UNITED NATIONS (Dec. 12)
United States Ambassador John Scali reaffirmed today the American position he enunciated last Friday that the UN was being tyrannized by a new majority seeking unrealistic and impossible goals and that the world organization was losing the confidence of the American people and others as a result.
Scali made his remarks at this morning’s General Assembly debate on ways to strengthen the UN role after “third world” delegates sharply attacked the earlier criticism leveled by the U.S. and West European delegations.
“As we seek to strengthen the performance of the UN, I hope we can concentrate more on meaningful dialogue rather than oratory,” the U.S. envoy said. Responding to an accusation made today by the Algerian Ambassador, Abdellatif Rahal, that his Friday speech was an exercise in public relations, Scali said that anyone who seriously believed that misjudged the mood of the American people. He said that despite “extreme statements” by some delegates today, he would continue to do his best to persuade his countrymen that the General Assembly could return to the paths of the Charter and serve the interests of all its members.
BOUTEFLIKA’S ACTION DEFENDED
The attack on the American and European positions was led off by the Algerian envoy who rejected the “extravagant warning” made by the U.S. and its allies. He defended the move by the General Assembly’s President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, in limiting Israel’s participation in the Palestine debate.
Referring to “the delegation in question” without mentioning Israel by name, Rahal accused Israel of showing contempt for the General Assembly and trying to upset its proceedings. He said that those delegations rebelling against the new majority were previously the majority themselves. The old majority, he said partitioned Palestine despite the strong opposition of the then minority.
Scali’s statement last Friday was warmly praised by Yosef Tekoah, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN. The U.S. envoy had sharply condemned the “tyranny of the majority” — the Arab, Afro-Asian and Communist member states of the UN — and criticized several UN and UNESCO actions, including the deferential treatment accorded to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the reverse discrimination against Israel during the General Assembly debate on the Palestine issue, the exclusion of South Africa from the remainder of this year’s Assembly session, and the anti-Israel resolutions adopted by UNESCO.