March 4, 1987 | Executive Memorandum on International Organizations
A DOZEN QUESTIONS FOR CONGRESS TO ASK THE U.N. SECRETARY-GENERALU nited Nations Secretary-General Javier Per ez de Cuellar invited 23 members of Congress to join him for dinner on February 26. Reluctance of a number of key members to meet with him and other "scheduling problems" forced postponement of the event. It now may take place next month. Perez de Cuellar 's impulse to host a dinner is not social. It is rather part of his major lobbying effort to convince the U.S. lawmakers to reverse their decision that cuts the huge U.S. contribution to the U.N. If members of Congress do agree to dine with Perez de Cuellar, they should use the opportunity to ask him some probing questions about the U.N. Some of the questions which the Secretary-General should answer include: 1) Do you intend to keep the promise made this January 12 to Congressman Daniel Mica, the Florida Democrat, that you would condemn acts of hostage-taking and would urge terrorists to release the American, French, German, Israeli and other hostages? So far, Mr. Secretary-General, you have said and done nothing. 2) Do you intend to-appoint any Americans to your personal staff? When James Sutterlin departs in a ,few months, your Executive Office will have no Americans but will continue to have several Soviets at the highest level. Will you place an American on you r senior staff? 3) Did you assure Moscow that Soviet personnel would be guaranteed specific posts in the U.N. Secretariat? A senior State Department official states that he has "the definite impression that a deal has been made with the Soviets" on the iss ue of personnel. 4) Do you intend to reduce the number of U.N. employees who are on 11secondment" or temporary leave from their governments, particularly from the USSR? The U.N. Committee of 18, established by the General
Assembly on December 18, 1985, recommended that no more than 50 percent of any country's nationals working in the Secretariat be on secondment. .
5) What are your plans for rectifying the current underrepresentation of Americans in key posts in the Secretariat?
6) Do you intend to re duce the size and budget of the Division for Palestinian Rights? Documents and information produced by that Division strongly support the Palestine Liberation Organization, an organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel, a U.N. member state.
7) Do you feel that it is appropriate for you to criticize the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative? Last October 15, for example, you charged that "SDI is an element which would increase the nuclear arms race." Have you ever criticized the multi-billion-dollar S oviet strategic defense program?
8) What measures are you taking to reduce Secretariat personnel by the 15 percent recommended by the General Assembly?
9) What measures are you taking to end the anti-U.S. and anti-West bias of the publications and radio broadcasts of the U.N.'s Department of Public Information?
10) Do you plan to take any measures to stop Soviet bloc U.N. employees from engaging in espionage against the U.S.? Do you, for example, intend to form a committee to look into ways to deal with this problem?
11) Do you intend to take any steps to stop Soviet bloc U.N. employees from turning their U.N. paychecks over to their governments in a violation of U.N. rules?
12) Do you intend to rehire the -former Soviet national who is now an American c itizen, Vladimir Yakimetz, whom you fired after his defection to the U.S. in 1981? Is it not true that the U.N. Charter guarantees that employees will not be fired on the ground of having changed nationality?
Congress, by its actions, already has signalled Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar that it is displeased with the United Nations. In his answers to these suggested questions, he will reveal whether this congressional'dismay with the U.N. is warranted.
Juliana Geran Pilon, Ph.D. Senior Policy Analyst}}