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The Soviet Union has demanded that the United Nations be reorganized on the "troika" principle, with equal executive power given the West, the Communist bloc and the neutral states. Each would wield a veto. This proposal quite clearly aims to emasculate the United Nations and in particular reduce the office of the Secretary-General to the same impotence which blights the functioning of the Security Council.
The interest shown in the position of Brazil in international affairs is in itself proof of the presence of a new force on the world stage. Obviously my country did not appear by magic, nor is it giving itself momentarily to a more or less felicitous exhibition of publicity seeking. When I refer to a "new force," I am not alluding to a military one, but to the fact that a nation, heretofore almost unknown, is prepared to bring to bear on the play of world pressures the economic and human potential it represents, and the knowledge reaped from experience that we have a right to believe is of positive value.
In his short story, "The Bear," William Faulkner wrote that sometimes a dog has to be brave "so she can keep on calling herself a dog." At the Sixteenth Session of the General Assembly this fall, the United Nations will have to be brave so it can keep on calling itself the United Nations.
Since 1914 the structure of the world has changed. Compared to the present struggle between West and East, the rivalries of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries sink into insignificance. Today we are faced, not with a clash of interests, but with a fight between ideologies, between the desire on the one hand to defend individual liberties and the resolve on the other hand to impose a mass religion. In the process the old standards, conventions and methods of international negotiation have been discredited. Had it not been for the invention of the atomic bomb, we should already have been subjected to a third world war.
Since we achieved our independence, several distinguished foreigners have visited our young Republic, and among the many questions they have asked have been those concerning our approach to Pan Africanism, our views on policies intended to keep Africa free of the restrictive forces of the cold war, and the measures we would suggest to implement our policy of neutrality. In the lines which follow we will endeavor to answer these significant questions.
IN JULY 1958, when for a time a summit conference seemed imminent, James Reston of The New York Times explained why the conference would be held in spite of American misgivings. "The truth is," he wrote, "that President Eisenhower has agreed to attend what he and his principal advisers profoundly and unanimously believe to be the wrong meeting at the wrong time and place on the wrong subject. The explanation is equally simple. It is that British public and parliamentary opinion forced the President's reluctant acquiescence, just as pressure from the British Labor Party was the decisive factor in arranging the last summit meeting with Premier Khrushchev in July 1955, at Geneva."
The saying that France has "the stupidest right in the world" was demonstrated again by the Algiers coup of April 1961. What the quartet of generals hoped to achieve that might or could have been durable is difficult to imagine. The French right is still nourished largely on the philosophy of Charles Maurras and the Action Française; and in recent years it has moved progressively toward fascism, a political development closely linked to phenomena of decay and obsolescence inherent in the social structure of France. This was expressed in laconic fashion by the former Catholic premier, Georges Bidault, when he said, "Tout se dégrade; je me sens devenir fasciste"- "Everything is debased; I feel myself becoming a fascist."
One morning early this summer a young French officer of the 1st Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment was asked why he had not participated, as had the rest of the unit, in the rebellion last April when strong elements of the French Army joined five retired generals in an abortive attempt to seize power in Algeria. "Because," he snapped, "I did not have the honor to be asked to join."
When the Turkish Armed Forces dissolved Parliament and took over the government on May 27, 1960, the Turkish Republic suffered its first violent crisis in its 38 years of existence. Both in Turkey and abroad there was widespread concern that this spelled the end of popular government for a long while to come. Now, after a year and a half of military rule, Turkey is reverting to normal democratic processes. In the interim some attempts were made to perpetuate military government, but overwhelming public resistance nipped them in the bud. In a referendum on July 9 the Turkish people voted themselves a new constitution and on October 29 the Second Republic will be officially baptized. But neither the Turks nor the world should be deluded into complacency. The crisis is not over. True, the first hurdle has been overcome, but the Republic is burdened with many problems and the road ahead is steep and bumpy.
About a decade ago a Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs created a furor on both sides of the border by saying that "the days of relatively easy and automatic political relations with our neighbors are, I think, over." Nourished for years, as we all had been, on post-prandial pap about the unfortified frontier and the capacity of North American good will to mellow away all differences, Americans and Canadians were unduly shocked. They disregarded the fact that Mr. Pearson had not said relations were deteriorating; he merely said they had become more complex. They had become more complex be cause they were no longer a simple matter of line- fence disputes over borders and waterways. We had both ceased isolating ourselves from the troubles of the world and, for that reason, we were likely to have differences on a great many more subjects than in the past. Mr. Pearson aimed to persuade people on both sides of the border to adopt an adult attitude to our relations, to abandon the persistent North American illusion that good will without understanding was adequate and that problems could be smiled away in intercommunity singing, to recognize that any two countries in close proximity were bound to go on having disputes and differences and that the mark of intelligence was not to pretend they did not exist but to approach them tolerantly, judiciously, and unemotionally-and, in a sense, to take them for granted.
The recent division of West Africa into what often appear to be two quite unreconcilable groups of independent states has seemed to justify the worst fears of those who have held that personal rivalries and cold-war issues would destroy African hopes for unity of outlook and action. Today the "Casablanca" group, with Ghana and Guinea among its most active members, and the larger, looser association of "Monrovia" countries, with Nigeria in the lead, do indeed appear to be at odds. Yet curiously, on some of the most important issues, their viewpoint is very much the same. For example, almost on the same day, in July, experts of the Casablanca group, meeting in Conakry, and experts of the Monrovia group, meeting in nearby Dakar, announced plans for economic coöperation which were startlingly similar.
In South Korea today, 16 years after the United States set out to help instill the art of democratic self-government among its people, we find ourselves in partnership with an openly authoritarian régime. Eight years after the conclusion of a costly and bitter struggle to preserve the infant Republic of Korea against Communist assault from the north the United States faces the possibility that Communism may present the impoverished and police-ridden people of the south with an increasingly attractive alternative. The South Korean military, so carefully nurtured as Asia's finest free-world force, has defied its mentors and destroyed the country's free institutions. Four billion dollars in economic aid has largely healed the wounds of the Korean War and revitalized various industrial, mining and other operations, but it has failed to lift the South Korean economy above bare subsistence levels, has failed even to prevent actual starvation conditions in the countryside. Meanwhile, almost unnoticed, there has been a disturbingly large movement of free people, the Koreans living in Japan, to behind the Iron Curtain.
The Thirteenth Dalai Lama, a year prior to his death in 1933, composed a Last Testament in response to petitions by his Ministers for perpetual guidance.[i] It was a legacy of leadership, prescribing a course by which Tibet might avoid international pitfalls which he even then foresaw. The Dalai Lama described his time as one beset by "Five Kinds of Degeneration." Among the worst of calamities, he said, "is the manner of working among the red people" (i.e. the Communists). Referring to the ills which had befallen their co-religionists in Mongolia, he warned the Tibetans it "may happen that here, in the center of Tibet, the religion and the secular administration may be attacked both from the outside and from the inside." His Testament continues: "Tibet is happy, and in comfort now; the matter rests in your hands. All civil and military matters should be organized with knowledge; act in harmony; do not pretend to do what you cannot do. . . . High officials, low officials, and peasants must all act in harmony to bring happiness to Tibet. One person alone cannot lift a heavy carpet; several must unite to do so."