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U.N. Assembly Opens; Crisis over Financing U.N. Forces in Gaza, Congo

December 2, 1964
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The 19th session of the United Nations General Assembly opened here today in an atmosphere electric with tension over fears that the world organization might break up, due to rigid disagreements between the United States and the Soviet Union over the financing of the UN forces stationed in the Gaza area on the Israeli-Egyptian borders and in Congo.

At issue in the financing dispute are the USSR’s failure to pay $52,600,000 it owes in assessments for UN operations in the Congo and in the maintenance of the United Nations Emergency Force in the Gaza area and at Sharm el-Sheikh, a Sinai height overlooking the Gulf of Akaba, Israel’s waterway to East Africa and Asia.

On the Assembly’s 92-point agenda, in addition to the financing problem and UNEF itself, is another issue of direct concern to Israel–the problem of the Arab refugees. The agenda contains also a number of items dealing with human rights, of interest to Jews all over the world.

The Assembly chose Alex Quaison-Sackey, of Ghana, as its president. Mr. Quaison-Sackey is the acknowledged dean of the African diplomatic corps here, since Ghana was the first of the new African states admitted to membership, in 1957. The Ghanian Government is considered friendly to Israel. After choosing the president and admitting three new members–Malta, Malawi and Zambia–bringing the total UN members tip to 115, the Assembly decided to start hearing the addresses by leading world statesmen regarding the major foreign policy affairs of their governments.


Israel’s address in that category is to be delivered within the next two weeks by Deputy Prime Minister Abba Eban, who will replace his Government’s Foreign Minister, Mrs. Golda Meir. She is ill, but is expected to come here early next month. Mr. Eban arrived in New York tonight.

The chairman of the Israel delegation is Ambassador Michael S. Comay, who has held that post since 1958. He is backed in the Assembly this year by a strong team of full ambassadors, including his permanent deputy, Dr. Joel Barromi; Gideon Rafael, one of the highest officials in the new Foreign Ministry at Jerusalem; Amiel E. Najar, envoy not only to Belgium and Luxembourg but also to the all-important European Economic Community, which has its headquarters in Brussels; and Dr. Shabtai Rosenne, legal advisor to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

Israel’s diplomatic team for the Assembly includes also a number of other experts in various vital fields. Among them are Daniel Lewin, director of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian department; Shlomo Hilil; Hanan Aynor, brought here from his ambassadorial post in Senegal; Uzi Nedivi, an economic expert, and Theodor Meron. Others on the 17-member Israeli group are Lt. Col. Jacob Monbaz; Simcha Dinitz, Rem Nirgad, David Ramin, Gershon Ben-Mikael, Gideon Yarden, and Dr. Meir Rosenne.

(In Montreal, it was announced today that Mrs. Saul Hayes, a member of the National Council of the Canadian Jewish Congress, is one of the members of the Canadian delegation to the UN General Assembly. Mrs. Hayes, a native Montrealer, is the immediate past president of the National Council of Women of Canada and a vice-president of the International Council of Women.)

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