|Message from Chair||UN Decade Objectives|
The US assault on the UN is now, more than ever before, a clear and present danger. As
previously reported in our Newsletter, the US Congress unilaterally limited the US peace-keeping
contribution in a way that permits the Pentagon to further reduce the US share of UN
peace-keeping assessments--by a unilateral determi-nation that US operations abroad are
contributing toworldwide peacekeeping objectives. See the Chair's letter to certain congress
members, which I was directed to draft and submit as a result of our 1995 Annual Business
Meeting in New York (Issue #Nine of September 1995).
The second of what I will call three strikes came on the 50th anniversary of the UN, when
several members of Congress introduced H.R. 2535, seeking US withdrawal from the UN by the
year 2000. Eleven Republican members of the House thereby urged the Congress to decide that
the UN no longer serves US national interests. US foreign policy, per this bill, is being distorted
by continued ties to the Wilsonian internationalism which was at the heart of the founding of the
UN in 1945. I have reproduced the text of this legislation below, so that you may decide how to
best use it to implement our objectives (for example, local op-eds).
The United Nations Association's draft letter to congressional representatives is set forth
belo w. It is an example of action that you can take or initiate to bring our views to the attention
of our representatives on "The Hill."
Presidential candidate Bob Dole's Republican Convention acceptance speech could be
characterized as "Strike Three." He therein "declared" that the US president--and not Boutros
Boutros Ghali--is in charge of US foreign policy.
This would be a good time for our members to react by writing op-eds and articles placed
in our local, regional, or national media locations--so that more citizens become aware of this
pressure to eliminate US reliance on the UN as a vehicle for serving its foreign policy objectives.
As a member of this special Interest Group, it is time to flex your writing or speaking muscles, to
alert all concerned about the growing tension regarding continued US participation in the UN and
its agencies (a process that began during the Regan Administration). Please forward copies of
any letters, op-eds, or articles that you produce. I can then include them in this Newsletter.
Next, I would like to thank all of those UNDIG members who have contributed a rather
rich vein of commentaries in the last several issues--especially, Professor Sompong Sucharitkul's
Issue Number 11 midterm review of the UN Decade. These contributions are deeply appreciated
by our membership. They attest to the growing interest in the development of our Newsletter and
group activities. PLEASE, continue to support your UN Decade Interest Group by writing a
commentary for this Newsletter (and for those who are not members of the choir) about any
matter that interests you and our membership!
Finally, I would like to especially thank Professor Andre de Hoogh (through the good
offices of UNDIG member Alfred Soons) and longtime UNDIG supporter Howard Meyer--who
have submitted sparkling commentaries on a Third Hague Peace Conference and Nuclear
At our Group's 1995 business meeting in New York, our informal steering committee
suggested that our Newsletter carry a restatement of the essential goals of the United Nations
Decade of International Law in each issue. Thus, new members (and seasoned members, as well)
can readily recall the reason for our existence. The UN Decade has four essential objectives:
This final segment of each Newsletter provides the opportunity to comment on any topic of
interest to the UN
Decade Interest Group (affectionately dubbed "UNDIG"). It has been a very useful source for
planning meeting agenda,
new issues to be addressed by UNDIG, and the like. Please take a moment to jot down any
criticisms, or suggestions.. Send E-Mail to Editor, UN Decade