Social Scientist. v 12, no. 132 (May 1984) p. 53.


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Why the US is Hostile Towards the UN System

WORLD CAPITALISM, which is once again undergoing a serious crisis, has always attempted by various means to pass the burden of such a crisis on to the developing countries. The current situation is no exception;

this has led to a sharpening of the contradictions between imperialism and the developing countries, and an escalation in the tempo of anti-imperialist struggles all over the world. Imperialism attempts, but in vain, to suppress these struggles and commits crimes such as genocide in Vietnam, armed intervention in Middle East, support to expansionist and racist regimes such as Isreal and South Africa, attempt to dismantle progressive regimes such as Nicaragua, invasion of smaller countries like Grenada, holding the entire mankind to ransom with the threat of a nuclear holocaust etc. There are less despicable but more sophisticated and continuous methods too. They arc political and ideological propaganda against progressive forces, encouragement to rebellions and secessions inside independent countries, embargoes and sanctions against countries which have adopted a different ideology, support to status quo oriented arrangements and propping up of ruthless military dictatorships. It is against this background that we should see the increasing US attack on the UN system.

At the close of 1983, the US served notice that it would withdraw from UNESCO since UNESCO was "departing" from its original objectives and increasingly becoming "political".1 It is recently reported that the US is considering "taking action" against UNCTAD and has also threatened to pull out from the UN committee on peaceful uses of outer space "because of its agenda of confrontation, politicisation and futility5'. This may appear strange since it was the US, immediately after the Second World War, which stood in the forefront to establish the United Nations Organization and a score of other specialised agencies to provide opportunities for mutual help and international cooperation. The withdrawal from and threat to certain UN bodies come exactly at a time when the world is passing through precarious moments and acute crisis, and at a time when the UN system is increasingly becoming the instrument of multilateral diplomacy for peace and against war and serving as a meeting place for states belonging to varioas social systems. The reason to-quit is neither technical nor isolated from the complex international relations and the active role played by the UN system in it. It is the culmination of a confrontationist path pursued by the West in general and the US in particular towards the Third Worid. The US attitude could be viewed only as a pressure tactic adopted to impose its views on the international community.



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