Americans assess US role in United Nations. CALL TO ACTION
United Nations, N.Y.
Americans, in a poll on how the United Nations can be made more effective, recommend that the United States should: Propose a multilateral UN drug enforcement assistance unit to back - with force, if necessary - governments in combatting narcotics traffickers who threaten stability.Skip to next paragraph
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Advocate setting up a UN elections commission to monitor and conduct free elections impartially at governments' request.
Support Security Council restructuring to permit semipermanent membership for such leading regional powers as Japan, West Germany, Nigeria, and India.
Along with the Soviet Union, a major stockpiler of chemical weapons, assume most verification costs of an international ban on such weapons.
Press for an international convention on environment and development that would include requirements for environmental impact assessments and for settlements of disputes between states.
These are among 85 specific recommendations spelled out in ``Pulling Together: A program for America in the United Nations.'' The study prepared by the UN Association of the USA (UNA-USA), a private nonpartisan group dedicated to promoting better understanding of the UN and the US's role in it, was released late last week.
It touches topics from disarmament and UN decision-making to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) and the environment. It has been presented to President Reagan, UN Secretary-General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar, Michael Dukakis, and George Bush.
While the report stresses that it was drafted from the American perspective at a time when US relations with the UN were ``in disarray,'' it parallels many of the reorientation proposals advocated by the Soviet Union. If key portions of the paper are adopted, diplomats say, it would have a major impact on shaping the future of the 159-member UN.
The report says Congress and the new US president ``must make full appropriation and prompt payment'' of UN dues. But it opposes seeking a lower assessment than the US's 25 percent of the UN budget - the largest amount paid by any member.
It warns that chemical weapons may soon be reemerging as an instrument of modern war. It points out that poison gas, sometimes described as the poor man's nuclear weapon, is cheap and easy to manufacture.
The report suggests a draft treaty banning such weapons could be submitted to the UN by the next US administration. It recommends US support for a multilateral inspection system including the provision that the US and the USSR be authorized to conduct ``challenge'' inspections of each others' chemical facilities, using their own inspection teams with a UN inspector included.
UNA-USA President Edward Luck said he expects many of the report's recommendations to be supported by Moscow. He pointed out that the organization has been holding joint meetings for the last two decades with the Soviet UNA.
Also, he said, deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Petrovsky, the principal spokesman at the UN on Moscow's ``new thinking,'' has been involved in the report's preparatory dialogue.