May 21, 1987 | Executive Memorandum on Russia
U.N. NL4KES A DEAL WITH THE SOVEETSD eputy Secretary of State John Whitehead recently has confirmed reports that United Natiofis Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar intends to waive the U.N.'s April 1986 freeze on recruitment of personnel in the U.N. Secretariat This is curious since the U.N. is stpl by its own account suffening from a Thiancial crisis: The freeze, along with normal attrition, has reduced the U.N.'s bloated bureauw" by only 9 percent so far-far short of the 15 percent called for by l a st yeaes "Group of EAperts' Committee Report on U.N. management and budget reform. Even more curious and alarming is the fact that the Secretary-General apparently has , d the Soviet Union that it will be allowed to rotate some 104 new Soviet nationals gt o fthwe Secretariat over the next 18 months, ostensibly to replace Soviets whose U.N. contracts have ,ed. Such rotation may already have begun. There are two serious problems with M.F. 1) It clearly violates the letter and spirit of Article 100 of the U.N. C harter, which states that: in the performance of their d@ties the Secretary-General and the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any government or from any other authority external to the Organization. 2) Many of these new Soviets are expecte d by Reagan Administration officials to be line officers of the KGB and GRU, the principal Soviet intelligence agencies. Ile Kremlin long has used U.N. headquarters in New York Ckty as a base for espionage operations and continuall has placed professional i ntelligence officers in the U.N. Secretariat. In fact, since 1W some 66 Soviets have been expellFd pu@licly from the Soviet Mission to the U.N. and the U.N. Secretariat for engaging in espionage. A number of recent actions by Congress'and the Reagan Admin i stration have complicated U.S.-based Soviet *intelligence operations. Toremost among these was Ronald Re-qmn's order expelling 25 officials attached to the Soviet Mission to the U.N. in late 1986. ISis effectively decapitated the KGB and GRU leadership ca dre in New York.
Similarly, congressionall- mandated travel controls and restrictions on the number of Soviet and Soviet-bloc o= allowed in the U& also have hindered MoscoWs spying. Endorsing MoscoWs Game. The employment of new Soviets by the Secretariat , however, would give the USSR the opportunity to rebuild its intelligence capabilities. Senator Robert Kasten, the Wisconsin Republican, lot week warned his Senate colleagues that the admission of new Soviets "...would mean that the Soviet Union would be allowed to obviate measures which our country rightly has taken to reduce the threat of hostile :intelligence activities on American soil by moving new intelligence officers into New York through the back door of the U.N. Secretariat-an effort supported, m oreover, through American taxpayer dollars." Ile rotation of new Soviets into so-called Soviet jobs in the Secretariat, moreover, would represent a virtual endorsement of the bureaucratic game by which the Soviets maintain control over entire chunks of th e U.N. bureaucracy. Nearly every one of the 265 Soviet nationals in the U.N. Secretariat in New York are "seconded! to the U.N.; that is, they are assigned to the U.N. on temporary, fixed-term contracts, and are thus effectively still under the control of t he USSR-not the U.N. This prevents Soviet nationals from ever ing as international civil servants, in contrast to how Americans, French, =y S= fiationals from most oth or countries serve. Ibis ractice of '@r ir@aj secondment! also allows Moscow to own ri- 7 jobs in numerous Ulf functional p rtments. Although this has been criticized severely by a wide variety of governments, Officials, and U.N. bbservers and does violate the U.N. Charter, the Secretary-General now seems to be condoning it. Continue the Hiri n g Freeze. To protect American security from Soviet espionage and to keep the U.N. on a path toward genuine reform, the.&@ - @= Administration should continite to protest yiprously the a4tions of U.N. Secre Perez de Cuellar. lbough Secretary of State Georg e Shultz already has spo to Perez de Cuellar, the Secretary has yet to receive a satisfactory response. At the very least, the U.S. must insist on the.contimiation of the U.N. hiring freeze and must make clear that U.S. entry visas for. known or suspected S oviet intelligence officers simply will be denied. The U.S. Congress should consider pass mIg a sense of the Congress resolution criticizing the Secretary-Generars actions. Congress @Iso should strongly consider further withholding of U.S. funding for the U.N, since experience has shown that the U.N. responch best to financial pressure. It is only through such strong and decisive action that the U.S. can keep the UN. reform movement-as half-hearted as it is-on track. lbomas E.L Dewey Policy AnalystF or fwther informadon: Charles M. Lkhenstein, Ty Breaking tha RWes, Moscow Keep a 71*f Grip on dw U.Nw Heritage Foundation BackgWmder No. 526, JWy 23, 15%& p>