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Dr. Ralph Bunche, Under Secretary of the United Nations, last night described the challenges that face Africa, the U.N., and the United States and declared that the successful operation of the United Nations is essential if there are to be met.
"Africa is a challenge to our understanding," Bunche told a Ford Hall Forum audience at Jordan Hall. "In a direct sense," the autonomy and action of the U.N. as well as racial discrimination in Mississippi are related to this challenge.
The U.N. statesman said that the United States can not afford racial discrimination, for "it gives rise to serious doubts" as to this country's ideals among the peoples of Africa and Asia, in addition to being "wasteful and divisive" domestically.
Cites Welch, Barnett
Bunche declared that he believes "the greatest threats to American domocracy are internal rather than external. Communism is still here," he said, but the Barnetts and the Welches do us more harm than Khrushchev can ever do." It is a curious thing, he noted, that these who are most worried about Communism are also the most vociferous in attacking the United Nations.
Defending the autonomy of the U.N., Bunche maintained that "the U.N. is not subservient to any nation or any bloc of nations." He charged that "the thinking of the critics of the United Nations--the Barry Goldwaters and the D.A.R., for instance," is dominated by the idea of a subservient U.N.
Bunche criticized those who take an isolationist view towards the United Nations and pointed out that "the U.N. could not be either international or effective" if it was the instrument of any nation, including the United States.
As for the effect on the U.N. of the emerging African nations and the growing Afro-Asian bloc, Bunche maintained that the "rapid advance in numbers has not impaired the ability of the United Nations to act decisively."
Although increased membership may "not bring more wisdom or stronger courage" to the world organization, it "does mean that more people are being reached. . . and that the vital principle of universality is being advanced," he said.
The preparation for independence, or lack of it, in the new nations has been the U.N.'s prime concern in Africa, according to Bunche, for the continent's stability is important to world peace.
He defended the organization's actions in the Congo as an effort "to give meaning to independence and to restore law and order."
Independence Came Too Soon
The U.N. Under Secretary, who was himself responsible for organizing the operation in the Congo, called the Congo a country absolutely unprepared for in- "a bitter experience" in what can befall dependence. At the time the Republic gained nationhood, there were but 17 university graduates in the entire country.
Admitting that many of the new African states are not ready for independence, Bunche asked, "But who is to say when they will be ready? And how many Western states were ready for independence when they got it?"
He also observed that "international assistance is a new factor in readying states for independence" and in smoothing their transitions and development.
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