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sexta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2014

Assembleia Geral da ONU, 50 anos atras (1964): quase nao acontece (NYT)

Pois é: eram um tempo em que os russos (ops, os soviéticos) bloqueavam tudo. Hoje eles estão mais cooperativos, não é?
Ainda bem que somos aliados deles, não é?
Paulo Roberto de Almeida 

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The United Nations General Assembly convened in New York starting this week. Fifty years ago, the Assembly almost didn’t meet at all.
A dispute over the Soviet Union’s failure to pay its $52.6 million share of bills for peacekeeping operations in the Congo and the Middle East delayed the start of the 1964 session until December, after the United States threatened to invoke a U.N. rule barring countries whose payments were more than two years in arrears from voting in the Assembly.
The dispute dragged on for months, with the Assembly convening to hear speeches but not taking any votes at all. It wasn’t until the next summer that the Soviets agreed to make “voluntary contributions”and the other big powers agreed to let normal voting procedures resume.
Other countries were rushing to pay their U.N. bills, including Taiwan, which hoped that its $3.6 million check would preserve not only its voting rights but also its very membership in the organization, which was under attack from supporters of the Communist-governed mainland. (Taiwan succeeded, but only until 1971, when the Assembly voted to expel it and admit the country known today simply as China.)
Other issues before the Assembly included civil war in the Congo (today’s Democratic Republic of Congo), ethnic tension inCyprus and the admission of Malawi, Malta and Zambia to the United Nations. The addition of those three, all former British colonies, brought the membership of the United Nations to 115 countries; today there are 193. There was also a busy schedule of diplomatic parties and receptions; those given by Pakistan were said to be among the most enjoyable.
If President Johnson attended any part of the regular Assembly session of 1964, it was not recorded in The Times, although the president did speak at a ceremony in San Francisco the next spring marking the 20th anniversary of the United Nations. The United States delegation was led by the ambassador Adlai Stevenson, while the Soviet Union was represented by its foreign minister, Andrei Gromyko.
There was at least one delegate with star power: Ernesto Guevara, known as Che, the Cuban Minister of Industry, who gave a speech charging that the United States was planning to attack Cuba. As he spoke, anti-Castro rebels fired a bazooka shell at the U.N. from across the East River in Queens; it fell into the water and did no damage.
Che Guevara, cigar in hand, listened to a speech by the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, on Dec. 14, 1964. CreditHarry Harris/Associated Press

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