Under the auspices of the United Nations Council, future U.N. delegates are being trained here in all the techniques necessary to their profession including the Gromyko method of quitting a meeting in a huff. This is one of the lesser-known activities of the student U.N. Council which, besides sponsoring speakers and forums, also makes policy suggestions to the U.N. Secretariat and the State Department.
Under the "model assembly" program the Harvard council combines with other colleges to form mock U.N. assemblies and debate current U.N. topics. Depending on its size, each college provides enough delegates for three to 13 "countries."
Last March ten colleges met at Wellesley for an assembly, and one of the four "Russian delegates", Robert H. Langaton '53, walked out on a committee on Human Rights. According to U.N. Council president Hugh J. Schwartzberg '53, Langston was quickly followed by a rather wondering girl from Pine Manor--the Polish representative."
CCUN Sends Suggestions
Policy suggestions for the United Nations are transmitted via the annual national meeting of the 195-member Collegiate Council for the U.N. (CCUN) to which the local group belongs. Since 1946 eight-day sessions of this "Annual Institute on the U.N." have been held every June at Finch College in New York City. Each member college sends one or two delegates--last June Peter S Capernaros `52 and Schwartzberg represented the Council.
During the conference the students meet top U.N. delegates either at Lake Success or in New York. "Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt always makes it a practice to attend." Schwartzberg commented.
Copies of the resolutions prepared here are sent to the State Department, which acknowledges and sometimes comments on them and the U.N. Secretariat. As to the effectiveness of such suggestions, however, Schwartzberg seems doubtful: "We are merely a public opinion pressure item," he explained.
Another organ through which the Council can make specific recommendations to the State Department is the "Commission to Study the Organization of Peace," which is a government advisory group consisting of about sixty prominent people mostly college professors. Among those who have served are Arthur N. Holcombe, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Phillip K. Jessup, Owen D. Lattimore, and John Foster Dulles.
3 Students Sent to Commission
Three college students are appointed to this Commission each year and Schwartzberg will serve on it until June. The group is now considering a report on "Narrow Waterways and Strategic Bases"--and one of the major topics is the Suez Canal.
The Council also exerts direct influence on the international field. Stephen M. Schwebel '50, U.N. Council President 1948-49, was a UNESCO delegate in 1950. Each year the International Student Movement for the U.N., of which CCUN is a subsidiary, and the World Federation of U.N. Associations have a non-voting seat on UNESCO.
Influence on the home front is not as powerful as the Council would like, however. Of the 195 member groups of CCUN, eight are in Boston, but two notable exceptions are Radcliffe and Tufts. "To have 195 groups and none at Radcliffe is rather embarrassing," Schwartzberg admitted, and added dolefully that "with graduations and marriages the group died out there two years ago."
Such a fate seems unlikely to the active Harvard organization. The U.N. Council claims to hold more meetings than any other undergraduate group. With four meetings to attend, Schwartzberg boasted, "This is a rather dull week."
Bringing about six major speakers--mostly of ambassadorial rank-- to Harvard is probably the most widely-known Council activity. Norman Thomas will appear in March, while an invitation has been extended to British Ambassador Sir Oliver Frank to talk this spring. Last November 1, Maurice Schumann, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for France, spoke in Littauer.
About twelve minor speakers, usually University professors, are brought each year to conduct "political laboratories." In these 12 to 48 people discuss some problem of current interest. For example Theodore H. Ingalls, assistant professor of Epidemiology, spoke last year on "Can India Remain Independent?"
Such discussions will broaden their scope when the Worldwide Broadcasting Company starts broadcasting some of them on short wave next year. WRUL, WHDH, and several networks have already broadcast many Council programs.
The Council also keeps its 90-odd members busy preparing, programs and speakers for Boston's civic, student, and womens' clubs. Booths are maintained at major conventions, like the Girl Scout one this fall.