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.

Almost all the major issues of American foreign policy are before the Sixteenth General Assembly, for every international trouble that remains unsettled in lesser forums gets into the United Nations sooner or later. We will cheerfully confront them there-because our foreign policy, unlike the Soviet Union's, is rooted in the conviction that the United States has serious business in the United Nations. We are not out to destroy other governments, so we must negotiate with them.

In the public prints, the September song in the General Assembly promises to sound like standoff and stalemate. The broadcasts and the banner headlines will be about Berlin and about plans to arm, disarm and rearm. The General Assembly will meet in the shadow of these questions, but will not make decisions about them. It will, however, make decisions about next steps in building international institutions with the power to act on behalf of all nations, the weakest as well as the most powerful.

In his speech before the National Press Club on July 10, Secretary of State Dean Rusk restated our commitment to "the survival and growth of the world of free choice and the free coöperation pledged in the United Nations Charter." Most countries are joined with us in this commitment. Not to be so joined is folly for a small nation, which has no alternative, and criminal folly for a great one, which has.

In the same speech, the Secretary of State said: "All nations have commitments arising out of their own interests and out of their own hopes for the future. In the United Nations commitments to the Charter can weave the fabric of common interest which, by reaching beyond the cold war, may determine its outcome." The citizen, watching the United Nations at its complex work, will be less baffled if he keeps in mind the distinction between the issues which the U.N., reaching beyond the cold war, can do something about, and the issues on which U.N. action is necessarily limited to talk-useful, clarifying talk sometimes, but talk nevertheless.

The great cold war issues will not be settled by committee work in the United Nations, because they are questions whose outcome may be more important to the great powers than considerations of world opinion.

Berlin is certainly in this class. So is nuclear disarrnament:0 So, too, is the continuing problem of Communist China and its relationship to the world community. These unsettling issues are not really subject to a show of hands in the General Assembly. But all are subject to negotiation, and U.N. debate performs a signal service in pushing the great powers toward talking with each other about them.

Disarmament, for example, is everybody's concern, and as such it has been in and out of the U.N. for years. This year the frame of the debate may be fundamentally different. It is a fair generalization, though an oversimple one, that for the past decade disarmament talks-both the secret talks arid those amplified through the U.N.s megaphone-have been largely a dialogue of the deaf. Pragmatic U. S. plans for practical next steps have been answered with Soviet exhortations to sign first a treaty favoring a totally disarmed world, with details left vague about how this world can be safely reached. This year, by contrast, we are not only discussing next steps, but also setting forth our own picture of a world disarmed, one in which there are effective international organizations designed to keep the peace secure against secret arms and secret aggression; a world in which people are free to choose and rechoose their several destinies and their plural leaders, rather than being free to choose only one master, in one revolution, once in a lifetime. (The Soviets will no longer, in such a debate, get away with such sophistry as the offer to accept any inspection scheme if we will only accept their concept of disarmament-which amounts to saying that if we will let them do whatever they want to do, they will be glad to let us watch them do it.) The United Nations is certainly a proper forum for such a debate on the fundamental building blocks of mankind's destiny.

China policy is another great overhanging issue in the General Assembly-an issue on everybody's mind in whatever form it appears on the Assembly's agenda. Like the yearning for disarmament, the cumulative frustration about China policy is a factor in the domestic power struggle in every major nation. The recognition of Peking, and its admission to the United Nations, serve as an inexpensive blunt instrument with which leftist oppositions in a dozen countries beat the sitting governments over the head. By the same token, to favor the seating of Communist China in the U.N. is an easy way for Presidents and Prime Ministers to throw a bone to quiet the growling on their left. (The bone costs nothing as long as the United States can be counted on to prevent delivery.)

The seating of Communist China will again be "debated" in the General Assembly, as it has been debated for the past two years in spite of the symbolic "moratorium." The Assembly can theoretically decide on a status for Peking in the Assembly (though not in the Security Council, which decides these matters for itself). But the Assembly cannot solve the underlying problem, which is that Peking is not yet ready to accord a status in its foreign policy to the United Nations.

From our point of view, the Berlin problem is how to prevent the Soviet Union from changing the rules of the game before new rules have been agreed upon among the parties at vital interest. Since failure to reach a peaceful solution might cause nuclear particles to fall on the world's population without discrimination as to race, color or political belief, Berlin is a proper concern of all. The U.N. cannot impose a solution, but it can-and probably will-beg for one. Debate in the General Assembly can usefully contribute by making clear that self-determination is not only for Africans and Asians but for Berliners and other Germans as well

Questions like Berlin, nuclear disarmament and China policy are certainly not beyond negotiation. We would be glad to find somebody in the Communist world willing to talk sense about them. Talk in the United Nations committees can be useful in framing the debate between the "world of free choice" and the "world of coercion." But the issues themselves can only be clarified, they cannot be settled, by a roll call in the General Assembly. On these issues the United Nations is no better off than Cleopatra's eunuch servant, Mardian, in the dialogue by Shakespeare:

Cleo. . . . Hast thou affections?

Mar. Yes, gracious madam.

Cleo. Indeed!

Mar. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing. . . . Yet I have fierce affections and think What Venus did with Mars.

The policy of the Soviet Union in the United Nations is to play on these fierce affections in the hope that some of the blame for the cold war's stalemated issues will fall on the United States and its allies. In the process, the Soviets do what lawyers often do-in court they dispute the court's jurisdiction, and at the same time in the newspapers outside they argue their case as though the court had jurisdiction. The Soviet Union has just about given up the pretense that it will trust the United Nations with any decision affecting the Soviet Union, but it still argues loudly that the West is laggard in carrying out U.N. resolutions on colonialism. Our own record may include a few inconsistencies in this debate, but they are dwindling. President Kennedy opened his Administration with a pledge to the United Nations "to enlarge the area in which its writ may run."

Our position in the United Nations on the stalemated issues is vitally important since it will affect our progress on the road around stalemate. We are not just prepared to state our case in the United Nations. We are determined to do so.

Our main purpose is not to change the position of the Soviet Union, although we will certainly try. Our efforts are not even designed to produce solid support for our policies by all the U.N.'s other members. We would welcome this support, but we have no illusion that Soviet intransigence will crumble before even a unanimous indictment.

Our goal is to prove that all issues, cold-war or otherwise, can be resolved by free choice and free coöperation and that the United States is ready to resolve them that way. Some members of the United Nations have never learned this; others, with more good will but less experience, have forgotten it in the panic to settle issues that the Soviet Union will not allow to be settled. Judging from past experience, the reaction of many of the under-committed countries of Asia and Africa to the Soviet-created tensions will be to urge the West to compromise; they know the Soviets won't. The facts are, however, that on the test-ban issue, on general disarmament, on the delicate dilemmas of Western colonialism and on other issues such as Berlin that are present even without a place on the agenda- on each of these issues, the United States' position is a Charter position. Nothing that we seek would do violence to the Charter, or require a special interpretation of it for our benefit. To keep restating the Charter position, an exercise in equal parts exhilarating and exhausting for those who engage in it, is perhaps the only way to bring the United Nations back through the cold-war looking-glass into the world where things are what they seem.


United States strategy in the Sixteenth General Assembly, then, is to help bind together the nations committed to the Charter into an open international society. The Communists can join this society if they wish, but it can get along nicely while awaiting their pleasure. We may not have to wait forever. The resources of the open society, including the matured capacities of the United Nations, can ultimately prove to the last dogmatist the proposition that "those who would not be coerced" will not, in fact, be coerced. It already displays some surprising and impressive capacities in this regard.

The United Nations has not done much to resolve the cold war, but it has demonstrated a capacity to act on behalf of peace and security, in situations involving something less than a global confrontation between the nuclear powers. It has not noticeably raised the level of brotherly love, but it has shown a capacity to befriend the oppressed, especially on the issue of colonialism. It has not ended poverty, but it has acquired a unique capacity to create those institutions that are prerequisite to plenitude in the developing nations. Act, Befriend and Create: these are at least a beginning, an ABC of world order. They are indeed the loom on which the Western world and the Southern Hemisphere will "weave the fabric of common interest"-with or without the threads of Soviet coöperation.

The capacity of the United Nations to act on behalf of peace and security has just survived the test of the Congo operation. Its actions there already qualify as a great achievement of international administration. Overnight in the Congo, the United Nations found itself in the midst of a struggle at once political, military and economic. It had to mobilize and direct hundreds of civilian administrators and technicians to save the sum of things from complete collapse and begin the process of nation-building. At the same time it had to build, transport, supply and command a polynational multilingual army of 20,000 troops for a unique and hazardous mission; the air transport of these troops, handled mostly by the U.S. Air Force without a single accident to date, is itself one of the great safety stories of our time. It had to help the faction-ridden leadership of the Congo to arrest the fragmentation of their new nation, and begin the tortuous task of fashioning a national government in a still tribal society. Reaching out beyond the cold war in operations designed to prevent a Spanish Civil War in Central Africa, it had to act decisively to prevent the cold war from reaching out to displace the United Nations itself.

As this is written, the intricate comings and goings of Congolese politics have somehow produced a new government of national union, legitimized by a Parliament which the U.N. sealed off in monastic seclusion on a college campus until it could agree on a sense of direction for the Congo. By insisting on a government of unquestioned legitimacy, the U.N. gambled on self-determination by the Congolese-and won. The implications of its success are enormous. Troops and administrators representing the aroused conscience of the world community were brought into a situation of chaos and made some order out of it-frustrating the indirect aggression and imported separatism that were sponsored by some of the U.N.'s own members.

The Congo is the biggest example by far of the United Nations' capacity to take executive action. It is by no means the only significant one. Consider the variety of present and potential U.N. "presences" around the world.

On the Asian continent, the Laotian civil war is already deeply penetrated by major-nation power on both sides; the United Nations "presence" there is on vacation, but it could still become at a later stage the middleman in the process of building in Laos something resembling a national government. There has been a form of United Nations presence in Cambodia, too, for handling refugee matters and whatever else comes up. Further to the southeast, both sides in the dispute over West New Guinea are talking about some kind of United Nations involvement. The United Nations has been "seized of" Kashmir, that stickiest leftover of the partition of British India, for more than a decade; only an heroic measure of bilateral tolerance by both Pakistan and India will prevent another seizure in this regional cold war.

In the Middle East, a precarious calm has been maintained partly by the presence of the United Nations-a sometime representative of the Secretary- General in the Jordanian capital of Amman, the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization, a massive relief program for a million refugees, and a 5,000-man United Nations Emergency Force in the Gaza Strip. The relief agency is before the Assembly now for abolition or continuation next year; in the resulting cacophony, there is danger that the plight of the refugees themselves will be forgotten.

In North Africa, the Bizerte affair will still be on everybody's mind, and may still be on the United Nations agenda. Bizerte, in turn, could bring the Algerian question back into the United Nations. South of the Sahara, Angola, apartheid in South Africa and the status of South West Africa will doubtless be debated again, even though U.N. committees cannot travel to these places; the atmosphere will predictably be inflamed by stubborn adherence to principle on both "colonial" and "anti-colonial" sides. The issue of "target dates" for independence will also be with us again, as U.N. commissions travel around the world wherever they are permitted to go, examining how fast and how well the remaining colonies are being readied for self-determination.

Just under the surface of the public consciousness, the Secretary-General is extending the U.N.'s capacity to act as technical consultant to new nations on a wide range of matters. In Togo, for example, a Special Representative of the United Nations regularly travels from Geneva. In Somalia, a U.N. adviser operates from a base as Resident Representative of the Technical Assistance Board. Arrangements are contemplated to provide a similar service in Tanganyika. Ruanda-Urundi is being assisted toward independence by a United Nations Commission set up at the Fifteenth Assembly; some continuing United Nations concern for internal security and governmental institution-building is inevitable after Belgium's formal grant of freedom for this territory, scheduled for next year. The United Nations thus crops up in many parts of the newly developing world because there is so often no bilateral alternative.

The development of the U.N.'s capacity to act has infuriated the custodians of the cold war. Their voices, however, have sounded surprisingly thin in the face of the determination of the uncoerced nations that this capacity will continue to grow. In the current Assembly, perhaps this capacity to act will be the real "great issue," because on this issue the organs of the United Nations do not only talk, they also make decisions that stick.


When we go beyond the capacity to act for peace and security to consider the U.N.'s capacity to befriend the oppressed, we confront its least developed aspect. Yet in stressing self-determination for all colonial peoples, a growing majority of the General Assembly has brought independence to pass more rapidly and in more places than would otherwise have been possible.

Until now the "capacity to befriend" has been exercised almost exclusively in the liquidation of the old trading empires. Non-white peoples have been its beneficiaries. But in most of the world -virtually all of Latin America and Asia, more than half of Africa-the most serious problems have to do not with colonialism but with the nature of government in the newly independent nations. In this post-colonial era the United Nations also has an important task: to help teach the art of self-government, to help protect independence by frustrating its subversion from outside and building its institutional reality from inside. In the Charter and in several international conventions, ratified and unratified, there are plenty of wonderful words about human rights and freedom of political choice. How to make these words operational inside the developing countries, for both majorities and minorities of whatever color or origin, may prove to be an exciting new frontier for the U.N. of the 1960s.

Equally relevant and further advanced is the U.N.'s capacity to assist in building social, economic and administrative institutions that make an open society meaningful. The United Nations and its Specialized Agencies have proved that the creation and strengthening of institutions can be carried out effectively, in some cases most effectively, by multilateral means. When many of the preconditions for economic growth are absent, the required degree of involvement in a recipient society is often simply too great for a single nation or even a group of nations. But the U.N. is not yet organized for the job ahead.

The answer to this problem, however, is not a huge capital fund to be dispensed by the General Assembly, though this proposal will doubtless be a prominent subject in the forthcoming session. In the business of economic development, the U.N.'s destiny is more relevant and more exciting. A network of aid programs, multilateral and bilateral, has been created or is in the offing. In this network, the United Nations' family of agencies should have a central role to play, especially in helping the most sensitive nations to plan both the use of their own resources and their acceptance of bilateral aid.


The U.S. position on this and on the other real issues before the United Nations is clearly predictable from policies already set forth by the President and the Secretary of State. It amounts to a philosophy for the United Nations that will be valid with or without Soviet coöperation. Our tactics in the Sixteenth General Assembly flow naturally from our aims:

1. To adopt a posture of evident reason and firmness on the political and security issues, such as Berlin and disarmament, which affect our vital interest.

2. To press for the further strengthening of the executive capacities of the United Nations.

3. To mobilize the moderate elements of the Assembly for debate and action on the problems that must be resolved.

4. To oppose any unparliamentary practices which play into the hands of shouters and shoe-pounders.

The General Assembly will open in September at a time of crisis, not just in world affairs, but in the United Nations itself. The world organization is under sustained attack from the Soviet bloc, which seeks nothing less than to destroy the integrity of the international Secretariat and thus the capacities of the U.N. for executive action. Moreover, the increasing number of new members in the General Assembly has altered the character of the United Nations and weakened the commitment to the organization by several non-Communist governments. It can weaken the commitment of significant sections of American opinion. Without important United States initiatives to defend the United Nations' Integrity and strengthen its capacity to operate, the organization may find itself on the fatal slope of compromise.

There is real danger of weakness in the U.N., but there is another danger which its enthusiasts are less likely to perceive: that its developing capacities will be pressed too hard. Potentially, there is a U.N. angle to every problem confronting us, and we have a serious responsibility for rationing the load we place on the organization. Up to a point, loading more onto the United Nations helps to enhance its capacity to act. Beyond that point, overloading can be dangerous if it makes the machinery creak too badly or exposes the executive to too many different kinds of political attack at one time.

The load the United Nations can safely bear must also be geared to the extent of the commitment of the non-Communist world to U.N. action. The unwillingness of the Communist countries to recognize how far the writ of the United Nations already runs renders it doubly difficult for free nations to swallow U.N. actions which they find objectionable. But the free nations should not want to emulate the noisy isolationism of the U.S.S.R. Behind the hot Soviet rhetoric is a cold fact: the Soviet Union has not yet shown sufficient maturity to live by twentieth-century rules in a community of nations.

By contrast, the United States is willing to do so, and it is not bashful about urging the other nations of the world to join in an enlarged commitment to the United Nations. That is why we shall continue to insist on the integrity of the Secretariat and vigorously oppose any efforts to inject into its composition any considerations not specified in the Charter. We are not very much concerned about whether or not the Soviets continue to press for the troika-or three-headed-monster-theory of international administration. As nearly every non-Communist country in the world has already made clear, the troika is strictly no sale.

It is not enough merely to preserve the United Nations from the clumsy wrecking tactics of the U.S.S.R. The U.N. has to expand its jurisdiction over the affairs of men and nations faster than men expand the capacity of their nations to destroy each other. And in achieving U.N. growth, there is no substitute for United States leadership. Whether or not we relish our central role in international politics, our power simply denies us the luxury of sitting out every second dance. Our commitment to the Charter is greater than that of other members, not at all because we are wiser than they but because our ability to act or to withhold action still makes us the number one power in the United Nations.

We have at times been short on strategy. Our objectives have often been too dependent on Soviet action. Our objective today, however, is precisely as Secretary Rusk stated it: "In the United Nations, commitments to the Charter can weave the fabric of common interest which by reaching beyond the cold war may determine its outcome."

This is an objective which could be embraced by every member outside the Soviet bloc. It is not just the symbolic stuff of which ringing preambles are made; it is an objective pursued in actions -actions by operational international organizations. Provided the leadership is there, the fundamental condition is favorable and the objective realistic-because the United Nations Charter and the constitutions of other major international organizations are vivid expressions of the philosophy of "free choice and free coöperation." But a willingness on our part to lead is a prior decision.

"Leadership" of course does not mean the insistent noisiness of the pitch man. What is involved in leadership is something more subtle and more effective: an activist attitude, a sense of direction and a willingness to be caught in the middle, because the middle is where power has to be exercised. For the United Nations to be brave, its members, including the United States, must first be brave.

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