International Organizations United States. Congress. House. Committee on Forei.

The United Nations at fifty : hearing before the Subcommittee on International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, October 24, 1994 online

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guished panelists.

Once again, Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.

Thank you, Mr. Bereuter.

Mr. Lantos. Thank you very much, Congresswoman Pelosi, for
your most generous comments and for your excellent observations.

July 16, 1982, is a memorable day on my calendar because, as
Chairman of the Permanent U.S. Congressional Delegation to the
European Parliament, we were at Stanford University when the
announcement of Secretary Shultz's appointment to be Secretary of
State took place. It was on that day that the Secretary was sworn
in as the 60th U.S. Secretary of State, and he served with extraor-
dinary distinction until January 20, 1989.

It is an understatement to suggest that Secretary Shultz is one
of the great statesmen of the 20th century. I am profoundly grate-



8

ful for having had the opportunity of serving on the Committee on
Foreign Affairs during his entire tenure as Secretary of State.

Dr. Shultz graduated from Princeton where he received his Bach-
elor's Degree in Economics in 1942. He joined the U.S. Marine
Corps in that year and served with enormous distinction through
1945.

In 1949, he earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Economics from MIT.
He taught at that institution for a decade while serving, during a
year's leave of absence, as a Senior Economist on the President's
Council of Economic Advisors.

In 1957, Secretary Shultz was appointed Professor of Industrial
Relations at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Busi-
ness. He was named Dean of the Graduate School of Business in
1962. From 1968 to 1969, he was a Fellow at the Center for Ad-
vanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.

Secretary Shultz served as Secretary of Labor in 1969 and 1970,
subsequently, as Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
He became Secretary of the Treasury in May, 1972, and served
with great distinction through 1974.

For a long period of time, between 1974 until his appointment as
Secretary of State, he was President and Director of the Bechtel
Group in San Francisco. He also served part-time during this same
period on the faculty of the Stanford University.

Following his distinguished service as Secretary of State, a serv-
ice that was characterized by a high degree of intelligence and ana-
lytical capability; leadership qualities; and most importantly, un-
paralleled integrity he returned to Stanford as Professor of Inter-
national Economics at the Graduate School of Business and became
a Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

He has a tremendous range of enormously valuable publications,
the most important of which is, 'Turmoil and Triumph, My Years
as Secretary of State."

I must admit, Mr. Secretary, I just recently finished reading it
for the third time. It is so meaty and substantive that a couple of
readings didn't do it.

Secretary Shultz holds honorary degrees from a number of distin-
guished institutions— from Princeton to the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem.

We on the Foreign Affairs Committee are profoundly honored
that you have accepted our invitation. I want to invite you to pro-
ceed with your testimony any way you choose.

STATEMENT OF THE HON. GEORGE P. SHULTZ, FORMER SEC-
RETARY OF STATE, DISTINGUISHED FELLOW, THE HOOVER
INSTITUTION

Mr. Shultz. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I appreciate the chance to appear before this subcommittee. And
I appreciated your own opening comments and the opening com-
ments of your colleagues, Congressman Bereuter and Congress-
woman Pelosi. And I appreciate the chance to appear before them.

I appreciate your opening comments, particularly your plug for
my book. I hope a lot of people wrote that down.

I serve as cochairman, one of the cochairmen of the San Fran-
cisco effort that marks the anniversary of the U.N. And I know all



of us working on that appreciate the fact that you are here on U.N.
Day to call attention to what we are trying to do.

We have a lot of programs that we are planning. They are going
to be very interesting and exciting. Everybody should come. Among
them are former U.N. Ambassadors, U.S. -U.N. Ambassadors, I
think we have 10 who have accepted to come and be part of the
panel. I can hardly wait to be part of the colorful change between
Pat Moynihan and Jeane Kirkpatrick.

Everybody should come to the San Francisco celebration. But as
we have talked about it, we have thought very much in the line,
as it turns out, of the opening statements made by all three of you;
that this is not an occasion when we just throw our hats in the air.
It is more an occasion where if we want to be helpful to the U.N.
in the future, we should be thoughtful, and we should recognize
that there are real problems as well as opportunities, and we
should make this an occasion for a serious examination in a con-
structive spirit, but nevertheless, a serious examination of what
the issues are and what things could be done to allow the organiza-
tion to work well in the future. So that is kind of the spirit of my
testimony.

And what I will do is first talk about six ideas that it seems to
me should be borne in mind having to do with international organi-
zations generally, not just the U.N., but mostly I will address the
U.N., and then I will give a few examples of areas where it seems
to me the U.N. has operated effectively and some where it has not
operated effectively, to see what instructs us, so to speak, by look-
ing at these examples.

So that is what I thought I would do here this morning.

The first point I would like to make is

Mr. Lantos. Can you in the back hear the Secretary?

Mr. Secretary, could I impose

Mr. Shultz. How is this?

Mr. Lantos. Much better.

Mr. Shultz. The first area I would like to explore and comment
on is this: If the U.N. and some of the associated regional and eco-
nomic organizations did not exist, we would have to invent them,
because they are needed. And it would be much more difficult to
invent them today than it was when they were invented and put
into being here in San Francisco, or at least the U.N. was here, 50
years ago.

They provide a forum for a big world that, as you noted, is very
diverse. They undertake quite a variety of tasks; peacekeeping and
peacemaking, and such things as Congressman Bereuter noted,
draw the attention right now, but there are a lot of other things
that are done by these organizations. And it is hard to see how
they could be done if you didn't have some organized way to do it.

So anyway, my first point, therefore, is that these organizations
are needed. That only underscores the importance of not abusing
them, not using them in a wrong way and trying to use them in
a way that will help them succeed.

So as you will see by what I say subsequently, that calls for some
restraint, for some choice, for some recognition that these organiza-
tions can only do what the countries of the world, and I think you



10

have to say, largely the great powers, decide they want the organi-
zation to do.

So anyway, that is my first point. These organizations are need-
ed. If they didn't exist, we would have to invent them. And if we
set about that task today, we find it is very difficult. Therefore,
let's handle them in such a way that we don't destroy them, be-
cause if we were to do that, we would find ourselves in trouble.

But I think at the same time it is very important that each coun-
try, especially any major country, recognize it has to conduct its
own diplomacy. It is not confined to international organizations.
For the United States it is very important that we figure out what
our interests are, as we approach Russia and the other former So-
viet states, as we approach the countries of Central Europe, of
Western Europe, as we approach China, Japan, Southeast Asia, the
Latin American countries, and so on.

We have big bilateral stakes, big relationships with multi-
national organizations that characterize different parts of the
world. And we have to conduct that diplomacy as a country, just
as other countries do.

So we can't sort of hand everything over to the U.N. That is the
first big lesson, it seems to me.

The second point I would like to make is related. Since it is dif-
ficult to give these operations credibility, we have to be careful not
to misuse them. And when we use them effectively — and I will give
some examples, you gave one, maybe more than one, but they are
all sort of qualified — we run them down. And I think we have to
put the criteria up there for how to judge these operations.

And the tests have to be operational. And the criteria that we
have to keep applying all the time is competence. And ask our-
selves, as an operational matter, are they competent? Do they exe-
cute what they are supposed to do correctly?

The third point I would make is that it seems to me that these
organizations need to be thought of in part as custodians of stand-
ards and operate according to certain ideas that if you don't get in
your mind, you are going to make bad mistakes. Let me mention
what some of these standards are, or ideas are:

The first is that if you are going to be successful in conducting
diplomacy, whether you are the United States or the U.N. or any-
body else, you have to have some strength behind your efforts.
Strength and diplomacy are not alternative ways of going about
things. They are complementary ways of going about things.

So if you project the U.N. into some conflict-laden situation
where force is being used, and you say, the U.N. goes and tries to
operate there without any capability, it is suicidal.

So strength and diplomacy go together. They are together. It is
an ancient rule in our own republic. And I am very fond of calling
people's attention to the Great Seal of the Republic. And I don't
know how many people here have looked at it carefully. But, you
know, the centerpiece is an Eagle. And the Eagle is holding in one
claw, arrows, and in the other claw, an olive branch. And if you
look at renditions of that Great Seal going back earlier in our his-
tory are the Eagle always looking at the arrows, which I suppose
is understandable. The British are burning the White House and
we are struggling, and very conscious of that.



11

After World War II, President Harry Truman noticed that in a
seal that was in the White House. He decided to change it. He
wrote an Executive Order and he got the Congress to support it.
And the agenda was that henceforward, the Eagle would always
look at the olive branch to show that the United States would al-
ways seek peace. But the Eagle would always hold onto the arrows
to show that the United States understands that if you are going
to be effective in seeking peace, you must have strength.

So strength and diplomacy go together. And that is so whether
you are talking about the United States or you are talking about
the United Nations.

The second thing is, it seems to me the U.N. ought to aspire to
raise standards of behavior. There are lots of things wrong with
what has happened in Bosnia, and I am going to comment later on
it, but one of them, the return in Europe of the concept of ethnic
cleansing. I keep reading that the U.N. is going to get up a mission
on human rights, and I keep waiting, hoping that something effec-
tive can be done that stands for some standards about how leaders
behave.

And I read this, the U.N. sends somebody to Yugoslavia and they
say, there is not much chance that we can get the people respon-
sible, and, therefore, let's not do anything. I don't agree with that
at all. If you have standards and you accumulate evidence, even if
a person isn't there, you can accumulate the evidence for an indict-
ment.

I think we should have done this in the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
We should be doing it in Bosnia. We should be doing it in other
places. So that as time evolves, kind of like the common law, the
world gives more reality to ideas about how human beings behave
toward each other.

You can't just snap your fingers. We don't need more statements,
because we have got statements. The Universal Declaration on
Human Rights says it all. What we need is operational capability.
And I think the U.N. should try to do that.

Then I think the U.N. should conduct itself in such a way that
it combines principles as well as interests with power. Power en-
ables countries to serve their interests. And the U.N. will get some-
where when it is able to develop muscle. But always it needs to be
done in the framework of principles.

I think that of tremendous importance is the effort of the U.N.
to be competent in what it does. And there are all sorts of examples
that show otherwise. I just picked up the other day a newspaper
report. When you are out of office, you are reduced to newspaper
reports. When you are in office, you deplore the newspapers. But
anyway, here

Mr. Lantos. Some of the CIA closed briefings are like yesterday's
newspaper reports, Mr. Secretary.

Mr. Shultz. Says here — this is referring to Mozambique. 'The
U.N. has an effective way to keep the peace process on track but
the management of Mozambique has been a showcase of incom-
petence. A cable from the U.S. Embassy lays out a sorry tale of
bickering, decay and occasional paralysis among the U.N. organiza-
tion that is involved. U.S. charges may be exaggerated or unfair,
but people from several international organizations working in Mo-



12

zambique say they are broadly accurate. According to the cable, a
source of many of the delays was the U.N. Office for Humanitarian
Affairs Coordination, which was formed in December 1992." This is
a quote from the cable. "Seemed to operate on the arrogant as-
sumption that it knew best. It took over tasks others were already
performing and often slowed down projects that were underway.
Aid money from various nations was scooped into a trust fund that
the U.N. controlled, an arrangement the United States found to be
a disaster in most cases. When they took over the mine clearing
operation in Mozambique," — that is very vital — "paralysis crept in."
According to the U.S. cable, a $5 million contract to clear key roads
was delayed for 18 months, even though the project was cat-
egorized as a, quote, "emergency within the U.N. bureaucracy," and
so on, it goes on.

That kind of thing destroys people's confidence in an organiza-
tion and their willingness to support it. So the standard of com-
petence has got to be there, very much.

Fourth, I think it is well to keep in mind, that the U.N. in par-
ticular, and international organizations in general, are best looked
at as processes. These are not organizations that can do anything.
They are not independent units of action. They are a place that or-
ganizes process. So they take their direction and draw their
strength from their constituent nations, especially the larger ones.
So somehow if you start to conceptualize the U.N. as an independ-
ent unit of action, and they should go and do this or that, you are
headed for deep trouble. It has to be viewed as a process.

So my fifth point then is the fundamental unit of decision and
action is the state. And states must decide whether and when to
put international organizations into play. So this only underscores
once again the initial point I made about the importance of our bi-
lateral relations and our basic diplomacy, because it is through our
relations with other countries who are also in the U.N., that we
lobby and work and develop views and whatnot that can, when ap-
propriate, put the U.N. into play as an organization and allow it
to be effective.

Which leads to my final point, that if we use the organization
properly, what that demands is that resources and strength accom-
pany a commitment, otherwise, the international organization
founders, and this abuse reduces its credibility. So if we ask the
U.N. to do something and we don't support it, the U.N. is going to
fail. That debilitates it. We shouldn't ask it to do things if the sys-
tem is rigged in such a way that it can't do it.

And when we ask the U.N. to do something, then we should be
ready to support it. It is easier said than done. And you get into
all the questions of burden-sharing, not just the Unitea States, and
I believe as many of your statements suggested, that the relative
burdens borne by the United States should be reduced in keeping
with our proportional share in the world campaign. So those are
some general ideas.

Now, let me comment on a few areas, and I will comment on
things that I had some contact with, because I know them a little
bit better. But first of all, in southern Africa, was the process of
bringing about the independence of Namibia, which happened right
at the end of the Reagan years, and we worked on it throughout



13

the Reagan period. It was not as noted as it should have been as
an event, it was the end of apartheid in Namibia, and South Africa
withdrew from Namibia, making that possible.

So there was a certain precursor element to what happened in
Namibia. But in Namibia there was a preth ought- through, rather
ambitious U.N. process to be there as people established a constitu-
tion, as they voted for the constitution, as they then implemented
the constitution and elected the people that were going to govern.

And it was a major effort. It took quite a lot of money to put that
in place. But anyway, that was followed through on. The United
States led it. And it worked. And I don't know in detail about Na-
mibia today, but from all I can understand, it goes along pretty
well.

Now, right next door is Angola. Angola has had, for almost 20
years, a civil war. And there have been various efforts to mediate
it. I think by this time the parties all can see they can't win mili-
tarily, so that is a big incentive to try to come together.

And a couple of years ago, there was success. I think Portugal
in particular, was instrumental, since it was a former Portuguese
colony, but the United States played its part at any rate with the
U.N., and an agreement was reached to end the civil war between
the dos Santos regime and Savimbi, and arrangements were made
for an election. A critical element was to disarm the warring par-
ties, and they agreed to that, and to constitute a national military
regime and so on. And it had to be implemented.

And what happened? Hardly any money was put into it. So the
U.N.'s effort was minuscule as compared with the effort in Na-
mibia. And it all kind of came apart at the seams, and we are right
back where we started from.

I read the other day that this agreement had been put back to-
gether, but it still doesn't quite gel. So I say that was a gigantic
missed opportunity. And you can't say for sure, but probably if the
resources that had been committed in Namibia were matched in
Angola, that would be an operating place, and that would be a big
contribution to southern Africa.

I might say, we have a big stake in this country, in what goes
on there, because we have got a great deal of our oil supplies com-
ing right from that area, to the United States. It is a very rich
country. If you can get the railroad going, place it in some more
pacified state, Angola would be a big contributor to southern Africa
generally, and southern Africa, as we all know, can be a bountiful
place economically under the right circumstances. The cir-
cumstances seem to be coming about as we see the events in South
Africa.

So here was a big opportunity, and it was missed. And I think
the reason was that not enough effort was put into it, and it could
have been put into it.

Let me turn to the Iran-Iraq War. Remember? People think all
the disputes in the Middle East involve Arabs and Israelis. The
bloodiest disputes are Arab-to-Arab, as it has turned out, or Mus-
lim-to-Muslim.

In the Iran-Iraq War, there were over 1 million casualties. It was
a difficult situation for the United States to mediate, although as
it turned out, I believe the show of strength and the use of the



14

strength of the United States in the Persian Gulf in 1986 and 1987
under the leadership of President Reagan played a big part in fac-
ing Iran down and making it clear that Iran was not going to be
able to shut down the Persian Gulf.

And in the end, it contributed to U.N. sanctions. And the resolu-
tion was couched in a way that didn't just focus on the Persian
Gulf. So it was fair to Iran. The sanctions attempted to produce the
cease-fire, general cease-fire. And it was the first time in the his-
tory of the United Nations when all the members of the Security
Council voted for this most severe U.N. action. I was privileged to
go and represent the United States and vote aye. The Soviet voted
aye, the Chinese, everybody voted. And it was a good moment from
that standpoint.

And that didn't end things. But it was the beginning of the end.
And it was only a matter of some months before finally we got
cease-fire.

So here was an example, as in the case of Namibia, where there
was a lot of work by the United States, a lot of work by other coun-
tries. At the same time, the U.N. process was used effectively and
intelligently to play its part in bringing about a result that we de-
sired.

So it isn't correct to say that the U.N. did this. But it is correct
to say that the U.N. as an agency played a key control. As I said
in the beginning, if we hadn't had the U.N., we would have had to
invent something like it in order to bring about the result that we
wanted.

And then there is the question of the Soviet invasion of Afghani-
stan. And, of course, the basic reason why the Soviets left Afghani-
stan was that the people of Afghanistan, with a lot of help from
us and from other countries, made a very inhospitable place for the
Soviets to be. So they knew they wanted to leave.

At the same time, the U.N. provided a forum and a means
through which an agreement could be set up that helped to get the
Soviets to leave promptly. And again, I went to Geneva and signed
on behalf of the United States, in what has got to be the weirdest
ceremony ever conducted, because we didn't recognize the legit-
imacy of the Afghan regime, but they were there, they signed, and
the Pakistanis didn't recognize them either, but they were there,
and they signed. And we were there as a guarantor, the Soviets
were is there, Shevardnadze as a guarantor.

We each walked in separately from four corners of the room, we
each signed the document, we each walked out, nobody shook
hands, nobody smiled, nobody did anything, but the net result was
that the Soviet troops left, and they basically left because of the
power that the U.N. had nothing to do with.

On the other hand, the U.N. as a process was used in an effective
way, with everybody glad to see it used, and it helped the process
along.

You mentioned Cambodia. And I know less about the details of
that, but it seems to me this is an example, and it is a good one
to put into here, because as contrasted with these others; the Unit-
ed States played a part but did not play a leading part. But at any
rate, a big U.N. effort was made, and without it, there was no
chance of success. With it, it was questionable. But at any rate,



15

they brought it off. And Cambodia at least has got a half a chance
now. But it took a big commitment of resources.

So those are some examples. I could give examples from other
types of organizations such as the IMF or whatever. But I won't
do that in the interest of time here. But I would like to comment
on the situation in Bosnia.

And I think this is a disgrace. It is a disgrace for the United
States, our performance. It is a disgrace of the Western European
countries. And it is a disgrace for the U.N. It has made an absolute
mockery out of the U.N. Any day you can pick up the newspaper —
I, yesterday, was in New York. Here is the New York Times,
Wednesday, October 19, and the headline says it all. "Bosnian
Serbs Attack Aid Convoy," this is an aid convoy. "U.N. Rejects
NATO Strike."

Come on. The U.N. people there don't have a clue about the im-
portance of the use of power if you are going to have effective diplo-
macy. And somehow we have gotten into the frame of mind that
we think the use of power by NATO is to take out a tank. It is ri-
diculous. Just ridiculous. And here the Bosnian Serbs stop, they ex-
hibit their control by having total — the total ability to decide
whether an aid convoy of the U.N.'s goes through or not. How
humiliating.

When you put the U.N. in this kind of position, you are
humiliating the U.N. You make us ashamed of the U.N. A lot of


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Online LibraryInternational Organizations United States. Congress. House. Committee on ForeiThe United Nations at fifty : hearing before the Subcommittee on International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, October 24, 1994 → online text (page 2 of 10)