UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Oct. 19)
General Assembly President Edvard I. Hambro of Norway, who personally favors “quiet diplomacy” toward a Mideast solution, said today that “it would be very bad indeed for the United Nations if the membership should refuse to discuss urgent matters because they might lead to disagreement.” He spoke at an Editors’ Round-table in reference to an Assembly debate on the Mideast that is expected to get under way Oct. 26 or 27. It was requested by Egyptian Ambassador Mohammed H. el-Zayyat. “The worst possible thing for the United Nations.” he said, “is if we don’t even discuss the issues in front of the world. People listen to what is said in the United Nations, and they listen not only to what is said but to what is not said, and the echo of silence might be as dangerous as the echo of disagreement.” Dr. Hambro added that “even if the debate should be acrimonious and should be disagreeable and difficult, it is still just a picture of the international community as it is today, and that is one of the realities we will have to face.” Dr. Hambro, who made substantially the same observations on NBC-TV’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, is obliged to schedule a debate if members ask for it. The timing of such a debate is up to him. In his television interview Mr. Hambro also declared: “I know there are people who regret this (discussion in the UN) and feel that nothing good can come of it. But we must realize also that it would be a cause for deep regret if the greatest issues were not even discussed in the General Assembly because they were too burning and too difficult.”
A spokesman for the Israeli Mission said the Egyptian request added another obstacle to the establishment of peace in the Mideast and the resumption of the peace talks under Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring. The United States, while favoring “quiet diplomacy.” has not publicly expressed “no objection” to the debate. Britain fears that “extreme” remarks in such a confrontation would not be conducive to progress toward agreement. It is understood that Britain would consider the polarization of the Assembly and the failure to formulate a consensus declaration to be deplorable. President Kenneth D. Kaunda of Zambia urged today that the United Nations bring about a just peace “for all the people” in the Middle East. Addressing the commemorative session of the General Assembly, Mr. Kaunda emphasized that “all the people” included the Palestinians. Israel should abide by the provisions of Security Council Resolution 242, declared the leader of Zambia, an African nation that has been critical of Israeli interpretations of the resolution’s provision on withdrawal from occupied Arab territories.
Welcoming the Mideast cease-fire, Mr. Kaunda called on the major powers to agree on “a policy of reciprocal abstention from local conflicts.” The UN, he declared, should “not only seek corrective measures but should take preventive measures” in the interest of peace. The African diplomat also recommended avoidance by the permanent members of the Security Council of misuse of their veto powers. “The outlook for the seventies is bleak.” he contended, adding that unless the smaller nations “unite to defend their own interests by strengthening the United Nations.” they will “fall victim to regional conflicts, the flames of which will be fanned from the major capitals of the world.” Secretary of State William P. Rogers was to meet again in New York tonight with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko, with whom he had a discouraging meeting last Friday. Also present will be U.S. Ambassador Charles W. Yost, Assistant Secretary of State Joseph J. Sisco and Donald C. Bergus, the U.S. representative in Cairo. Dr. Jarring and Dr. Hambro will attend a formal dinner tonight tendered by Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah. British Prime Minister Edward Heath will confer with Mr. Rogers tomorrow morning and expects to meet also with Dr. Jarring and with Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad of Egypt. On Friday, Secretary General U Thant will host a dinner for the Big Four Foreign Ministers and UN ambassadors, with Dr. Jarring also invited.