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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national governments maintaining representatives in the first
chamber in the U.N., and citizens around the world would also di-
rectly elect their own local representatives to a new second cham-
ber. Many ideas have been out there like that for quite some time.

Mr. Chairman, I do not propose that all these ideas, especially
these most visionary ones, could or should be on the international
affairs agenda next year in 1995. But what I do propose is that the
debate should proceed from the premise that democracy is the opti-
mal form of governance, and we should aspire to move toward it
at our largest global level of governance.

Mr. Chairman, it is widely known that you are the only Member
of the U.S. Congress who is the survivor of the greatest crime of
the 20th century, Hitler's murder of most of European Jewry. I
want to speak to you for a moment about the best idea I know for
humanity to be able to back up what we say when we say: "Never

It is my contention that the essential flaw at the heart of the col-
lective security structure of the 1945 U.N. Charter is the depend-
ence of that structure on national armies. Because a structure for
the maintenance of human security that depends on national ar-
mies will not prevent mass organized violence which does not
threaten a critical mass of national interests of other states, how-
ever horrifying.

The great power collective security structure of the San Francisco
Charter has been working for the past half decade exactly as it was
intended. There has only been one veto cast in 5 years. But it has
not proven itself capable of preventing crimes against humanity
which don't appear to sufficiently threaten the interests of great
powers, like rape camps in Bosnia, like mass machete massacres
in Rwanda.

The great powers understandably have demonstrated they are
only willing to dispatch their armies to situations like these if for
them the benefits for their national interests exceed the costs and
the risks.

Mr. Chairman, I think there is another alternative to collective
security dependent upon national armies and hard, difficult cal-
culations of national interests. It is the idea of creating a standing
volunteer world army to enforce world law.

The raison d'etre of such an army would be to defend common
human interests. Its mission would be to enforce world laws, laws
which made things like rape camps and mass machete massacres
illegal anywhere on Planet Earth. It would put a stop to crimes
against humanity, not just when they threatened some critical


mass of great power interests, but because it was the moral imper-
ative of the human community.

Such an army would be composed entirely of volunteers, women
and men who had volunteered to defend our common human inter-
ests. American leaders wouldn't have to agonize over whether a
slaughter in Rwanda threatened American national interests
enough to be worth risking American lives.

These would be individuals who had volunteered to serve in a
different kind of army, an army not for the protection of vital
American interests, but to act when mass organized violence hap-
pens on Planet Earth but doesn't sufficiently threaten the vital in-
terests of the United States or any other great power.

Mr. Chairman, I do not for a moment underestimate the difficul-
ties that would be faced in an effort to establish an institution of
this nature. I discuss a number of them in my written statement.

Again, I do not propose that by the end of 1995 we can be well
on the way toward establishing a standing volunteer world army.
The idea I do propose, however, is that we set this essential con-
cept as our essential aspiration for dealing with the Bosnias and
the Rwandas that will surely come again.

What I do propose is that we do not have to tolerate nonvital in-
terest slaughters like Bosnia and Rwanda forever until the end of
time. A standing volunteer world army, in my view, is humankind's
best hope to be able to say in response to Bosnia, Rwanda and
Auschwitz: "Never again."

Mr. Chairman, in November 1992 a collection of 1,500 scientists
around the world, including 104 Nobel Prize Winners — you don't
get much more credible than that — issued a joint declaration which
they called the "World Scientist's Warning to Humanity."

This statement maintained that global and environmental macro
trends and the underlying engine of population growth were mov-
ing to threaten the viability of our planetary biosphere itself. We
are soon likely to see, according to these scientists, "conflicts over
scarce resources, mass migrations with incalculable consequences,
and spirals of socioeconomic and environmental collapse." No more
than one or a few decades remain, said the scientists, "before the
chance to avert these threats will be lost, and the prospects for hu-
manity immeasurably diminished."

Mr. Chairman, I do not propose that any kind of new United Na-
tions Charter could provide all the answers to these kinds of great
.global challenges looming in the 21st century. But today's U.N.
Charter does not even address the questions.

Words like population, migration, famine, perpetual poverty and
environment do not even appear in the 1945 U.N. Charter. The
San Francisco framers were developing global structures to address
entirely different challenges in an entirely different world.

But one thing they could foresee, and did foresee, is that their
already rapidly changing world would continue to change, and that
the global structures they designed would have to change as well.

That is why they included in the United Nations Charter Article
109, which provides for, "A general charter review conference upon
the approval of two-thirds of the General Assembly, including any
nine members of the Security Council."


And in Article 109-3, hardly anyone talks about this, but it is
in there, they lowered the threshold, so that if such a conference
had not been called by the 10th General Assembly Session, 1955,
at that point, they said, we are going to make it easier. At that
point, such a conference could be convened upon the approval of
only a majority of the General Assembly, and any 7 members of the
15 member Security Council.

Mr. Chairman, now that the great cold war confrontation has
passed onto the rubble heap of history, I think it is time for us to
remember the original intent of the San Francisco framers, and to
activate Article 109. I recommend that next year the international
community should initiate a series of world meetings, similar to the
meetings held at Dumbarton Oaks and Bretton Woods in 1944,
leading by 1998 to a world summit similar to the one held in San
Francisco in 1945.

This would be a long process to engage in discernment and deci-
sion about the best possibilities and to develop and agree upon a
better U.N. Charter, both more democratic and more appropriate
for the looming challenges of the dawning new millennium.

And I don't see any reason at all why the culminating world
summit from such a process couldn't be held right here in San
Francisco. A commitment in 1995 to convene some kind of com-
prehensive U.N. Charter review conference by 1998 can serve as
the engine of our global imaginations.

Many people in this room could become deeply involved in innu-
merable commissions and working groups. Setting a deadline for a
conference would, I believe, generate the political will to deliberate
over and decide upon the best of the ideas. And aiming for ratifica-
tion and enactment by the year 2000 would engage all the symbol-
ism and inspiration accompanying the dawn of a new millennium.

I think it is time for the policymaking community to start asking
not just who should sit on the U.N. Security Council, but what kind
of U.N. Charter would we design if we were designing it from
scratch today?

Alvin Toffler has said: "Ninety-nine percent of what politicians
do is to keep systems running that were put in place by previous
generations of politicians." I think a great opportunity exists today
to take the lead in promoting the idea of redesigning the U.N.
Charter for our emerging global challenges, and perhaps even of
convening a world summit for that purpose right here in San Fran-

And, Mr. Chairman, the United States of America is the greatest
power in the world today, and I don't want to see us dragged kick-
ing and screaming into such a process. I want to see us take the
lead in promoting a vision of world order for the 21st century.

Such an Article 109 conference might well not come out exactly
as we might want it to come out. But we have substantial political
influence to invest in such a process, and we would significantly in-
fluence the outcome.

And if we took the lead in promoting such a process, I think it
would create immeasurable political capital for the United States
with much of the rest of the world. It would produce a legacy of
visionary American leadership that would last well into the 21st


Let me conclude, Mr. Chairman, with a brief vignette from that
conference in San Francisco in 1945. I don't know how much you
have read about it, but right in the middle of that conference, April
12, 1945, Franklin Roosevelt died.

If you get in the car and drive from San Francisco across the
Golden Gate Bridge and turn left, before long you will arrive in
Muir Woods, home of the oldest living things on Planet Earth. I
imagine you have been there, Mr. Chairman.

If you walk along the right path into the forest, before long you
come across a heavy metal and stone plaque set into the earth. It
says: "Here in this grove of enduring redwoods, preserved for pos-
terity, members of the United Nations Conference on International
Organization met on April 29, 1945, to honor the memory of Frank-
lin Delano Roosevelt: Thirty-First President of the United States,
Chief Architect of the United Nations, and Apostle of Lasting Peace
for All of Humankind."

Mr. Chairman, FDR and his associates designed a pretty good
world organization for preventing another Adolt Hitler. And I have
little doubt that the spirit of FDR, out there in those woods, is
looking today for the architects of a new world organization to
confront the quite different challenges of the new millennium. And
I have little doubt, too, that President Roosevelt would encourage
us, and maybe even give us a quick kick in the seat of the pants,
to develop democratic global structures adequate to address global
problems and to promote global progress enduring global structures
that can bring lasting peace for all of humankind.

Thanks very much.

[Mr. Daley's biography and statement appears in the appendix.]


Mr. Lantos. Thank you very much for your very eloquent state-
ment, Mr. Daley.

Again, I want to thank all three of our distinguished witnesses,
as well as Secretary Shultz. The caliber of the presentations could
not have been higher.

I would like to begin with you, Professor Haas, if I may. You is-
sued a very thoughtful, prudent, and intelligent word of caution
about not overloading the United Nations with tasks that cannot
be achieved, tasks for which it has no resources, and tasks for
which its constituent members have no political will to proceed

That is very good advice. But my question is, what do we do with
international problems which are not dealt with unilaterally by an
individual country or collectively by a group of nations and cannot
be handed over to the United Nations because the United Nations
palpably has neither the resources nor the organizational capability
of carrying out these tasks?

Do we just push these into a corner and let them fester? Do we
create new organizations ? Do we give them to the United Nations,
despite your caution, because they are likely to be handled better
than if they were left unattended?

Mr. Haas. Mr. Chairman, in responding to your question, I think
it is important to reiterate things that I think under conceivable


circumstances for the future should not be given to the U.N., for
the reasons you indicated, but at the same time, also gear up the
organization to enable it to do some of the things that are certain
to t>e put on its agenda, and in my mind should be put on its agen-
da. Therefore, it is, in my judgment, necessary to upgrade the capa-
bility of the U.N. in certain areas.

What the U.N. should not do is get involved in settling civil wars
in which the parties are not willing to stop fighting. Angola is a
perfect example. Yugoslavia, perfect example. Whereas in civil
wars where the parties have already indicated they have had it,
that is what happened in Central America, that is what happened
in Namibia, fine. Those are proper arenas for action.

I would argue that Kuwait-like operations in the future are to be
expected. And I think the military staff committee ought to be up-
graded, and a rapid deployment force ought to be created in order
to make it possible for the United Nations to react more effectively
and more quickly to such challenges.

These are all things other people have already suggested. I do,
however, disagree with the suggestion, that we create a U.N. vol-
unteer army for this purpose. I think national contingents is what
we are stuck with.

I think the idea would be to upgrade national contingents
through prior preparation, prior joint training, on the U.N. model,
rather than rely on the volunteer army. We have got a volunteer
Army in the United States right now. Most countries have volun-
teer armies. It isn't that anybody is being compelled to die against
their will.

There are other things that ought to be done now, such as up-
grading the capability of the U.N. to monitor arms control agree-
ments. The U.N. at the moment has no such capability. The Inter-
national Atomic Energy Agency does, with respect to nuclear pro-
liferation, but with respect to all other arms control agreements,
there is no international monitoring capability. There are only a
national means for verifying compliance.

Well, I think it is time that the U.N. be given such a responsibil-
ity. The same thing for the drug trade. The same thing for inter-
national white collar crime. All of these involve more resources for
the U.N. than the U.N. now has. And, therefore, I propose in my
written submission that a taxing power for the U.N. be created
analogous to what the Australian Government has already sug-



Mr. Lantos. Thank you very much.

Professor Smith, you gave us a particularly sophisticated expla-
nation of the clash of cultures which occurs when the U.N. con-
tracts out certain military activities — activities requiring major
military force in areas like the former Yugoslavia. And, you pointed
out quite correctly that there is a clash of cultures between a mili-
tary alliance, such as NATO, whose task is oriented in a military
sense and an international organization which is accustomed to
dealing in terms of a diplomatic milieu with all of its subtlety, inef-
ficiency, and cumbersomeness.


How do you reconcile the coexistence of these two cultures? Be-
cause, clearly, it is unrealistic to expect the U.N., within the fore-
seeable future, to develop the military capability to handle some-
thing like the Serbian/Bosnian military presence in a conflict situa-
tion. »

Mr. Smith. I certainly agree with your preface to the question,
that the U.N. is unlikely to develop the capability. I have gone on
record in support of the designation of Article 43 capabilities, not
necessarily even forces, but the process that has gone forward and
is still underway with regard to identifying under Article 43 forces
or capabilities, equipment, training facilities that would be made
available pursuant to Article 43. The Secretary General is trying
to — he is currently trying to aggregate a list of these facilities and
capabilities. I think that is entirely appropriate.

I am a bit concerned about the idea of a volunteer U.N. force, be-
cause to say that the United States or any other great power need
not be concerned about the commitment of these troops because
these troops are not national contingents is to suggest to me that
perhaps no one will be concerned about the commitment of these
troops. If these troops find themselves in need of support in any
given situation, we risk having the equivalent of a throwaway
army, that is, they become like the Greeks at Thermopylae, they
can be sent out to fight the invading hordes and left there to die.

Those forces would need, in order to be effective, some assurance
of backup if they get in over their heads, and that backup would
necessarily come from national contingents. That puts us back in
the same position. Unless we are talking about much more than a
volunteer rapid deployment force, a very, very large, capable, com-
bined arms force, then I think we ought to be a little bit wary with
this idea of a U.N. volunteer army. I have disagreed with Brian
Urquhart on this point, and we have discussed it.

With regard to the specific question, I think there are two key
elements missing so far with regard to the U.N. and NATO that
ought to be considered in advance in any situation where the U.N.
pursues reliance of a regional organization.

There must be transparency in terms of the interaction between
the two organizations, prior transparency. At this stage, coopera-
tion occurs at the level of attaches from NATO that are in Sara-
jevo, and U.N. attaches that are in the NATO Southern Command.
When there are problems, everybody goes to Brussels and tries talk
it out, as they have done within the last week or so, sometimes suc-
cessfully, sometimes not.

If there is transparency early on in terms of who is in authority
and who is responsible and what the chain of command will be,
that may well solve one of the problems. But in addition to that,
you need to have a clear priority of authority, a clear mandate. If
the U.N. identifies regional organizations to accomplish certain
tasks, they must leave to those regional organizations the mecha-
nisms and means to accomplish those tasks.

In fact, if the U.N. wants NATO involved, the U.N. must be will-
ing to allow NATO to determine what the best situation to apply
force will be and what the best force to apply will be. If the U.N.
is unwilling to make that kind of decision, then I would doubt that


the U.N. is really committed to the idea of the application of force
in a given circumstance.

Bosnia is precisely the kind of complicated situation that raises
the question, because it is the presence of national forces on the
ground as part of the peacekeeping contingent that causes the hesi-
tancy of bringing full force to bear.

So the choice must be made. Giandomenico Pico has written a
fairly incisive article in "Foreign Affairs," that perhaps the U.N.
ought to understand that it ought not to be involved in the applica-
tion of force, that it really ought to allow others more capable to
apply force when it is called for. At least some clarity of authority
and responsibility ought to be put into place early on when there
is any thought of involving other organizations.

Mr. Lantos. Thank you very much.


Mr. Lantos. Mr. Daley, you raise a number of very stimulating
issues. I just want to react to two of them.

The first relates to your very appropriate comment that, when
the U.N. was created 50 years ago, many of the so-called global is-
sues that preoccupy us today did not even seem to be on the hori-
zon — global environmental issues, global population issues, others.

You are calling for a new U.N. charter that would specifically
deal with these issues and, presumably, organizational structures
that would cope with them. But, although you are correct that
these issues were not foreseen to be as critical as they are seen
today, just recently we had a very impressive population conference
in Cairo.

Not long ago, we had a reasonably effective conference on the en-
vironment in Brazil. So, maybe the existing structure and charter
are fully adequate to deal with these global issues ranging from
international terrorism to international drug trafficking, refugees,
population, environment, and whatnot.

The second thing that I would like you to react to is, you made
an eloquent plea for democratizing the U.N. decisionmaking struc-
ture. And, you drew the analogy between that and democracy with-
in a country.

I would submit that the analysis is a fatally flawed analogy be-
cause what we are seeing within countries, for instance South Afri-
ca, is clearly identifiable entities — human beings who should be en-
titled to a vote.

This has been our own history of broadening and democratizing
our governmental process — by giving votes to women, giving votes
to slaves, giving votes to people who are 18 years and older — be-
cause we were dealing with analogous entities, human beings. In
the case of South Africa, the vote has been extended to all South
African citizens, irrespective of their pigmentation. Long overdue.

Now, I take it you do not suggest that entities which were cre-
ated in colonial offices in Paris or London by drawing lines on the
map of Africa or entities that came about as a result of the breakup
of the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia, which so palpably are unequal
in all respects, should be given equal decisionmaking authority in


an international body and that this would make the international
body more effective.

My own feeling is that one of the geniuses of the original U.N.
charter is to recognize the duality here of giving a vote to each of
the member nations in the General Assembly, which at latest count
I believe are 184, but limiting more effective decisionmaking au-
thority to a revolving regional group of entities in the Security
Council and giving the vote to permanent members of the Security

I don't think the realities have changed very much, except in the
sense that perhaps we need to admit to the Security Council mem-
bership countries such as Japan, Germany, and possibly India or

But, I can not think of a more resolute way of destroying the ef-
fectiveness of the United Nations than by providing equal decision-
making authority to all the nation — states currently existing and
yet to be created on this planet.

I would be grateful if you would comment.

Mr. Daley. Well, the first question first, if I may. I am not nec-
essarily calling for creating global structures at the U.N. to deal
with population and environment, et cetera, et cetera. I am saying
we simply ought to ask the question. We have a single global politi-
cal organization on this planet, and we agree that it doesn't ad-
dress in its structure these kind of global challenges in any way,
because it was designed in a very different time. And no one even
seems to be asking the question of whether it should.

Is it conceivable that there are global structures, some kind of in-
stitutions at the United Nations that could address these kind of
macro challenges of the 21st century? I haven't heard a whole lot
of those scientists or anyone else saying, as a result of the Rio con-
ference in 1992 or the population conference of just a few weeks
ago, oh, well now, we have sort of solved those challenges, the 21st
century is looking pretty rosy now and we are on top of these

One thing that I know you know is that a very imaginative
biodiversity treaty was signed at Rio. The U.S. Congress, hasn't
passed it yet. It is sitting in the U.S. Congress. The U.S. Congress,
to my knowledge, hasn't really devoted a lot of attention to it. It
is not a big issue on the American political spectrum compared to
the other issues that your constituents are much more worried

So that may just die, much like the law of the sea treaty died
20 years ago. The population conference, some marvelous progress
made there, and some real grounds for optimism. But I am not con-
vinced that population is no longer a challenge for the 21st century.

One of the main things that still remains to be seen is that it
still depends on voluntary contributions, just like the whole of the
budget of the United Nations. All these commitments that have
been made by various countries are voluntary. The money is going
to be a very big issue, and what we have is voluntary commitments

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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 5 of 10)