Hammarskjold Stresses “non-aggression” Pledge by Arabs in Report to U.N.
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Hammarskjold Stresses “non-aggression” Pledge by Arabs in Report to U.N.

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Secretary General Dag Hammarskiold today re-emphasized the United Nations determination to insist that all member states keep their pledge to pursue a Middle East policy of “non-interference and non-aggression” in relation to all nations in the region.

He renewed this determination, which had been pledged explicitly in the Arab-sponsored resolution adopted August 21 by the Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly which debated the crisis among the Arab states in the Middle East. While neither the resolution nor Mr. Hammarskjold mentioned Israel, the pledge of non-interference and non-aggression has been interpreted here all along as referring to Arab-Israel relations as well as to inter-Arab relations.

Mr. Hammarskjold’s re-emphasis of the need for a Middle East “good neighbor policy” came in a special report he filed this morning with the regular session of the General Assembly. The report had been called for in the unanimously-approved Arab resolution of August 21 which assigned to the Secretary General the task of making “practical arrangement” for withdrawal of American troops from Lebanon and British troops from Jordan and for other steps to ease the crisis.

The Hammarskjold report was so careful to leave Israel out of the intra-Arab conflict that it did not even mention the fact that the Secretary General had visited Jerusalem during his recent Middle East trip. The report referred to the Secretary General’s itinerary, which included conferences at Amman, Cairo, Bagdad and Beirut–but there was no reference to the fact that Mr. Hammarskjold had also “dropped in” at Jerusalem for a two-hour meeting with Israel’s Premier David Ben Gurion.

Mr. Hammarskjold implied clearly that the entire Middle East crisis may still have to be discussed further either by the General Assembly or by the Security Council. This implication was made in connection with mention of the possibility that the two major United Nations organs may be called upon for action if a UN special ambassador in Amman reports further grave difficulties.


Initial reactions to Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold’s report varied widely from a cautious “welcome” by Western sources to dissatisfaction expressed by leading Arab spokesmen, both pro and anti-Nasser.

As far as Israel is concerned, the spokesman for its delegation pointed out only that the Secretary General has reiterated the applicability of the August Assembly’s Middle East resolution “to all member states of the region.” Other Israeli circles expressed the hope that Mr. Hammarskjold’s new arrangements would help maintain the status quo in the region.

A spokesman for the British delegation spoke in a similar vein, asserting that London “welcomes the arrangements and hopes that these steps will continue to help stabilize the situation in the area.” The American delegation was not yet ready to make any comment, declaring only that it was studying the Hammarskjold document.

Mr. Hammarskjold reported to the General Assembly that he is appointing two “high level” United Nations Ambassadors to represent him in the Middle East. One of these ambassadors. Pier P. Spinelli, Under Secretary in charge of the UN European office in Geneva, is already in Amman and will establish two “liaison” offices in the region–one in the UAR Syrian sub capital of Damascus, the other in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut. The other ambassador, not yet named, will maintain his headquarters in UN headquarters here but will be free to go to all the Middle East capitals except Amman.

The first attack on the report came from Mohammed Ahmed Mahgoub, Sudan’s Foreign Minister, who was Nasser’s candidate for the presidency of the General Assembly. Dr. Mahgoub warned the Assembly that as long as British and American troops had not yet been withdrawn from Jordan and Lebanon his delegation reserved the right to lay before the Assembly a special agenda item which would force resumption of full scale debate of the Middle East crisis.

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