Special of the week; Issue 16-70 "Great Decisions"
And E.R. the national educational radio network presents a special of the way. This is the last in the series of eight from w d e t. Wayne State University in Detroit in the 1970s. Great Decisions must be made in foreign policy. We talked with the Honorable William P. Rogers secretary of state. Well I think we always have to have hope that the world may be peaceful and certainly those of us in the next administration do have that hope. It has to be coupled with a real ism however. And I suppose we'll ism requires us to say that it's going to continue to be trouble in many areas of the world. That was the Honorable William P. Rogers secretary of state. Great Decisions 1970 today the United Nations the final program of this eight week series focusing attention on the most critical issues of foreign policy facing the American government and people today. These programs produced by Wayne
State University in Detroit. I designed to provide a deeper understanding of international problems. Now here is your moderator dean of administration at Wayne State University Dr. Harlan Hagman. The Honorable Glenn AOL's United States ambassador to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations about the organization created in the climate of 25 years a gold out of the 1970s should be reorganized and is it in the interest of the United States to have a more dynamic and effective United Nations. Well as a newcomer to the U.N. field and certainly modern diplomacy I suppose I speak with a more abrasive voice on this point and others who are more accustomed to the machinery. My own feeling is that the twenty fifth anniversary which we celebrate this year is an appropriate time for a radical review of the basic organization structure and function of the UN.
In my particular area in the economic and social field we are subjecting the organization to that major reassessment in the Jackson capacity study which has to do with the whole organizational capability of the U.N. in this field is our principal agenda for this year. It follows that the two principal functions of the US and one to keep the peace and to make the conditions that sustain peace in the economic and social front continue and whatever organization will reflect that twofold function of the UN. But clearly the world of 1900 was radically different in kind than ours today. And there are. Major accommodations in terms of the nature of the problems the priorities and even the character of the power and the persons in the form of nations that comprise it. So I think it is the time and the need is certainly
present. Dr. olds is it going to be necessary to make basic charter changes or can we accommodate some changes without changing the charter. Well this is where I say I have sort of a minority in this view. I believe that we should have prepared for and pointed to our basic charter changes. But I think the mood in the delegations with whom I deal daily is that the talk about changing a charter is like moving a graveyard. And that virtually everyone would argue that there's ample room for major improvement without charter change and that's certainly true in our field we can basically reorganize the relation of the specialized agencies in their coordination and the United Nations Development Program and so forth without any. Basic charter change a major problem of the United Nations Mr. Ambassador as been the matter of financing the organization. What can be done to resolve that problem.
Well I've I got into my first hot water with Washington over this innocent question. Shortly after I was sworn in as an investor I proposed innocently and without instruction that I thought there were a number of ways that you could finance the UN without particularly contribution of governments. But I suppose having burnt my hands once I ought not to indulge in this a second time. Let me say that from the point of view of nation the interest on the part of governments. There are ways of indirect taxation or direct contribution that seem to me to be ample for the support. The irony of this is that most people don't realize how pitiful in size the nature of this budget is. I was responsible as executive dean for the State University of New York for a budget three times the size of the total budget of the UN system. It
amounts to roughly 28 cents per person per year. Mr. Frank Kelly is vice president of the Center for the Study of democratic institutions. But tell me is there any future for the United Nations after 25 years of effort. Well I think if there's no future for the United Nations there may be no future for mankind. The charter of the U.N. of course was drawn up by representatives of 50 nations in San Francisco in 1045 And I think that the blame for the failures of the United Nations rests largely upon the nations themselves they failed to make it as effective as it could be and as it should be. But many of the affiliated agencies the Food and Agricultural Organization the World Health Organization International Civil Aviation Organization the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund you Nesco U.N. Development Fund the International Monetary Fund the World Meteorological Organization are playing indispensable
roles in the enormously complicated world civilization which the security and future prosperity of the United States depends. Coming there seems to be a feeling on the part of many Americans that the United Nations is hopelessly weak and outmoded and unable to meet sizable problems. Yet we know that 80 percent of the activities of the United Nations are in the areas of the economic and social rather than political. I'm not sure do you regard the United Nations as being a success or a failure. Well I don't think you can answer it on the whole in a way I think that it's been both a success and a failure. I think one of its failures has been a failure to communicate. And this failure can be placed partly at the door of our news media. I think the media cover principally the political arguments the debates of the United Nations General Assembly's and the dramatic clashes at the meetings of the Security Council but they largely in the electoral work of such organizations as International Labor Organization which won a Nobel Peace Prize this year
and this award of the Nobel Prize came as a kind of a shock to many people who were not aware of that for 50 years the Aiello has been performing and enormously important work in raising the standards of labor in the treatment of working people throughout the world. And a suggestion I have made for an annual report on the state of mankind to be presented by the United Nations would do something I think to bridge this information gap so that people would know about the successes of the UN as well as about its failures. I think that one of the important things the United Nations has got to do is to become a personal factor in the lives of the people of the world. It is now regarded as you say as a distant organization a group of ambassadors of governments. And my suggestion was that once a year the secretary general of the United Nations should present an annual report to humanity about the principal problems of concern to people as individuals. And I would like to see this first report consist of the secretary general
in a dialogue with youth around the world. I note that you found has recently expressed interest in a nationwide TV channel on American campuses on the subject of hauling pollution. And he has in recent speeches. Expressed his own realisation that many young people regard the UN as outmoded ineffective. Not much for the future. So the annual report on mankind would show the United Nations concerned about individual people as people not simply concerned about governmental relations. Mr Samuel de Palma assistant secretary of state for international organisation affairs Mr. DePalma can the United Nations be useful in peacekeeping if its military arm is either weak or nonexistent when it can be useful but we have to define. First I think what kind of use can properly be made of the organisation.
It is not realistic to think of the United Nations in this day and age as a an organization disposing of military forces of the kind that could actively go out and over a position. We have to think rather of an organization which lists the cooperation of its members in particular of the major powers at least to the degree of being able to put in the field a group of observers or a contingent of military forces to supervise a cease fire to keep hostilities down and once politically they have been brought to an end. It may be that in the course of that mission the U.N. force would have to defend itself against an incident or another. But the UN force of the kind we have to think of these days would be to conduct military operations as such. So therefore I don't think the question arises as to whether the UN is impotent because it can't mount that kind of a
military operation. I think if we think of it in terms of what it can do there are still great areas where there is a need for this kind of a peacekeeping operation and indeed the difficulty is that we. Have not gone a reliable and really effective system for mounting even the kind of peacekeeping missions to which I referred. I sort of follow the United Nations organization that is 25 years old now. Is it time to reorganize it. Is it in the interest of the United States to have more dynamic a more effective United Nations. It is certainly in our interest to have as effective a United Nations as is humanly possible. The United Nations I think you know a very particular way fulfills our room national aspirations and implements our own national interests because we are a
country which. And this is not a moral judgment but we are a country which happens to be a satisfied country in terms of world power indeed. Some of us think we've had more of it than we care for. We don't we don't aspire to territory. In other words we have a basic interest in the rule of law throughout the world and instability in peaceful change. This is what the United Nations was designed to do so that it didn't in fact anything we can do to revitalize the United Nations would be in our immediate national self-interest. And I think that we will have an occasion during this year to think very hard about this possibility because as you know this is the twenty fifth anniversary of the organization. And I think the time has come for a new and harder look. I think the real question that arises in some people's minds is whether it is an occasion for celebration or primarily for a stocktaking And I think it's an occasion
for both. And we ought to use it for both you know just Nations now as an organization of 100 and 46 member nations most of which are very small many of which are very underdeveloped many of which are struggling to be again. Is it in the interest is it safe for the United States to risk. Our own national security in the hands of what may be our own and take on the stick. Predictable fellow members of the United Nations. Well there isn't really much risk because the United Nations was founded with a fairly realistic appraisal of the possibilities. And under the charter of the United Nations we have control over our own security interests. For example in the Security Council we have a veto if we wish to resort to it. We have not had to do so yet. The recommendations of
the General Assembly are just that they are not decisions. They are not legally legally binding decisions they are recommendations. We would like to support General Assembly resolutions and we certainly do in their main and whenever we can. If however we find that we differ with them we are not compelled to support them. So the question of our being. It's too out of lead to do things they were made to do things by a majority of very small countries doesn't really arise I think what does happen in the United Nations of course is that one does see a confrontation. Certain kinds of issues when the issue when the question is one of assistance desired by the less developed countries for economic development for example or when the United Nations is considering the potential benefits that might be derived from the exploitation of the deep sea beds to which no one over which no one now claims any sovereignty then obviously the
less developed countries tend to gang up against not specifically or alone the United States but against all the major developed countries. And that I think is an inevitable and natural thing it would happen with or without the United Nations. But on security questions our national interests very amply protected. Mrs. Elizabeth Mann senior fellow on Sutter for the Study of democratic institutions. You know people at the United Nations. Chance for success in those two critical areas in the in treaties for example of agreement with respect to outer space with trees with respect to use of the sea beds. Yes I think so. I very definitely think so. It's going to be a difficult because the idea is that we are confronted with yet so new and many nations including the United States. But it would appear you have not yet formed a definite policies on them. And of
course that takes time. But. I think as time goes by. Something very very useful to me emerge there that may not only be constructive in itself but really all the ways to the evolution of the United Nations as a whole. This is already the development of the seabed problem. There's at least two aspects one is the exploitation of the seabed as a means of developing food and other things. The other of course would be the possible military use of the seabed. How do you think the United Nations can act effectively in either of these areas. Well I think that here for the first time really for the first time there is the possibility of a breakthrough in the disarmament and arms control field. And the reason is precisely because it is connected with the developmental aspect. That
is we are in a position here I should say for the first time in international relations of creating what I call a peace system. And disarmament Arms Control and Disarmament would sort of funnel almost one might say logical if we can't the two things our luggages we cannot go ahead with building a peace system and advancing development and at the same time lauding the place with explosives. I mean you see but it would it would become absurd. The arms race in the oceans would become obsolete and go out of business I think completely. But the various nations are beginning to exploit our resources many many miles out at sea. How does us know. And it sort of represented an area of conflict that is so serious that the United Nations may not be able to deal with it. The major companies are especially the oil companies the mining companies are not yet as far ahead as that. But the oil companies
are a problem at this moment. I think they will have to play a major role in any kind of regime that is set up. There would have to assume a new responsibility and play a new role in international decision making. Until that is defined by them and for them and with them they will try to strike out of their own and in fact I think that they're a major factor in slowing down American policymaking in this in this area in order to make the United Nations effective will we not as a nation that is United States who will not have to give some of our power surrender some of our autonomy to United Nations as a form of world government. Is there any other route possible. Well I have both sort of the feeling that that all this terminology you know about giving up sovereignty transferring powers is somewhat antiquated because it reflects
thinking in terms of. It means 19th century situation. I do not think that the United States the United Nations will ever become a state in the old sense and I don't believe in a super state I don't believe in the sense in a world state. I believe in a well organized and well run world community and in which we devise new modes of cooperating not of transferring powers. Are these things we'd be more or less safe in forcing you know even the question of enforcement I think is one that is that reflects a mentality that's rapidly going out of business it doesn't mean a sense anymore. I mean take for instance the International Aviation border tickly international postal union. They don't have enforcement powers but it's in your own interest to cooperate nobody would question. His corporation everybody operates for the most part is with respect to the seabed would not
be desirable and there are thought to have all the nations surrender they control of the seabed to say out beyond 12 miles or some such figure. A central organization such as United Nations. I don't like the word surrender because I don't think that surrendering anything that the oceans beyond present national jurisdiction are no man's land that their common property of mankind. I like that phrase. I think that its legal implications have not yet adequately been explored and this again belongs into this realm of very new ideas that we have to come to grips with before we can establish a regime. I think what we are going to create in this in this area and not only in this area is a new form of cooperation. And it doesn't imply some render of policy. We return to Mr. Frank Kelly Mr. Kelly before we can resolve
the problems of our environment gruesome pollution and water are not necessary and so on. Will we not need to use United Nations primarily to solve our problems the political differences our wars. Well I think there's a definite turn against war I think the United States and the Soviet Union long ago reached a tacit understanding that they would not go to war with each other. I think the progress that's being made through the strategic arms limitations talks in Helsinki is another sign of hope. And I think that the United Nations has helped in all this because it has offered a forum a place where our differences can be expressed sometimes rather explosively. But then the representatives can get together privately and talk more calmly about ways of preventing war. I think of that the Middle East is probably the most dangerous area left and I think even there that will not come to a situation in which there
will be a full scale war. If you find that the Middle East problem is beyond the power of the United Nations to meet adequately It seems to be beyond anybody's power at this particular time. I have heard from people who have been in the area that the guerrilla forces there are extremely powerful that some of the leaders of the Arab countries would be willing to reach some kind of a modus vivendi with the Israelis. But there are lives would be immediately endangered that they would probably be shot or assassinated. And I think this is a factor that world opinion often overlooks that. But it also is a factor that may make a possibility of peace because I think Nasser and some of the Arab leaders are just as concerned about the threat to them of these guerrilla forces within their own countries as they are about the Israelis. And so I think that somehow there will be a
continuation of skirmishes but no all out war because this will expose the Arab countries to I think to internal struggles between the guerrillas and the governmental forces. It has been suggested Mr. President certainly the United Nations of a large number of very small nations prevents that kind of an organization which is necessary to our times. Do you agree to that. Well I think it can reach a point beyond any sensible size. That is what I mean is that if you have a country with only 100000 people or something like that I really can't see the logic of having them have an ambassador at the United Nations. I think that perhaps some of the smaller countries could be represented on a regional basis that there could be a grouping of certain small countries who will like a representative to the United Nations and might be solved in that way I think it's going to extremes in every country.
You know even if it's 50000 people can petition to be recognized by the United Nations. Once again Ambassador Holmes 80 percent of the activities of the United Nations are in the social and economic areas and not in peacekeeping. Some accomplishments are notable but are the achievements real contributions in any significant measure to the solution of the truly crucial problems of the world today. Well here you get my obvious bias I'm a misplaced philosopher and humanist and have the conviction that most of the problems in the world finally root in the in the Nati nature of human nature. In this respect the work of the 85 percent of the UN for which I carry responsibility seems to me to be directly related. To ameliorating the conditions of man both economic and social. And through the educational and Hilton other measures in Hansing
ennobling the character and promise of May and which seems to me to be the only long term possibilities of real peace in the world. Obviously in the short run we have to restrain man's propensity to power. And this is the vocation of the Security Council. In the long run we have to modify the basic human conditions of poverty and disease in ignorance which breed fear and hostility and is the charter of UNESCO's says since wars begin in the minds of men we really have to get at them by this particular route and in this area. This story of course is less is more prosaic less dashing and stirring for the news media and is rarely understood by people they Honorable William P. Rogers United States secretary of state responded to an inquiry on the hope for peace. Well I think we always have to have hope but the world may be peaceful and
certainly those of us in the next administration do have that hope. It has to be couple with realism however and I suppose realism requires us to say that it's going to continue to be trouble in many areas of the world. We would hope that because of the realisation on the part of the two major powers that they now have the nuclear potential of destroying each other regardless of which starts the conflict there the potential for world conflagration is diminished. And if mankind can be sensible enough to recognize the importance of working together the interdependency that exists in the world today it's possible in the years to come there may be some way to work out a peaceful solution to the problem of the world. I must say it is somewhat discouraging though because a lot of the problems that exist in the world
provide leaders in the area with political potential they exploit the problem for political purposes. And sometimes you have the impression that they're more concerned about their own political future than the welfare of the people in the area. And I would hope that. As time goes on that the public will become more aware that that's happening to them. In most cases if the problems could be in a sensible way peaceful way everyone bet would benefit to such a considerable extent that all the arguments about principles and justice and fairness and all that would be long forgotten. I notice for example that in discussions involving the inflamed areas of the world people argue about having exact justice equality and fairness. But if they could forget that for a moment just say to themselves how much better we'd be if we could work out a peaceful settlement because then we'd
all be happy and there's plenty of opportunity for all of us. The area is viable but whether that's possible or not I'm not sure it's going to require a good deal of patience and I suppose a good deal more public education before that could be achieved the mean time we have to maintain our strength. Great Decisions 1970 program number 8 the United Nations the final program in this series. Our moderator Dr. Harlan Hagman dean of administration at Wayne State University had as his guests the Honorable William P. Rogers United States secretary of state the honorable Glen old United States ambassador to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Mr. Frank Kelley vice president for the Center for the Study of democratic institutions. Mr. Samuel de Palma Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs and Mrs. Elizabeth Mann board JS a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of democratic institutions. Great Decisions 1970 is produced by Wayne State University in
- Special of the week
- Issue 16-70 "Great Decisions"
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- APA: Special of the week; Issue 16-70 "Great Decisions". Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-ww76zh05