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Arab-sponsored Attempt to Oust Israel from Itu Fails

November 8, 1982
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An Arab-sponsored attempt to oust Israel from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for its actions in Lebanon this summer failed as the six-week meeting of the ITU in Nairobi, Kenya concluded yesterday with Israel remaining a member of the United Nations technical agency.

The Arab-inspired resolution, which sought to exclude Israel from the UN agency “as long as Israel does not fulfill its international obligations,” was thwarted in part by the efforts of the Reagan Administration.

Secretary of State George Shultz issued a stem warning against any attempt to bar Israel’s participation from any UN agency and said the U.S. would walk out of the ITU conference and withdraw all U.S. funding should such a move succeed. The U.S. provides $3.2 million, or seven percent of the ITU’s current $46 million budget.

Nevertheless, an amended version of the Arab-sponsored resolution was adopted during the meeting by a vote of 84-31 with 13 abstentions, condemning the “continuing violation by Israel of the international law and the massacres of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians.”

The amendment was sponsored by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway and England. The U.S. voted against the amended version of the resolution because it was “objectionable and unbalanced.”

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