Hammarskjold Advocates Secret Diplomacy; Cites Post-sinai Results

United Nations Secretary General Dag Hamnarskjold, addressing a public gathering at Ohio University today; advocated “private diplomacy” within the framework of the United Nations, as a means of peace-making, and cited the Egyptian-Israeli situation after the Sinai campaign as example.

“The Advisory Committee on the United Nations Emergency Force has done much to bring quiet to the armistice line between Egypt and Israel, ” he said. “This is a committee exclusively of smaller member states, most of whom have provided contingents serve in with the United Nations Force. Its work is an example of the practical value in the United Nations of a formal instrument of private diplomacy in carrying forward action once the main policy lines have been laid down by a decision of the General Assembly. That decision, in turn, was made by the General Assembly in the public proceedings of parliamentary diplomacy only after the informal procedures of private classical diplomacy had done their work.

“Thus, this case is an example of a kind of three-stage operation which is natural in the United Nations and which is capable of yielding constructive results for peace-making not to be achieved by other means: private diplomacy preceding public debate and then employed again to follow through, ” he pointed out.

I am confident that such private diplomacy, within the framework of the Security Council, can be usefully employed on other issues and, if so employed, could contribute in new directions to the importance of the role the Charter intended the Council to play in the task of peace-making, ” Mr. Hammarskjold declared. “I do not suggest that the Assembly and Councils of the United Nations should replace public by private diplomacy. far from it. Public debates must continue to be a primary function of these organs.”

The UN Secretary General added that since the “legislative” processes of the United Nations do not lead to legislation, and the power of decision remains in the hands of the national governments, the value of public debate in the United Nations can be measured only by the degree to which it contributes to the winning of agreement by the processes of diplomacy. ” If public debate contributes to winning consent either immediately or in the long run it serves the purpose of peace-making. If it does not so contribute, then it may be a useless, or even harmful exercise, ” he emphasized.

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