WASHINGTON (Nov. 13)
Gaston Thorn, president of the United Nations General Assembly, said today he was pleased that President Ford did not believe in retaliating against the UN because the General Assembly adopted the anti-Zionist resolution but would instead oppose it from within the organization.
“I’m personally convinced that it would be a bad thing to reconsider participation in the United Nations or cut back on financial support,’ he told a press conference. Thorn, who met with Ford and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger yesterday and dined with Ford at the White House last night, added, “I’m very happy that the President shared my point of view.” Thorn, who is also Prime Minister of Luxembourg, added, “We should not just quit and have bad-tempered or bad-humored relations. We have to fight such things inside the United Nations.”
The Assembly president said he felt that the domination of the body by Third World countries was a mistake since “there should be more concern to get a general consensus,” He also noted that “the majority of the Assembly does not find itself committed or bound by what you or I consider to be democratic principles,” Following the Assembly vote, Thorn, speaking as the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, castigated the 32 nations which abstained in the vote and warned that the Assembly’s action had “evil consequences” that “will appear only too soon.”
In a related development today, White House Press Secretary Ron Nessen affirmed that Ford did not intend to reduce the amount of money the Administration has asked for to fund the United States’ share of the UN budget, Nessen had said yesterday that “The President asked for the amount of money which he feels is the appropriate amount to ask for as the U.S. contribution to the UN.” He repeated that statement this morning.
When reminded that the Administration submitted its request for UN funding before the General Assembly adopted its anti-Zionist resolution Monday and asked whether the President still regarded the requested sum as appropriate, Nessen replied, “I have not asked him that specific question,” But the question appeared to have been answered by Thorn’s report of what the President told him when they dined last night.