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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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 6 of 10)
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by each nation that they are going to devote a certain amount to
this, without any consequence or penalty, just like countries when
they don't pay their United Nations dues, there is no consequence
or penalty.


As the attention fades from the conference, I am not convinced
yet that it is all going to work out.

So again, I think we ought to at least ask the question. There
are many different kinds of threats to human security besides the
great power war which was the single threat that the framers in
San Francisco were envisioning. Let's have a great public conversa-
tion about whether there are some kind of conceivable global struc-
tures out there which could be enacted in a new U.N. Charter for
addressing these.

On the second question, Congressman, Mr. Chairman, I could not
agree with you more. The idea of a one nation, one vote global par-
liament, if you will, is a terrible idea. I probably should nave said,
I think, that just like I think today's Security Council is profoundly
undemocratic, so is today's General Assembly.

It is absurd to say that the United States should have the same
voice in this body as Sierra Leone, or that China, should have the
same voice in this body as the United States, since China has an
awful lot of people but clearly doesn't contribute as much money
as the United States, and that is an important issue.

That is why, and Professor Haas has mentioned this as well, that
the idea of a weighted voting system should be considered. I men-
tioned the binding triad, that is one concept floating around out
there. That is one concept that ought to be looked at seriously and
debated. But I am very much in favor of, again, starting from the
premise that we should try somehow to democratize global deci-
sionmaking and to give adequate and appropriate voice to the var-
ious forces around the world. A United States of America in some
kind of a weighted voting system which also gave weight to such
things as population and financial contribution, would have im-
mensely more voice than a Georgia or a Tajikistan or a Sierra

Ultimately, what we have to focus on is legitimacy. Over the
longer term, I think much of the rest of the world is going to per-
ceive that a Security Council composed either of the five victors of
the Second World War or simply of the contemporary great powers
of the world, that is not going to have enough legitimacy over the
long term to give this institution the legitimacy it needs to be able
to address the kind of global challenges it must.

Mr. Lantos. Thank you very much.

Congressman Bereuter.



Mr. Bereuter. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Gentlemen, thank you very much for your stimulating papers
and your testimony and responses here. I have about four areas of
questions that I would like to get into, at least briefly.

Mr. Smith, you mentioned the clash of cultures between NATO
and the United Nations. I don't disagree that the situation is a se-
rious problem. I serve as the Vice President of the North Atlantic
Assembly, the parliamentary group of 16 NATO countries, and I
am completing my first 2-year term there.

I think something very interesting is happening, around the
American delegation, a delegation which I might add is quite di-


verse. They range all across the political spectrum in our delega-
tion. They involve a significant number of people in terms of their
duties like Chairman Dellums from across the bay, who Chairman
of the House Armed Services Committee. And it is a bicameral rep-

One of the things that we have seen happen in the last several
years is that the majority of European delegates have voted to
make NATO subservient to the United Nations. They have said, we
will not act with NATO forces unless we have United Nations ap-
proval. And the American delegation has resisted that effort, un-
successfully of late. NATO is, of course, the most successful modern
regional security organization. In some ways, with the collapse of
the Soviet Union and the beginning of the post-cold war era, it
seems to me that NATO was not prepared. NATO had not decided
to proceed on variant issues, it had not created until last year the
Combined Joint Task Force concept which is facilitating activities.

And, therefore, we didn't take the step when we needed to. It
seems to the Chairman, perhaps, and to me and others, that when
the conflict began in Croatia that NATO was too slow to respond.
Why should regional organizations, if at all, be subservient to the
United Nations? Why isn't it appropriate for NATO to have acted
on its own in this instance? Why do we find this view that nothing
can be done by regional organizations including NATO unless it
has U.N. approval?

Mr. Smith. I think the NATO treaty sets a pretty good standard
when it raises the charter as the standard under which it under-
stands its authority and under which it ought to establish its con-

However, that treaty did not make NATO regional organization
within the meaning of the charter, that is, an organization that can
only act with the approval of the U.N. And NATO has been quite
correct over the years in maintaining itself as an independent
actor, even through its standards of performance are precisely
those that you find within the charter.

However, NATO's choice to act is not a choice that is necessarily
constrained by prior approval of the United Nations. I think that
the possibility of independent action is an important dimension of
the credibility of NATO's participation. I am not quite as con-
cerned — I am some what concerned, but I am not quite as con-
cerned as some others who have spoken today — about ad hoc re-
sponses of the sort that we saw in Kuwait. To the extent that you
get power from member states who determine that it is in their in-
terests to respond to a situation, and that response is consistent
with the interests of the majority of the members of the United Na-
tions, then perhaps that collection of member states ought to be au-
thorized to pursue this shared objectives.

But I don't think that in each instance, that collection of individ-
ual states ought to give up its independent ability to respond to a
situation. I think it is the multiplicity of responses that does leave
some credibility. In situations where the U.N. does not have capa-
bility but it claims to constrain the actions of other actors, that
claim becomes incredible.

It leads to doubt in the mind of those sought to be deterred,
those whose behavior is sought to be altered. They understand the


reality of the power distribution, and they are not going to believe
that it would be necessary for NATO prior approval to act.

So I would think that the position that NATO has taken over
time is the correct position.

Mr. Bereuter. Mr. Smith, thank you very much. Almost perhaps
instinctively, the American delegation to the North Atlantic Assem-
bly has reached the conclusion you do, and we may need your as-
sistance in better framing our argument to be persuasive.

Mr. Smith. I would be happy to assist.


Mr. Bereuter. Secondly, and this is for any or all of you to re-
spond to, it seems Mr. Daley raised the subject of Article 2, para-
graph 7, which relates to a prohibition for involving the United Na-
tions in what are essentially domestic jurisdictions, except in mat-
ters that threaten international security.

It seems to me today, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and
with reduced emphasis on the part of the United States and succes-
sor states of the Soviet Union, we have greater instability and the
prospect for even more ethnic and racial strive.

How are we going to decide appropriately when we do intervene,
given that we may be seeing genocide practiced? How do we draw
the line these days on when the United Nations and its member
states should become involved in what could be said to be by tradi-
tional definition the internal affairs of a country?

Mr. Haas. There are a few guidelines. I was about to say simple,
but by the time you apply them, they are not going to be simple.
First, I would like to say that Article 2-7 is already being honored
in the breach much more than in being observed. It is effectively
a dead letter.

Now, nobody wants to admit this, and there is an occasional pro-
test against this, particularly by countries who are being inter-
vened against without their consent. But the fact is that nobody
takes it seriously any longer. So the existence of the article does
not deter any intervention. What I think ought to be the guiding
principle is, do not intervene in a situation in which intervention
isn't going to do any good. That is usually the case when you are
trying to stop something that the parties are determined to see

I see no point in intervening in Liberia when the parties involved
are determined to kill each other. I see no point in intervening in
Angola as long as the two parties in that case are determined to
pursue what they are doing. I would intervene had they given some
indication that they have had enough fighting.

I would add only one exception to this abstinence rule I am pro-
posing, that exception is genocide. Now, genocide goes beyond the
threshold of what is tojerable. And there you should move, whether
our country has agreed to it or not. But that requires the kind of
standing force that we do not now have.

Mr. Bereuter. So it is appropriate for us, meaning the inter-
national community, to involve ourself to prevent Bosnia, to protect
the Kurds in northern Iraq, and involve ourselves in stopping the
slaughter in Rwanda?


Mr. Haas. No. I would say in the case of the Kurds, yes. It was
a mission that was easily definable. It was a mission you could see
through. It was a mission for which you had both consensus, inter-
national and national consensus, and the forces were in place.

In Rwanda, that was not the case. The defeated Army seems to
be ready to start all over again. It is not a situation in which one
can meaningfully intervene at all, unless you do it with overwhelm-
ing force. You would have had to deploy 50,000 men, which not
even the French were willing to do.

In the case of Bosnia, I think the great mistake was that Chap-
ter 7, which the Security Council invoked, that is to say, enforce-
ment measures, was effectively sabotaged by Boutros-Ghali, by
turning what could have been an enforcement operation into a
failed peacekeeping operation.

Mr. Smith. Just one brief comment. The one criterion that I
think is the effective criterion now that ought not to be ignored is
the CNN factor. In most circumstances the degree of willingness of
countries to become involved is directly related to the degree of car-
nage that is seen in the international press.

And I am afraid that that leads to vastly skewed reactions. We
have human rights problems that are happening in East Timor
that are not discussed. We have horrible situations happening in
the Sudan that are not discussed. They are not seen on CNN. Un-
fortunately, what we tend to respond to is that visibility factor, the
CNN factor, and that I think is one of the things we ought to avoid.


Mr. Lantos. Will my colleague yield on that point for one sec-

As much as I would like to agree with you, Professor Smith, it
was this subcommittee which held the only congressional hearing
in the United States and, I suspect, any place on the human rights
atrocities in Timor where, as you quite correctly said, there was
minimal CNN type publicity. But, since intervention ipso facto re-
quires a tremendous degree of popular support, what other means
would you expect except publicity to obtain that popular support?

Mr. Smith. By publicity — by the CNN factor, I mean sporadic "if
it bleeds, it leads" publicity. I believe your response in East Timor
is precisely the kind of publicity that ought to occur, the exposure
that ought to occur.

One of the things working for Senator Moynihan for a year, was
an awareness of East Timor, because this is an issue he has fol-
lowed for many years. I would be greatly encouraged if more mem-
bers of responsible bodies were willing to pay the kind of attention
that this committee has paid.

Mr. Daley. Let me just say quickly, Congressman Bereuter, you
asked very difficult questions. They are two separate questions,
really. One is, what is the decisionmaking procedure for interven-
ing in a specific situation, and the other is, what kind of criteria
are there? And there are all manner around this world of gray
areas, violations of human rights, civil wars, and interminable con-
flicts where a determination of whether intervention is warrented
will be very difficult.


But some cases are easy, it seems to me. Rwanda, it seems to
me, is an easy case. They were chopping off the heads of babies.
They were herding hundreds of people into a church and setting it
on fire, and countless other atrocities which I don't need to go into
detail about to this audience. It seems to me that situations like
that are easy cases where we can say, this is something that hu-
mankind simply is not willing to permit.

Moreover, it would not have taken all that much military capa-
bility. First world sophisticated military capability could have put
a stop to that pretty quickly, and as Mr. Chairman said, I think
arguably could have saved virtually all of those half a million lives.

In my view, the American Government and every other govern-
ment around the world said, sure, we know we could do that, but
it is just not enough of a threat to our national interests to be will-
ing to risk something like a Somalia, a massacre of 18 American
soldiers or maybe even a couple of hundred American lives might
well have been lost.

I agree with that judgement. I don't challenge that. If America
wants to make that kind of judgment about its own national inter-
ests, that's the way it is. But then I think it is incumbent upon as
to come up with some kind of imaginative global institutions that
can act in such a circumstance.

And I think this idea of having some kind of a standing volun-
teer world army that would not be contingent on crossing that na-
tional interest threshold is the best idea around.


Mr. Bereuter. I would like to have seen some kind of an African
organization capable of moving in there and dealing with that
issue. That is a long way to happening yet.

You lead me to my third point, and that is directed to you, Mr.
Daley. Professor Haas is suggesting we should have earmarked na-
tional contingency force. And I believe Mr. Smith has endorsed Ar-
ticle 43 capability. So that sort of leaves you alone, if I understand
it correctly, in proposing a standing Army.

So how would you defend that versus an earmarked national con-
tingency approach? Why isn't that a better approach than a stand-
ing U.N. Army?

Mr. Daley. You are absolutely right in pointing out that it is a
different concept. The Article 43 concept is that national govern-
ments will earmark and commit ahead of time, designate units
ahead of time of their own national military establishments, to act
in these situations.

Three points. First, it hasn't happened in 50 years. That is a
pretty powerful point. Article 43 was written in 1945, like every-
thing else in the charter was written in 1945. Not only has Article
43 not happened in 50 years, but it hasn't even happened in the
past 5 years, since the cold war has ended and since the U.N. char-
ter has been operating exactly as it is supposed to.

I am alone in this forum about this idea, apparently, but as a
number of people have pointed out, the most prominent proponent
of this idea is probably the most prominent commentator on United
Nations affairs today — Brian Urquhart, Secretary Geneneral Dag


Hammarskoljd's deputy and the inventor of United Nations peace-
keeping. I am not so much arguing on his behalf today, but arguing
what I think is the essence of the concept.

The difficulty with Article 43 is the difficulty that I argued
about, that we are still talking about national military contingents.
Whether they make a commitment ahead of time or not, in each
individual case, these national governments are going to have to
argue to their own people, this intervention serves American na-
tional interests, or British or German or whosever national inter-

There were half a million people being slaughtered before our
eyes in Rwanda. All of us were appalled by this, but in the United
States, we couldn't make a legitimate argument that it really
threatened the United States in any way, and therefore, it wasn't
worth risking a single American life. Under Article 43 I think na-
tional leaders would still have to make that case to their people.

Finally, Professor Haas mentioned, we already have volunteer
armies all around the world. The U.S. Army is a volunteer Army,
many other countries have volunteer armies.

I would argue that what those people are volunteering for is to
serve in an Army to protect American national interests or their
own country's national interests. Again, American leaders would
feel it necessary to argue to the American people, this is worth
American lives, this is a threat of sufficient magnitude to American
interests. The idea here, and this is the essence of Brian
Urquhart's idea, is that these would be people volunteering to serve
in a different kind of Army with a different kind of purpose than
defending national interests, an army to defend what we all would
agree are common human interests, an army to prevent crimes
against humanity.


Mr. Bereuter. Thank you. Do we need to be concerned about
some new international response or mechanism for dealing with
"failed states?" Some people would say "failed nation states." We
have Africa cut up into many states that have no economic viabil-
ity, that certainly have no cohesiveness in terms of ethnicity.

We have had Haiti on our doorsteps, a democracy for arguably
8 months out of the last 204 years, economic deprivation seems to
be getting worse. The environmental problems there are disastrous,
perhaps irremediable.

Do we need something to deal with these issues, and if so, what
do you have to say in the way of a suggestion or solution?

Mr. Smith. I am very troubled, very troubled by situations of this
sort, that you see in Haiti and Somalia. But for sometime I have
been persuaded by a number of the points that Secretary Shultz
made, because it is of concern to me — and it is of concern to others
around the world in states that may not be failed but may not be
the most glowing of successes — that this could, if misapplied, be-
come a new form of colonialism. If you look at the history of the
19th century, you find a number of interventions justified based
upon the proposition that civilized standards were not being en-
forced in countries that turned out to be non-European countries.


In fact, enforcement of civilized standards was one of the bases
upon which much of colonialism justified itself. If there were to be
a mechanism of some sort to provide assistance in the context of
failed states, it would have to be a mechanism that is very, very
sensitive to the appearance that the North is trying to find a way
to restructure the societies and cultures and life-styles of the south
in ways that bring them to a form of "civilized behavior."

If you look at the standards of international law that are written
into Article 38 of the International Court of Justice, one of the most
offensive state, that one source of law is the common principles
shared among "civilize" legal systems. This came from the Perma-
nent Court of International Justice at a time when Japan was un-
able to have included the Treaty of Versailles a formal recognition
of the equality of states, because Japan was not a white, Northern
European state.

I am afraid that there must be a great deal of concern about this
idea of failed states. Support, assistance, humanitarian or other-
wise, is entirely appropriate. But the characterization of states as
a failed state is a very, very frightening prospect to me.

Mr. Bereuter. I understand your concerns, Mr. Smith. I do
think, however, that there are prospects for fragments of the Soviet
Union also logically being placed in this category. It is not entirely
a North/South issue.

Mr. Smith. My concern is that it would be perceived as a north/
south issue. The claims for the response to this situation are very
important and ought to be attended to. I would simply be con-
cerned that they be appropriately cast to avoid this kind of
mischaracterization, I have heard former diplomats from a number
of parts of the world who are prepared to see this idea of failed
states in exactly that way.

Mr. Bereuter. Professor Haas, do you have anything to say?

Mr. Haas. I am in complete agreement with what I just heard.

Mr. Daley. Very quickly, and I fully share your concern about
that difficulty as well, I think the answer to that is some kind of
legitimate global democratic decisionmaking mechanism. When a
State has failed, the world community is somehow going to have
to make a judgment about whether to intervene or not to intervene.

And if the perception is that it is the great world powers, the
northern powers, who have made this decision to intervene, that is
not going to have any legitimacy with the world community. But
if some kind of more democratic decisionmaking mechanism exists
to make such a decision, so that, like it or not, most people will
agree that, the voice of the world community has spoken on this,
and has made a decision to intervene or not to intervene, then it
will be much more difficult, I think, to argue that it is just another
form of colonialism.

Mr. Bereuter. The authors of this latest round of discussion
about this in a Foreign Policy journal of last year I believe argued
that this should happen, this kind of international response, only
upon invitation of whoever is in charge of the country at that time.

Is that an important limitation on action? Is that an important
qualification for action? Sometimes it can be very hard to find out
who is in charge.


Mr. Smith. This is the constraint that was faced in Somalia, that
is, the identification of the proper authority causes many problems.
And it is in fact one of the reasons that the General Assembly,
when it looked at humanitarian intervention, passed a resolution
that suggested that the consent ought to be the consent of the
country rather than the State. The general assembly wanted to
preserve an opportunity to pursue other sources of consent than
formal governments.

But acquisition of consent, if it is pursued with sensitivity and
acquired in some sort of generally credible manner, may very well
avoid many of these sorts of concerns.

Mr. Bereuter. Thank you very much. I want to thank you gen-
tlemen for your work in preparing for this and for your testimony
and responses here today. I think it has been very helpful. The
record will be helpful to a great many people in the upcoming year.
I think this subject obviously is going to have lots of attention, and
it should.

I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the foresight and initia-
tive in putting together this hearing today.

Mr. Lantos. Thank you very much, Congressman Bereuter.

I truly believe that with the three of you and Secretary Shultz
we had a historic hearing. Now, I would like to call upon our host.
On behalf of the Mayor of San Francisco, Mr. Terry Sellards — spe-
cial assistant to the Mayor, who would like to make a brief state-

We are very pleased to have you, sir.

Mr. Sellards. Thank you very much, Congressman. Congress-
man Lantos, Congressman Bereuter, the Mayor very much appre-
ciated your personal letter to him to attend, and he was not able
to attend, and so I am going to read a few excerpts from the letter
of his written to you.

As the birthplace of the United Nations, San Francisco is plan-
ning the U.N. 50 celebration. It will include an unparalleled venue
of commemorative, educational, cultural, entertainment, scholarly
and other events. We are committed to honoring the founding of
the U.N. and its first 50 years, and to explore new directions and

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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 6 of 10)