United States. Dept. of State. Office of Public Co.

Department of State bulletin (Volume v. 56, Jan- Mar 1967) online

. (page 18 of 90)
Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 56, Jan- Mar 1967) → online text (page 18 of 90)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

cal and military stability will not be achieved
but could instead be destroyed by a policy of
making agreements and then not carrying
them out.

We have seen in Europe, during the two
decades since World War II, the success of a
policy of insisting that the integrity of inter-
national settlements not be upset by force.
The strengthening of Western Europe
through the Marshall Plan and the North At-
lantic Treaty put an effective curb on Soviet
expansionism. We have seen a favorable de-
velopment in the increased maturity of Soviet
conduct toward the rest of the world. With a
growing stake in preserving and developing
what has already been achieved at home, the
Soviet Government plainly pursues a very
different course from that of the younger and
still more violent revolution in China.

It is an important part of the task of build-
ing a more secure and just world to weight
the balances of other governments' processes
of calculation, so far as we are able, in the
direction of discussion and reason and away
from violence and force. This is part of the
meaning of the Viet-Nam war today. The use
of external force to gain political ends must
not turn out to be profitable.



The course of history shows that the
temptation to prey upon weaker nations has
often been too strong. In 1910 William James
foresaw: "The war against war is going to
be no holiday excursion or camping party."
He emphasized the vast difficulty involved in
abolishing war. "Extravagant ambitions," he
wrote, "will have to be replaced by reasonable
claims, and nations must make common cause
against them."

This process of making common cause goes
on even in the troubled world of 1966. For
all the disappointments, shortcomings, and
sometimes retrograde motion, the institution
of the United Nations has recorded progress
in the long world campaign for peace with
justice. The processes and machinery of
world organization will have to be strength-
ened and developed. Governments will have
to learn and act upon the conviction that
change is necessary to justice but that it must
be ordered and peaceful change, without vio-

James' essay from which I quoted was di-
rected to finding a "moral equivalent of war"
— a constructive activity that could take over
war's historic function of offering challenge
to man's ambitions and binding peoples to-
gether against a common foe. If it is chal-
lenge we need, the world scene is abundant.
There are no apparent limits to the resources
and energies that nations could put into the
exploration of space or into the improvement
of man's condition on earth. The pressure of
exploding population on food resources in the
world is as threatening as any invasion from
outer space could be.

The world still has time in which to adjust
and redirect man's activities toward survival
and growth. Will we not have the wit and the
will to make this effort? It seems a necessity
in this time when, as President Kennedy said:
"man holds in his mortal hands the power to
abolish all forms of human poverty and all
forms of human life." ''

U.S. Asks U.N. Secretary-General
for Help in Seeking Peace

Following is the text of a letter delivered
to U.N. Secretary-General U Thant by
Arthur J. Goldberg, U.S. Representative to
the United Nations, on December 19.

U.S. /U.N. press release B03B

December 19, 1966
My dear Mr. Secretary General: Two
world leaders who command the respect of
the entire international community have re-
cently voiced the desire for a cease-fire in
Vietnam. On December 8, Pope Paul VI
noted the temporary Christmas truce ar-
ranged in Vietnam and beseeched all con-
cerned to transform this temporary truce
into a cessation of hostilities which would
become the occasion for sincere negotiations.
And you, Mr. Secretary General, expressed
the sincere hope on the same day that the
parties directly concerned would heed the
Pope's appeal.

In the fourteen points my Government has
put forward as elements of a peaceful set-
tlement in Vietnam, you will recall, the
United States has explicitly stated: ^ A cessa-
tion of hostilities could be the first order of
business at a conference or could be the sub-
ject of preliminary discussions. I herewith
reaffirm our commitment to that proposal —
a proix)sal which is in keeping with the ap-
peal of the Pope as endorsed by you. Our
objective remains the end of all fighting, of
all hostilities and of all violence in Vietnam
— and an honorable and lasting settlement
there, for which, as we have repeatedly said,
the Geneva Agreements of 1954 and 1962
would be a satisfactory basis.

President Johnson has time and again
stressed his desire for a peaceful settlement
of the Vietnam conflict. Other United States
leaders have spoken in a similar vein. In
speaking before the General Assembly on be-
half of my Government on September 22,^

' For text of President Kennedy's inaugural ad-
dress, see ibid., Feb. 6, 1961, p. 175.

• For text, see Bulletin of Feb. 14, 1966, p. 225.
*Ibid., Oct. 10, 1966, p. 518.

JANUARY 9, 1967


I noted there are differences between our
aims as to the basis for such a settlement
and the stated position of North Vietnam.
I went on to say that: ". . . no differences
can be resolved without contact, discussion
or negotiations." This holds equally true with
regard to arrangements for a mutual cessa-
tion of hostilities.

We turn to you, therefore, with the hope
and the request that you will take whatever
steps you consider necessary to bring about

the necessary discussions which could lead
to such a cease-fire. I can assure you that the
Government of the United States will co-
operate fully with you in getting such dis-
cussions started promptly and in bringing
them to a successful completion.

I request that this letter be circulated as
an official document of the Security Ck)uncil.
Sincerely yours,

Arthur J. Goldberg

Institutions for Order

by Joseph J. Sisco

Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs ^

I am happy to be with you tonight because
of my admiration for the Joint Distribution
Committee. For over 50 years your organiza-
tion has been dedicated to the advancement
of human welfare. You have practiced the
highest kind of humanitarianism in a coldly
practical and realistic world.

You have brought hope and assistance and
security to millions of persecuted and under-
privileged members of the Jewish faith
wherever you could reach them. When neces-
sary, you have moved them to safe havens
where they could once again take up a nor-
mal existence as parts of larger communities.
You have done this through a nongovern-
mental effort which has won the applause of
men of good will everywhere and which has
served as an example for the welfare work
of many other groups and denominations.

I would like to suggest that this type of
practical idealism is needed not only in the

' Address made before the American Jewish Joint
Distribution Committee at New York, N.Y., on Dec.
7 (TJ.S./U.N. press release 5006).

field of human welfare, narrowly defined, but
throughout the entire range of international
relations. As man gains greater power not
only to alter his environment but to destroy
his fellow man, it becomes plainer than ever
that the world needs at least minimum
ground rules of good conduct. In the past,
when the destructive capabilities of men and
nations were smaller, our level of tolerance
for antisocial behavior in international af-
fairs was a good deal greater than it is today.
We could afford a certain measure of irre-
sponsibility. But the inexorable advances of
science and technology, with their enormous
destructive potential, have changed all that
for good.

Nor is the power of the atom the only
dangerous new force confronting our genera-
tion. All governments today, whatever their
ideology, are affected not only by the nuclear
threat but by the development of the race be-
tween population growth and the food sup-
ply and by explosive political, racial, eco-
nomic, and social problems. The solutions to
these problems are on the agenda of man-



kind not for just a year or two but for a
generation to come.

But I believe our greatest problem is none
of these. There may be keys that will unlock
all these doors, but what we need still more
is a master key which can open them all. I
submit that this key is a set of institutions,
of procedures, of habits of cooperation
among nations, strong enough to contain any
technical or political or economic or popula-
tion problem and move us toward a solution.
The building of such institutions and habits
of cooperation among nations is, I truly be-
lieve, the assignment of the century.

The nation-state has afforded us protection
in the past and has enabled us to make im-
mense material progress, but it is increas-
ingly clear that it alone cannot do so in the
future. No matter how strong, how vast, how
wealthy, how populous, a country may be, it
no longer lays claim to any absolute security.
It must look to alliances and regional associ-
ations; and, beyond even these, it must look
to some overarching entity embracing every
peace-loving state.

The United Nations is that entity. Fragile
as it is, the U.N. is the principal guardian of
the general interest of man that we have. It
was created to bring that interest to bear on
the great problems of our time. As guardian
of the general interest, the United Nations
functions as the keeper of the world's

The U.N. "Peace Machine"

On what principles can this machinery be
constructed ? One answer is to be found in the
preamble and the statement of purposes and
principles contained in articles 1 and 2 of the
United Nations Charter. These famous words
call on the nations to maintain international
peace and security by preventing aggression
and other breaches of the peace; to
strengthen the rule of law in the world; to
promote the self-determination of peoples,
the realization of human rights, and economic
and social progress for people everywhere.
They state the determination of the peoples
of the world "to practice tolerance" — and

what a tremendous idea is expressed in that
one word "tolerance" — and to "live together
in peace with one another as good neigh-

If all the world were to live by these rules
our troubles would be largely over. But the
framers of the charter had much too good a
grip on reality to expect that. They knew that
international conflicts would still occur. They
knew, too, that these conflicts do not always
arise out of a simple confrontation between
the angels who are right and the devils who
are wrong. Much more often, the problem is
less one of right against wrong than of "my
right" against "your right." The problem
then is to find some reasonable settlement
which will give at least minimal satisfaction
to the equitable claims of each party. And a
great deal of the work of the U.N. involves
exactly that kind of search for mutually ac-
ceptable arrangements — not satisfactory to
any party but bearable by all.

I will tell you frankly that the U.N.'s
efforts to fulfill even this more realistic aim
have been only moderately successful. There
have been successes and failures, and there
will be in the future.

This is because the U.N. is after all no
more than the totality of its member states
acting individually. Each of these members
is likely to be an interested party in many
of the problems at issue.

But however imperfect the record may be,
the fact is that the machinery itself, the
United Nations as an institution, is still run-
ning. It is in use for the purpose for which
it was created: as the charter itself puts it,
"to be a center for harmonizing the actions
of nations" in pursuit of their common aims
of peace and progress. When we consider the
depth of international discord in the world,
it is little wonder that the machine shows
signs of strain and wear and tear !

But don't be fooled. History is not made in
neat and tidy places but in the heat and dust
of conflict. This worn and battered "peace
machine" on the East River is, I submit, the
most original creation of man in our century.
It must be made to work effectively, because

JANUARY 9, 1967


with modern arms we will not have the
chance ag'ain to learn the lessons of World
War II.

Fundamental Settlements Take Time

And to balance its failures, the U.N. has
compiled a record of successes which provide
proof that it is an effective institution: again
and again it has damped down brush-fire
disputes that could have led to a world con-
flagration. The case of Korea was the U.N.'s
greatest confrontation with aggressors, but it
is only one item on the list. In a broad arc
extending from New Guinea to the Congo,
U.N. missions have helped to prevent fighting
or to bring it to an end where it has started.
In Kashmir, the U.N. stabilized a danger-
ously fragile demarcation line for 17 years
and restabilized it after the new outbreak of
1965. In the Congo, the U.N. prevented total
anarchy in a new nation and creation of a
chaotic vacuum which could have brought
great-power rivalry into the heart of Africa.
In the Middle East and in Cyprus, U.N. blue
helmets stand guard to this day over political
quarrels which remain dangerously explosive.

Unfortunately, this kind of peacekeeping
after the fact has been more effective than
the U.N.'s attempts to settle disputes before
they reach the stage of violence.

This is a pity, but it is a fact, a fact which
is easily explained. People are not too well
endowed with foresight. They will do a lot
of drastic things in the heat of crisis. They
will act heroically when the building catches
on fire, but you can't get them to clean out all
those oily rags in the basement. The problems
of peacemaking are very much the same.

It is far harder to persuade the parties to
negotiate out differences through mutual ad-
justment of passionately maintained claims
and views, and equally hard to induce antago-
nists to accept impartial outside judgment.
Even where U.N. peace forces patrol today —
in Cyprus, in Kashmir, and along the borders
of Israel — the embers of war are still alive;
and the U.N. is still unable to extinguish the
embers by producing fundamental solutions.

We have little basis for believing that this
situation will soon be changed in any very

substantial way. The opportunities for peace-
ful settlement will remain open; the varied
machinery the U.N. has at its disposal to set-
tle disputes will continue to be available;
but breakthroughs to fundamental settle-
ments will be rare and hard to come by.
Many governments — not only the United
States — work hard, but this will take time.

Meanwhile, we can perhaps do something
to improve the peacekeeping process itself.
On the "hottest" U.N.-guarded frontier, for
example, the frontier around Israel, there is
an urgent need for better security conditions.
The violence of recent days is deplorable;
violence tends to breed more violence.

The states concerned can themselves
satisfy some of the need for greater security
through better border controls and through
the internal control of raiding parties. These
states can also, and indeed should, recognize
that in their own interest they should aid and
not hamper the work of U.N. observers; they
should permit the access and provide the fa-
cilities which observers may reasonably re-
quest. Only in this way can the most accurate
summary of events be reported to the U.N.,
and only thus can the responsibility for what
has happened be most clearly fixed. For this
reason the United States welcomes and sup-
ports the Secretary-General's recent recom-
mendation to strengthen the U.N. Truce
Supervision Organization.

standards To Protect Individual Rights

While the organization continues to be
deeply concerned with maintaining the peace,
its members have increasingly come to re-
gard certain other aspects of the U.N.'s work
as of equal importance.

The "new look" at the United Nations
gives ever greater prominence to those mat-
ters which weigh most heavily on the minds
of the great nonwhite majority of nations
and populations now represented in the orga-
nization. Problems of human rights are very
much in the forefront, particularly those that
involve race discrimination. The manifold
problems of self-determination and economic
and social development are also high on the



Let me say a word about human rights. To
a degree never before achieved, the idea that
a state can do as it pleases with its own na-
tionals or with other individuals within its
territory is steadily losing ground. In con-
trast with the pre-World War II period, more
and more countries are recognizing that the
international community of the United Na-
tions has an interest in establishing and
maintaining standards to protect individual
rights^ — that this, too, is one of the ingredi-
ents of peace.

Beginning with the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights in 1948, we have seen a
steady flow of declarations and conventions
designed to induce states — which alone can
take such action — to protect the rights of in-
dividuals. Piece by piece, the U.N. is con-
structing a code of desirable international
conduct in the human rights area. The range

*" it covers is extremely wide, as it must be if
it is to bridge the gap that separates ad-
vanced from primitive societies and free from
controlled social systems. U.N. standards
cover: the prevention of slavery and forced
labor; the political rights of women; general
civil and political and economic, social, and
cultural rights; discrimination in education;
and discrimination on grounds of race and
religion. These standards are accepted by
many governments, but there is still a long,
long way to go.

For various reasons, not all states will

i ratify those U.N. human rights documents

, which take treaty form. In our own case, for
example, where the observance of individual
rights is deeply rooted in our tradition, some
of the U.N. standards are less advanced than
our own, and we would be loath to risk com-
promising the latter. We must, and do, never-

^: theless, encourage others to improve their
standards and practices; and if treaties
worked out within the U.N. are a useful way
for doing so, the United States will continue
to cooperate.

If the U.N. is to fulfill its basic purposes,
our attention to individual rights must be
matched by progress toward equality and
self-determination for whole nations and
We know from our own anticolonial tradi-

tion how important these principles are for
peoples who have only recently gained their
independence or who are still seeking it. For
such peoples, the United Nations is a source
of aid and protection. U.N. membership is a
badge of equal status in a world of sovereign

Thanks in large part to the U.N., over 50
new states have been created out of old
colonial territories since 1945, with a sur-
prising lack of violent opposition. The process
proves the adage that nothing is more power-
ful than an idea whose time has come.

This process still continues. The Security
Council this afternoon recommended the ad-
mission of Barbados to U.N. membership,
and the General Assembly is expected to vote
Barbados into the organization as its 122d
member by the end of the week.^

The few remaining pockets of resistance
stand out as glaring exceptions to the gen-
eral trend. Where colonial domination is
linked with race discrimination, the incon-
sistency is even more evident and the pres-
sure from those who have already gained
their freedom is the most impassioned.

If nothing is done in the areas where race
repression is sanctioned, race tensions could
erupt into violence both inside and outside
today's problem areas. It might then prove
impossible to forestall a downward drift into
anarchy and totalitarian dictatorship.

This is a problem no single nation can
handle alone. We are already confronted
with the question how far the U.N. should
go, and how far we as its strongest member
should go, to bring about the fulfillment of
U.N. objectives.

stubborn Problems of Southern Africa

At the moment this question is centered
on Rhodesia. This week Prime Minister
[Harold] Wilson made a dramatic and su-
preme effort to reach agreement with the
illegal regime of Ian Smith which would re-
store constitutional government and guaran-
tee the rights of the African majority. That
effort, as you know, collapsed when the

' For background, see Bulletin of Jan. 2, 1967,
p. 28.

JANUARY 9, 1967


Rhodesian leadership refused to agree. To-
morrow the United Kingdom will be asking
the Security Council to consider the imposi-
tion of selective mandatory sanctions against
the Rhodesian regime.'

The United Kingdom is now being pressed
to crush the rebellion by force in order to
end white domination. The African states
want independence for Rhodesia, and they
want the British to grant it only when the
4 million black men in Rhodesia are guaran-
teed the enjoyment of their rights. They
oppose independence on any other terms.

It would not be proper for me to antici-
pate what the U.N. Security Council may de-
cide to do in this situation. But it is note-
worthy that the Council a year ago with our
full support called for voluntary sanctions
against Rhodesia, and even went so far as to
authorize a British blockade of oil shipments
by sea through Portuguese Mozambique.^
President Johnson has long since pledged
United States support for the freedom of all
the people of Rhodesia, "not just 6 percent
of them." 5

South West Africa also presents an urgent
self-determination question. Last October the
U.N. General Assembly decided that South
Africa had in effect forfeited its old League
of Nations mandate to administer that terri-
tory, largely because South Africa main-
tained its apartheid policy there.^ The Assem-
bly is now seeking, through a special
committee created by an overwhelming vote,
to induce the Government of South Africa to
permit the establishment of an international
administration designed to lead South West
Africa toward self-determination.

This approach to a solution was accepted
in the Assembly by the United States and 113
other countries — virtually the entire interna-
tional community. Thus we know what we
want the U.N. to do, though we are not yet
clear on how it can be done.

' See p. 7.3.

■* For background, see Bulletin of Dec. 6, 1965,
p. 908, and May 2, 1966, p. 713.

"■Ibid., June 13, 1966, p. 914.

' For a U.S. statement and text of a resolution,
see ihid., Dec. 5, 1966, p. 870.

The Assembly's approach is wisely prag-
matic in this new and difficult situation. Its
committee has broad latitude to recommend
practical means by which South West Africa
should be administered for the desired ends.
When that committee reports next spring,
the time will have come for the U.N. to con-
sider what more can be done to move this
matter toward a just and satisfactory out-

These problems of southern Africa are
tough and stubborn. It will be exceedingly
difficult to induce those who hold power in
that area to comply with U.N. resolutions
designed to bring about political change.
Some of the U.N.'s weapons, such as moral
suasion and the power of world opinion,
have already been employed to no avail. The
alternatives are not without risks. Voices
will be heard calling for broad mandatory
economic sanctions, for the necessary steps
to make those sanctions effective, and for the
use of force. What the U.N. must determine
is the degree of sacrifice its members are
willing to contemplate, individually and col-
lectively, in order to achieve reasonable solu-
tions. Discussions of the use of economic and
military pressure by the U.N. lead us into
new and largely uncharted waters. The ques-
tions which are raised are vital for the future
of Africa, for the future of the U.N., and per-
haps ultimately for the future of every na-
tion which may someday stake its existence
on the rule of law in the world.

In this talk I have tried to give you a
glimpse of a few of the tough problems with
which we deal in the United Nations. The
U.N. didn't create these problems, any more
than a hospital creates the diseases and in-
juries with which it deals. Quite the reverse

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 56, Jan- Mar 1967) → online text (page 18 of 90)