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A major State Department official presented the Administration's defense of its policy in the United Nations last night.
In a prepared address delivered before a Lowell House audience that included many faculty members, Richard H. Gardner '48, deputy assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, said that America's policy in the U.N. serves the national interests of the United States.
The Kennedy Administration has come under increasing attack from members of the House and Senate for its attitude toward the world organization.
Gardner claimed that the United Nations has three main values: a forum for the expression of views, a place for continuous negotiation among nations, and a "vehicle for doing things rather than just talking about them."
As a forum, Gardner said, the U.N. "serves our national interest by providing us with a useful instrument to build support for American policies." He held that the U.N., by publicizing "acts of injustice," had accomplished such results as the Soviet withdrawal from Iran in 1946.
"Those who deplore the United Nations as a 'debating society' are really saying that they have lost confidence in the capacity of our country to present its case successfully," he charged.
The U.N.'s role as a place for negotiation makes it "a standing diplomatic conference where the peaceful settlement of disputes can be sought through quiet diplomacy," Gardner asserted. As an example of the organization's usefulness in this area, Gardner cited the unheralded negotiations which led to the current talks on joint space exploration now under way between the U.S. ond the Soviet Union.
In his discussion of the U.N.'s function as an action organization, Gardner defended the American decision to support the United Nations' Congo operation as "the lesser of several evils."
Gardner said that the United States was presented with three alternatives in the Congo:
* the U.S. could do nothing. In this case, according to Gardner, "the Congo would wallow in chaos and bloodshed and the Soviet bloc would be free to move in to pick up the remains."
* the U.S. could intervene directly. Gardner said this would have resulted in a "Spanish Civil War" situation in which the confrontation of the major powers might trigger a world war.
* we could propose intervention through the U.N.
Gardner emphasized that the latter course had been chosen because of the disastrous effects of the first two.
After the address, Stanley H. Hoffmann, associate professor of Government, said Gardner had "made these problems seem too simple." Claiming that the United States places too much emphasis on the U.N., Hoffmann called the channeling of policy through the U.N. dangerous because it "tends to define the terms of that policy."
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