Courtesy Reuters

For a Concert of Free Nations

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.

In this situation it has been suggested that a general conference of U.N. members be called to review and possibly revise the Charter. I believe that a review conference at this time would be an exercise in futility. Quite obviously, the Western powers-and, hopefully, many of the neutrals-will reject the Soviet scheme. And the Russians can hardly be expected to agree to any Western proposals for strengthening the organization when their own objective is diametrically opposed to this.

Whatever inadequacies there may be in the U.N. Charter, the problem is not basically a legal matter but one of power politics in a divided world. Instead of engaging in an arid and irrelevant exercise in legalities, we would be far better advised to seek feasible means of building a cohesive community of free nations. This objective should be pursued as far as possible within the United Nations. In large measure, however, it must be pressed outside of the U.N., through instrumentalities that reflect a limited but real community of common interests.

Despite the existence of a very imposing array of international organs of consultation and coöperation, the free nations of the world seem chronically unable to unify and coördinate their policies. They are at the same time confronted with an adversary who has repeatedly demonstrated an impressive capacity to mobilize diverse resources for the achievement of single-minded objectives. The question quite naturally arises whether some new machinery or system can be devised through which the free nations can advance their common interests with a far greater degree of coördinated effort and

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