on South Africa adopted on November 9, 1976, denounced the Pretoria regime as illegitimate and reaffirmed the status of the NLMs now recog nized by the Organization of African Unity--the African National Congress of S,outh Africa and the Pan African Congress--as the authentic representatives of the people of South Africa the resolution endorsed the commitment of both these groups to seizure of power by Itall possible means," including armed struggle.
This is hardly in line with the U.N.'s original categorical opposition to the use of force Indeed The resolution, moreover, called upon France, the United Kingdom , and the U.S. not to I1misuseif their veto power in the Security Council by shielding the government of South Africa.
Notwithstanding the over 100 vetoes it cast prior to 1961, the Soviet Union has never been accused of I1misusingt1 its power, for that would have been to violate the U.N.Is "rules of the game."
The U.N.'s anti-South African campaign was furthered during the 1981 session of the General Assembly, when South Africa was abused in 61 of the initial 108 meetings and 45 resolutions were adopted against it: also, 283 Plenary speeches dealt with Namibia and 70 with apartheid. Fifteen subsidiary programs, organs, and funds against the present South African government exist at the U.N., while five days are set aside each year in solidarity with the I fstruggling people of South Africa, and no less than three special weeks dedicated to the same purpose. In all, 200 full time Secretariat officials work almost exclusively against South Africa, a campaign with a total estimated U.N. funding of $40 million a year.
At a time when Soviet troops were marching through Afghani stan, Vietnamese forces laying waste to much of Kampuchea and Laos, and Iraqi and Iranian ferociously battling each other, were the internal affairs of South Africa really the most urgent item 36 S/PV. 1990, p. 23. 22 I on the U.N. agenda? Yet South Africa agenda nearly monopolized that Israel One of the most significant steps against Israel was taken in the wake of the November 13, 1974, appearance of PLO leader Yasser Arafat at the Gener a l Assembly podium. Arafat's reception was enthusiastic. His speech was followed by two resolutions the first, A/L.741, requested !Ithe Secretary-General to establish contact with the PLO on all matters concerning the question of Palestine"; the second, A/ L.742, invited the PLO "to participate as an observer under the auspices of other organs of the U.N."
This despite the fact that the PLO refuses to recognize the right to exist of Israel-a member state of the U.N. PLO represen tative Al-Kaddumi, the final speaker at the debate, stated We did not come here to seek reconciliation with the Zionist terrorists and usurpers. We came here to bear witness to the historic difference between us and the Zionists. We regard diplomatic activities as a comple ment to ou r activities on the battlefield.37 On November 10, 1975, Zionism was castigated in the General Assembly by Resolution 3379(XXX) without any scholarly considera tion of the IIZionism is racismll equation. The various documents cited by the resolution's spon s ors by way of I1proofi1 were either irrelevant or simply previous assertions of that equation in various forums dominated by the Third World.38 It is remarkable indeed that Zionism could have come to be equated with a doctrine that nearly annihilated the Jewish people; Orwellianism obviously was being carried to astonishing heights.
Israel. About 40 resolutions passed by the 36th General Assembly dealt with the Middle East, invariably chastising the state of Israel. No mention is ever made in any U.N. resolution of PLO attacks on Israeli civilians, including women and children. At th e same time, the U.S. is constantly attacked for its support of Israel. At the Seventh Emergency Special Session on Palestine resumed in April 1982, after no less than two years, Representative Abdallah S. Ashtal of Democratic Yemen stated that U.S. policy for the Middle East was made in Tel Aviv, not in Washington. He accused U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East of showing utter Ildis regard and disdain for the international community.1139 echoed the statement made by Representative Ali Treki of Libya who war n ed the U.S. not to Itsacrifice the world" for the sake of Since 1975, the U.N. majority has escalated its attacks on He then 37 A/PV. 2296, pp. 117-118 38 See Moskowitz, op. cit pp. 142-149, for a thorough discussion of the 39 Press release GA/6575, April 26, 1982, p. 3 issue 23 Israel, urging from the U.N the General Assembly to expel !'the Zionist entity"
Mohammad Zarif of Afqhanistan accused the U.S. of encouraging Israeli aggressiveness 6y modern weaponry expected Mr. Zarif to denounce the government t hat was waging war against his own countrymen. Instead, the representative of that government, Oleg Troyanovsky, brazenly accused the U.S. of imposing fldiktatll on the peoples of the Middle East in order to control their natural resources No one The 1980 meeting of the Seventh Emergency Special Session illustrates one of the latest most effective tactics used by Third World nations to bring into the limelight issues of political significance to them.40 This Session, described by a senior U.N official as a 'Ipre-arranged emergency," was, in fact, decided on in 1979 at the Havana meeting of the nonaligned at PLO insistence A subsequent U.S. veto on April 30, 1980, of a nonaligned Security Council resolution on Palestinian rights provided a pretext for the re s umption of the Session. The meeting, however, was not requested until June--hardly an flemergency.ll At the conclusion of the meeting, the nonaligned-again led by the PLO--further prevailed in adopting a formula whereby the Seventh Emergency Special Sessi o n would not be formally closed and could be recon vened at any time by request of the members an open-ended authority which the nonaligned exploited two years later during the April 1982 meeting of the nonaligned countries in Kuwait when they decided to r esume the session later that month.
Resumption after two years proved to be little more than a contin uation of the earlier pre-arranged emergency, and the meeting was again left open-ended, giving the Assembly a pretext to convene at any time on issues of the Middle East This device provided The propaganda function of the U.N. for the purpose of mobilizing public opinion against Israel, especially in the U.S was clearly outlined by the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR, Boris N. Ponomarev, in his secret discussion with Yasser Arafat on November 13, 1979 You raised the subject of consultations on this matter of the U.N. debate on Palestine We always asked you to consult us on this subject It is very important that we know in advance the steps of the adversaries in the U.N. and will know how to exploit the U.N. stage by 40 The "emergency special session" is a procedure whereby the General Assembly can meet on 24-hour notice at the request of nine Council members or a majori t y of the Assembly after a veto on an important issue or failure by the Council to obtain the necessary majority. Five such sessions were held before 1967 and four since 1980 was initiated by Secretary of State Dean Acheson in 1950 following paralysis of t h e Council from 1946-1950 by multiple Soviet vetoes, and was designed to break deadlocks in the Council over issues involving a threat or breach to peace or act of aggression The procedure Uniting for Peace," 24 exposing aggressive actions which Israel con ducts in South Lebanon. It cannot be condemned inside Israel but in the U.S. Israel has friends and there is utility in campaigning to expose Israel's actions against elderly people and children, while using all means of propaganda.
The Soviet Union is wel l aware of the uses of propaganda alongside financial and military training for its allies. In exchange, the PLO became the coordinator of the international terrorist network as Arafat stated in January 1982, the PLO guerrillas have been serving in Nicara g ua, El Salvador, and Angola.42 Chile The overthrow of Chile's Marxist President Salvador Allende The ruling Pinochet regime is has become a hot item at the U.N nearly as popular as South Africa as a U.N. majority punching bag. Chile's trade with South Afr ica, for instance, is condemned whenever possible, despite the fact that many other nations trade with South Africa as well, including llnonimperialistll USSR and Zimbabwe.
The campaign against Chile started at the Commission on Human Rights in 19
74. Since then it has not abated: the human rights situation in Chile has been a Ifspecial item" on the agenda of the Commission--Item
5. A Special Rapporteur, who produces a lengthy document on Chile each year, appears to have become a permanent fixture at the U.N., even though the human rights situation in Chile has definitely improved since 1974 worse, this Rapporteur-Abdulah Dieye of Senegal-=has overstepped the bounds of his authority: rather than confining himself to fact finding, he offers (unsolicited) advice to member states.
For example, when several Western nations tried to remove Chile from its "special item" category, the Rapporteur presumed to advise against it What is The politicization of the Chilean case became evident as early as 19
74. It pro mpted the representative of Costa Rica, for example, to question whether the General Assembly resolution of that year "had been inspired by purely humanitarian objectives or by a genuine concern for human rights in Chile For his impres sion was otherwise. In his opinion, "the.1975 debate undoubtedly showed that the treatment of human rights in Chile had been influenced by political publicity aimed at well-defined political goals 143 41 See footnote 31. 42 43 A/C.3/SR.2155, p. 243 Wall Street Journal, Janua ry 14, 19
82. Arafat's claim is supported by documents captured by the Israelis in Lebanon in June 1982. 25 The evidence used to castigate Chile is often far from unobjectionable. The Council on Namibia Report for 1981, for example, charges the Chilean gov ernment with sending mercenaries to South Africa; yet the only evidence for this charge was produced by a SWAP0 representative.
Chile was condemned at the March 1982 meeting of the Human Rights Committee as a llmilitary dictatorshipf1 by countries whose o wn record is considerably worse. Freedom House, in its 1981 report, ranks Chile as "partly free"--indeed, Ifas free as Tunisia freer than Czechoslovakia" or than any other totalitarian country pointing its finger at Chile for holding allegedly undemocrati c elections It seems that the Chilean question has been turned into a campaign of the international class war of "the people" vs. the Ilimperialist" forces. The pariah states at the U.N. have become well defined; the East German representative stated clear l y that the competence of the U.N. and the legitimacy of inter national concern were quite different in such cases as South Africa, Chile, and the territories occupied by Israel, where the gross and systematic violation of human rights created a situation likely to impair friendly relations between nations or endanger peace.44 Evidently, Chile is now a permanent member of the pariah group at the U.N.
CONCLUSION In an attempt to explain the bizarre reality in which the U.S., despite having virtually invented foreign aid, is constantly castigated at the U.N. alongside such pariahs as South Africa Israel, and Chile, Ambassador Kirkpatrick speculated in a June 7 1982, speech that it is due to our lack of skill in practicing international politics in multilatera l arenas For one thing she believes that "we have not been effective in defining or projecting in international arenas a conception of our national purpose.Il' That should be an unqualified priority. It is essential that the world know what the U.S. stands for. The basic rights of life, liberty and property, articulated by the English philo sopher John Locke in the 17th century, which inspired the Founding Fathers of the U.S should be defended with no apologies. In addition, the U.S. must start playing inte rnational politics with greater skill.
Ambassador Kirkpatrick's letter to the less radical leaders of The U.S. must recognize that rhetoric is not insignificant 44 E/AC.7/SR.780, p. 3. 26 the nonaligned movement, protesting its Orwellian contempt for reali ty, should provide an example As a sign of respect for the cost of rhetorical capitula tion, the U.S. must resist the Ifsemantic infiltration" to which it has succumbed so often.
Charles Ikle, former director of the Arms Control Agency, as a process whereby we come to adopt the language of our adversaries in describing political reality.45 For example, the U.S. should stop referring to terrorist groups such as SWAP0 as "national l i beration movements.It That term was defined by Dr. Fred The nations of the Third World should be reminded of the excellent record of free enterprise urging Western nations to help poor countries learn how to create their own wealth, rather than merely acc e pt hand-outs from their more successful neighbors, should be articulated ably and compas sionately to these arguments Ronald Reagan's message Many Third World representatives have shown receptivity Any evidence that the U.N. tampers with data and statis t i cs should meet with forceful U.S. response, including cutting off funds to organizations that indulge in such practices Participation in the General Assembly, as well as other U.N. forums, such as the International Women's Conferences should be reconsider ed very carefully, and severely streamlined.
Charles Lichenstein, a member of the U.S. Mission to the U.N complains that the U.S. has not been sufficiently selective about its participation in the U.N Ifall too often, we have been at the mercy of the major ity.f1 Assembly, the U.S. might decide to participate in only a fraction of its meetings. When it does participate, however, the U.S should use the forum to express its opinions strongly and clearly Short of pulling out of the General The U.S. Congress sh o uld investigate charges of politici There seems to be no reason why the U.S. should simply zation throughout the U.N capitulate to the political culture of the U.N. and be forced to play by its Orwellian rules of the game. Those rules should be exposed; f or the inflammatory rhetoric and the tactics of harass ment on the part of the radical leaders of the U.N. majority can only exacerbate, not solve international conflicts.
Juliana Geran Pilon, Ph.D.
Policy Analyst 45 Cited in Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "Words and Foreign Policy," Policy Review 6, Fall 1978, p 69. See also his "Further Thoughts on Words and Foreign Policy," Policy Review 18, Spring 1979, pp. 53-59 I