programs and less attention to those people who are intended to be
served by these agencies.
But I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, since you have oversight
over this, that we renew our interest and perhaps have some hear-
ings about the financial status of the U.N. agencies. We have al-
ready done comprehensive work in this, and Senator Ribicoff s
study goes back to 1977. I am not sure that is relevant to the eco-
nomic and financial realities of today.
Mr. Yatron. I thank the gentleman.
We will consider following up on that in future hearings.
I would like to call on the gentlerman from California, Mr.
Mr. Zschau. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Because I am a new Member in the House of Representatives
and haven't had the benefit of the hearings that Congressman
Bonker referred to, and because, Senator Kassebaum, of my im-
mense respect and admiration for you and for your leadership in
the other body, I am not willing to reject out of hand your propos-
al. I would like to explore the implications of your proposal and
perhaps we could do that by my asking a series of questions about
what the impact will be, because really that is what we are getting
You have suggested that we have an opportunity to save some
money, and we may even make the United Nations more effective.
Coming out of the business community, if you can get more for
less, it sounds like a good deal. So I want to understand what the
implications of the impact will be.
First of all, would you anticipate that the other members of the
United Nations would follow a similar course; that is, if your
amendment were to pass and to become law as it is written, would
you expect that other members would do something similar?
Senator Kassebaum. It is difficult to say. As I said, both the
Soviet Union and Great Britain have expressed a desire to see a
reduction in funding and the Soviet Union has an 11-percent, I be-
lieve, assessment which they do not always pay in full; is that cor-
Mr. Zschau. I am not able to answer that question. I would
Senator Kassebaum. And I believe they don't pay in full, and we
have always paid and I think we should pay in full, but I think it
should be at a lower assessment.
I can't speak for what the other nations would think. I would be-
lieve that certainly some would consider this a wise move and
others, as I say, those who don't have, nor could they have, as large
an assessment, would be very disappointed.
Mr. Zschau. Well, in making an evaluation of the proposal one
has to make an assumption as to whether this would be an across-
the-board cut by all of the other members or just represent the
amount that the United States would reduce its assessment.
In order to help me make that judgment, could you tell me
which way I ought to think about it? Should I think of it as just
being an amount that the United States would remove from the
budget of the United Nations or should I think of it as being a
much bigger amount than that, anticipating that other nations
would do the same thing?
Senator Kassebaum. I can't answer. I would assume, particularly
the Europeans, might look to lowering their contribution and per-
haps the Soviet Union, but it doesn't pay its assessment now, so I
don't know if they would continue to pay what they have, and I am
sorry I don't know what the amount is that they do pay.
Mr. Zschau. Well, let me move on to the next implication. Let's
assume for purpose of discussion that maybe half the nations
follow suit and half the nations don't. I know that this is a difficult
question to ask. Again as a new Member, I am trying to under-
stand the implications of your proposal. Where would you expect
that the cuts would have their impact in the programs? Are there
some specific programs that you think would be reduced or would
it be across-the-board â€” salaries, reduction in the number of people
working there â€” what would be the impact that you would see?
Senator Kassebaum. I would hate to see a reduction in those
areas where they are actually meeting the needs of various coun-
tries, particularly the developing nations. The World Health Orga-
nization has some very good programs that they have done. There
are an awful lot of conferences that everyone attends and those
serve a purpose up to a point. But again, I think its assessment,
given the conditions that all the nations of the world are in right
now from the economic point of view, must be controlled. You
know, I can make a determination how I would reduce it, if I were
in the United Nations, but I am not and so I think that is some-
thing they have to decide.
Mr. Zschau. Well, maybe I could get your suggestion as to how
you would take the reduced money and allocate it in the form of
Senator Kassebaum. I would reduce conferences, I would reduce
perhaps publications and paperwork and so forth, and I would
reduce some of the top-level staffs. Again assessing where those
could be done, they would not necessarily cut into really effective
and needed work.
Mr. Zschau. Are you suggesting that if half the nations did as
we did, that that total amount that would be reduced from the
U.N. budget could be offset by getting rid of unnecessary activities
Senator Kassebaum. I think certainly some of it can. It is over a
4-year period of time and that would be an adjustment that could
be, I think, lived with. If indeed with intensive study that this sub-
committee has done on the United Nations, perhaps you are better
able to address that than I specifically, but obviously you think
really no reductions can be made. I can only offer my rather super-
ficial observations plus visiting with those who have served as our
representatives there, you know, unofficial representatives who do
attend now and then who are strong supporters of the United Na-
tions, who have called me since this amendment and said, "You
are right on target."
Mr. Zschau. Refresh my memory. How much money are we talk-
ing about the United States saving over a 3-year period of time?
Senator Kassebaum. Over 4 years it would be about $500 million.
Mr. Zschau. So, if half of the nations follow suit, for the sake of
argument double that, and we are talking about a billion dollar
savings over a 4-year period of time.
How big is the total budget of the United Nations per year? I am
not familiar with that.
Senator Kassebaum. It is about a billion and a half for the agen-
Mr. Zschau. I guess in trying to understand what the impact is, I
would have to make a judgment as to whether as you suggest we
could do this without losing any of the essential services and activi-
ties the United Nations provides. But to go to the last point that I
would like to ask about, you made a suggestion that if we did this,
we might be able to take some new approaches that would make
the United Nations more effective than it is currently, and I would
like to ask you what you had in mind there.
Senator Kassebaum. I think even our own AID programs and so
forth can use a reevaluation to make sure that money is being
wisely spent. I frankly believe that we can do more by focusing in
on smaller projects that meet the needs of the countries, whether it
is in health or with the labor organizations, with education, than
just grandiose conferences and reports that really fail frequently to
get the money or the input there where it can best be used. I think
that we have seen some smaller projects. I point to one in El Salva-
dor that I think is working enormously well with a small amount
of funding that was reluctantly finally given by AID. That was a
co-op, which could begin then to process tomatoes which were a
major product in the area, and yet they were not being fully uti-
lized. They started a catsup plant, which has expanded and been
That is the kind of thing. This is speaking with one very small
issue, but I find many times over a period of time we tend to grow
barnacles on our programs and think that since that is the way it
has always been, heavens, we can't change it or everything might
All I am saying is I believe in my analysis of the money that was
requested that the United Nations won't fall apart. It may shake
things up enough that we would really rethink how in today's
world we could better meet the needs. The figure might not be
right, but I don't know that we will know unless we begin to try it.
Mr. Zschau. Would you anticipate any impact whatsoever in the
activities of the United Nations toward preserving peace in the
world if we took this action? Do you think it would have a positive
effect or negative effect or no effect?
Senator Kassebaum. It doesn't affect the voluntary organizations
such as peacekeeping forces. That funding is not affected.
Mr. Zschau. But would you expect that if the United States took
this action, which in our entire history we have never done, would
you anticipate that might have any effect in our ability to help pre-
serve peace around the world?
Senator Kassebaum. I don't see that it would.
Mr. Zschau. I thank you very much, Senator, for answering my
Mr. Yatron. I would like to recognize Mr. Leach for a comment.
Mr. Leach. Madam Senator, I would like to stress that I think
several points you have made are quite valid. Your analogy of bar-
nacles is particularly poignant. There are always problems in large
institutions. The question, however, remains: What are our obliga-
tions under international law? How do we as a society deal with
them? Here I think we should tip a hat to the administration for
trying to impose a restraint on U.N. spending. But in tipping our
hat, we ought to support, rather than undercut, this administra-
tion's requests to Congress.
Second, I must confess to being a bit troubled by one implicit
analogy you made and your comments regarding the fact that the
Soviets don't meet their full obligation. I don't think that is a ra-
tionale for the United States not to meet its obligation.
Senator Kassebaum. No.
Mr. Leach. That would be much like saying because the Soviets
shot down a civilian airliner, we should shoot down one of theirs.
Senator Kassebaum. That is why I say we would fully meet our
Mr. Leach. It is not clear that we would under your amendment
because that isn't the way the rest of the world acts or the way our
treaty obligations at this moment are written.
Third, we should be clear in noting that there aren't a lot of
other countries in the world clamoring for this approach. I don't
know of any of our allies that have publicly acclaimed this amend-
atory approach. Certainly, many of our allies are supporting a
little greater restraint in growth in U.N. spending and they are
working with us at the United Nations to try to put a cap, or at
least a curb, on some of the growth we saw in the last decade, but
that is a very different approach than advocating that either the
United States or other Western governments ought to go back on
their current commitments. I don't know of a single Western gov-
ernment that has advocated that.
If I am wrong, perhaps you could correct me and cite an exam-
ple, but I don't know of any myself.
Senator Kassebaum. All I know is that, as I say, both the Soviet
Union and Great Britain have expressed a desire to reduce spend-
Mr. Leach. But not of this nature.
Senator Kassebaum. Perhaps they don't want to see us reduce
Mr. Leach. The Soviet Union is a model I don't think we want to
replicate. I recently watched on television Britain's top U.N. func-
tionary express great concern over what is happening in this coun-
try at this time and, as we look at our relations at the United Na-
tions, it is very interesting to contract the enormous support Great
Britain got in the Falkland crisis with the enormous difficulty we
had in marshaling enough votes to force a Soviet veto on a patent-
ly uncivilized act, the Korean airliner incident.
It is my sense that our foreign policy at the United Nations has
become un-British. In becoming very un-British, we have become
much less effective than we once were. Not that our foreign policy
should ever be "British," but if we look at different approaches to
the managing of multilateral affairs in this kind of forum, we have
got to ask ourselves whether declamatory rhetoric isn't of itself
Finally, let me stress with regard to your amendment, and your
manner of presentation, that you should be complemented for the
way you have avoided irresponsible and irrational diatribe. As
much as I disagree with your approach, I think it has been present-
ed in a very stateswomanlike way and for that I respect your ini-
Senator Kassebaum. Thank you.
Mr. Yatron. Senator Kassebaum, thank you very much for ap-
pearing here today and giving us the benefit of your views.
Senator Kassebaum. Thank you.
Mr. Yatron. Our final witness today is the Honorable Elliot
Richardson, chairman of the U.N. Association of the United States
of America. Elliot Richardson has had wide experience in Govern-
ment, having served as Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of De-
fense, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and Attorney
His background in foreign affairs includes service as an Ambas-
sador to the United Kingdom, Ambassador to the Law of the Sea
negotiations, and Under Secretary of State.
Ambassador Richardson, we are pleased and honored to have you
STATEMENT OF HON. ELLIOT L. RICHARDSON, PRESIDENT, U.N.
ASSOCIATION, ACCOMPANIED BY STEVEN A. DIMOFF, DIREC-
TOR, WASHINGTON OFFICE, U.N. ASSOCIATION
Mr. Richardson. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, members
of the subcommittee. Before I proceed with my prepared statement,
Mr. Chairman, may I ask that the record show that I am accompa-
nied by Steven A. Dimoff, director of the Washington office of the
Mr. Yatron. We welcome Mr. Dimoff here today.
Mr. Richardson. It is a pleasure for me to testify once again
before this subcommittee. I congratulate you on holding these hear-
ings at this moment. The relationship between the United States
and the United Nations is an important one that involves profound
issues of this country's view of itself and of the world at large. As
President Reagan once again reaffirmed in his speech to the open-
ing session of the U.N. General Assembly yesterday, this country
has been supportive of the United Nations since its founding.
"Our goals are those that guide this very body," he said, adding,
"Our ends are the same as those of the United Nations founders."
The President emphasized that, "The United Nations has a proud
history of promoting conciliation and helping keep the peace. * * *
The United Nations and its affiliates have made important contri-
butions to the quality of life on this planet, such as directly saving
countless lives through its refugee and emergency relief pro-
Nevertheless, many people continue to question the usefulness of
the world organization as this subcommittee has been just discuss-
ing, and the Senate recently voted to make debilitating cuts in U.S.
support for the United Nations. In recent days, there has been a
series of intemperate remarks about the United Nations, going so
far as to question whether it should remain in the United States.
These comments have been unfortunate, it seems to me, in all re-
spects but one; namely, that they do provide an opportunity for re-
1 See appendix 9 for text of speech.
flection on the underlying causes of the problem and the true atti-
tudes of the American people.
I should like at this point to read to the subcommittee a brief
statement on these issues by six former Secretaries of State, seven
former U.S. Permanent Representatives to the United Nations, and
two former National Security Advisers:
The United Nations is an important instrumentality in the conduct of American
foreign policy. Our experience, both in our public and private roles, has brought this
home to us. The United Nations provides this country with a forum for protecting
and promoting our own interests as well as for seeking solutions to problems we
share with other countries.
It is appropriate as well that this country should be the site of the United Na-
tions, given the vision that has guided us as a nation and given the role we play, on
all levels, in the world today. We all recognize the shortcomings of the United Na-
tions, but we live in a very imperfect and increasingly dangerous world and we
must make the best use possible of whatever means we have for managing the prob-
lems that beset us.
Those who have authorized me to make this statement on their
behalf include Alexander M. Haig, Henry A. Kissinger, Edmund
Muskie, William P. Rogers, Dean Rusk, Cyrus Vance; former Na-
tional Security Advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft; and
former U.N. Ambassadors George Ball, Arthur Goldberg, Donald
McHenry, Daniel P. Moynihan, John Scali, William Scranton, and
Andrew Young. Needless to say, I heartily concur with the senti-
ments of this distinguished bipartisan group.
For my own remarks here today, I shall begin with some com-
ments on the location of the United Nations in the United States.
It is generally accepted that President Roosevelt pressed to have
the headquarters of the United Nations in this country because he
wanted to do all that he could to thwart efforts by American isola-
tionists â€” of whom there seems always to be a vocal if not large con-
tingent â€” to keep the United States from joining the organization.
But that is history. What is more important is that there are good
reasons today for keeping the U.N. headquarters here.
Some of them are practical â€” the United Nations contributes
about $700 million to the New York area economy alone, nearly as
much as the U.S. portion of the entire U.N. budget. In addition,
U.N. development programs spend substantial sums for U.S. goods
Second, it is useful to the United States to have delegates from
virtually every country in the world experience American society
at firsthand. Those of us who have genuine confidence in the
strength and attractiveness of our system can only welcome this
unique opportunity to impress the rest of the world.
What I believe to be the most important considerations, however,
are less tangible. This country is the proper site for the preeminent
world organization because of the role America plays in the world.
The United States is not just the leader of a coalition, nor just a
leader of a certain group of countries that share our values and po-
litical system, it is the leading country in the entire world commu-
nity. It is regarded as such by all, though the fact may not always
be admitted or rejoiced in. As such it is our proper function and
our responsibility to be the home of the United Nations.
We should all recognize, however, that the argument is not
really about the site of the United Nations. It is about the organi-
zation itself, and our relationship to it, and in turn it is about how
we see ourselves in relation to the rest of the world and how we
believe the problems we face should be dealt with.
To some extent, of course, the thought that the United Nations
might take itself elsewhere reflects exasperation at criticism by
others, and it evaporates with the first sober thought about what
the United Nations means for us. As such, it is inconsequential.
At another level, however, it reflects the persistent presence in
this country of a narrow nationalism that once was called isolation-
ism. Although it has long been a feature of the American political
scene, it is not a characteristically American viewpoint. It is a form
of ideology, and we are a people who have generally shunned ide-
ology, and who developed pragmatism to a fine art.
It emphasizes fear and suspicion of the outside world, and we are
a people who have thrived on confidence and an openness to the
rest of the world. It is at heart a rejection of cooperative ways of
dealing with problems, while no people in the world has prided
itself more, or with more reason, on knowing how to make things
work by cooperative effort.
The rallying point for this narrow viewpoint is hostility to the
United Nations, though it is not the United Nations itself that is
fundamentally at issue. Like other attempts to adjust to the reali-
ties of global independence, the United Nations is the target of a
sense of frustration and resentment. These feelings spring from a
number of simplistic assumptions, all of them wrong: That the
United States is still consistently able, as we like to think it once
was, to protect and promote its own interests solely by its own ef-
forts; that organized, multilateral means of solving or dealing with
problems are not only in the main unnecessary, but are to be dis-
trusted; and that unilateralism is forced on us by an essentially
This is a crippling vision of the world for a superpower with
global responsibilities. Whether we like it or not, our fate is indis-
solubly bound up with the actions of countries with different eco-
nomic, political and social systems, as well as with other developed
Western countries. In today's world, scarcely an important Ameri-
can interest, and no serious threat to our well-being, is within our
power to manage or control by ourselves or with a few friends.
Native American pragmatism, faced with that reality, would see
only one sensible course â€” to employ every available means, includ-
ing the use of multilateral organizations, to bring to bear on these
concerns the joint efforts of the countries necessary to their suc-
Fortunately, the American people continue to show the common-
sense and pragmatism they are known for. A public opinion poll
conducted this past summer by the Roper organization for the U.N.
Association demonstrates once again that a clear majority of the
public believes that the United Nations is important, that the
United States should maintain or increase its participation in it,
and that the organization is a place where we can hope to work out
acceptable solutions to important problems.
Only a small minority characterizes the United Nations â€” as do
the neoisolationists â€” as an anti-American organization where a
hostile majority consistently comes to decisions against U.S. inter-
ests. Roughly the same number â€” 19 percent â€” would have the
United States give highest priority to answering attacks on their
country in the United Nations rather than on working for agree-
ments on major global issues.
Mr. Yatron. Excuse me for interrupting. We unfortunately have
a vote on an amendment on the coal slurry pipeline bill. We would
like to recess for about 10 minutes to go over and vote. When we
come back you can resume your statement. I am sorry that we
have to interrupt you.
Mr. Richardson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be right here.
Mr. Yatron. The subcommittee will resume its hearing.
Mr. Ambassador, we again apologize for the delay. You may pro-
ceed, Mr. Ambassador.
Mr. Richardson. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I was just about to offer for inclusion in the record of this hear-
ing, the poll results of the Roper poll that I had mentioned just
before the recess.
Mr. Yatron. Without objection, Mr. Ambassador.
[The poll follows:]
fc% C* 'k United Nations Association of the United States of America
300 East 42nd Street. New York. NY 10017 212 697 3232
UN STILL WINS APPROVAL OF MOST AMERICANS,
ROPER POLL REPORTS
By a sizable majority, Americans believe that enough common ground
exists in the UN to make it worthwhile for the US to work within the
organization and that decisions taken at the UN are largely compatible
with US interests. In addition, a near majority of those polled want
the US Government to pursue policies in the UN aimed at reaching agreements
acceptable to the broadest possible number of countries. Only 19 percent
give highest priority to answering attacks on Che L'S, and less than
one-fourth think the United Nations has become an anti-American organization.
These are the major conclusions of a Roper Poll commissioned by the
United Nations Association (UNA-USA) to gauge public support for the UN.
Also included in the Poll is a survey of UNA's members' attitudes towards
After releasing the Poll, Orville L. Freeman, Chairman of the Board