The United States is thumbing its nose at the United Nations for domestic purposes, UN diplomats say. President Reagan said Wednesday that the UN should consider moving to Moscow for six months each year ''to see two ways of life.'' His remark came on the heels of US delegate Charles M. Lichenstein's off-the-cuff suggestion Monday that, if member states felt unwelcome in the US, they should look into removing the UN from American soil.
Monitor correspondent Louis Wiznitzer reports that Mr. Reagan's comments have dismayed many moderate nonaligned and allied diplomats, who criticized them as:
* Unfair. In the words of one West European diplomat: ''It was not the UN who shot down the Korean airliner, or who limited (Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei) Gromyko's landing facilities, or who decided that Gromyko would not come to the UN. It was a Soviet delegate and not the UN as a body who criticized the US performance as the host country.''
* Untimely. The comments, it is said, distract the attention of the world community from the main Western objective which, at this point, is to draw attention to the brutality of the Soviet downing of the Korean jet.
''It may pay off politically to kick the UN, but contrary to what Mr. Lichenstein said in a recent speech, the US also needs the UN,'' said a conservative-minded Latin American ambassador. ''And at any rate the UN cannot fight back. Why take a swipe at the UN instead of at the Soviet Union?''