Focus on Issues Change Seen in U.S. Stance in UN Under the Reagan Administration
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Focus on Issues Change Seen in U.S. Stance in UN Under the Reagan Administration

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— While no major changes in U.S. policy toward Israel at the United Nations are expected as a result of the change of Administrations in Washington, diplomatic sources here predict nonetheless that the Reagan Administration will bring a change of style in its dealings with the world organization that will be favorable to Israel.

According to these sources, in the last four years there was a gap between Washington’s pronouncements concerning Israel and the U.S. pronouncements at the UN. During those four years, the sources noted, U.S. representatives at the UN courted the Third World countries and as a result, toned down their pronouncements of U.S. support for Israel. This gap, in the view of the diplomatic sources, will now be closed.

The forthcoming change in U.S. dealings with the Third World was clearly expressed by the new American Ambassador-designate to the UN, Jeane Kirkpatrick in her now famous Commentary article of November, 1979 in which she stated that “A position of continuous self-abasement and apology vis-a-vis the Third World is neither morally necessary nor politically appropriate.”


Kirkpatrick’s two predecessors, Ambassadors Donald McHenry and Andrew Young, were known for their courting of the Third World at the UN which many times operated to the disadvantage of Israel. The new American envoy has already declared that she doesn’t see her role at the UN as a molder of foreign policy.

“I have a very strict constructionist view of an Ambassador,” the former Georgetown University professor said in a recent interview. “The job of UN Ambassador is to represent the policy of his/her government without qualification or ambiguity, to do it as persuasively as possible. I do not expect to be making policy in New York. The Reagan Administration and the Haig State Department make policy.”

She added, however, that she hoped “to have some input through the Cabinet” on U.S. policy at the UN.


Israeli diplomats here expressed the hope and belief today that the traditional friendship and cooperation between Israel and the U.S. at the UN will continue. Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, said that his country “noted with satisfaction” the views President Reagan stated during the election campaign.

In that connection, Blum mentioned Reagan’s characterization of the Palestine Liberation Organization as a terrorist organization and his reference to the legality of Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

“We are also pleased with his pronouncements concerning Jerusalem,” Blum said, adding: “We are confident that these statements will reflect the attitude of the new Administration and that it will also be articulated by the new U.S. Ambassador to the UN.”

Kirkpatrick, herself, is known for her staunch support of Israel and has expressed it in many statements. According to political observers here, Kirkpatrick will bring to the UN a more pragmatic U.S. policy. The observers said that although the Reagan Administration is expected to put less emphasis than the Carter Administration on the UN in dealing with international problems and their solution, the U.S. nevertheless will be more involved with developments here and will not let anti-American forces gain ground.

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