To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations

By John Allphin Moore Jr.; Jerry Pubantz | Go to book overview

interests" in the Persian Gulf region. 59 Finally, he suspended SALT II from consideration by the Senate, effectively ending his tireless pursuit of an arms agreement. The failure to ratify SALT and to pursue even more far-reaching agreements on nuclear arms control was, the president said, "the most profound disappointment of my presidency." 60 This peace-loving man's goals for accommodation with the Soviet Union were a shambles. The cold war, which he had hoped and believed was over, was back in full force.

In the altered international atmosphere, the president turned to the United Nations, where he proceeded to push hard for a condemnation of the invaders. Immediately after the incursion, fifty-two member states requested a meeting of the Security Council. The gathering took place on January 5-9, 1980, but because the Soviets held the veto, the Council was unable to act on an overwhelmingly approved resolution deploring the invasion.

Once again using the "Uniting for Peace" procedure, first devised during the Korean War, supporters carried the condemnatory resolution to the General Assembly. It "strongly" deplored the armed intervention, insisted on an "immediate withdrawal" of Russian forces, and called on the Security Council to consider all ways and means to see to the resolution's implementation. In the great hall of the General Assembly, on January 14, the resolution passed by a vote of 104 to 18, with 18 abstentions. The only negative votes were from the USSR and its closest allies. The Chinese delegation—both in the Security Council and later in the General Assembly—supported the United States' position. 61 As the president later remarked, "This was the first time such an action had ever been taken against one of the leading nations of the world." 62 It may be worth noting that by 1988 the Soviet Union had met all the conditions of the resolution and had left Afghanistan. But that is a later story.


Breakthrough at Camp David

Among the flurry of activities Carter pursued in the early days of his term, none was more important to him than his Middle East strategy.

____________________
59
PPP, 1980- 1981, II, 194-202, see particularly 197.
60
Carter, Keeping Faith, 265.
61
YUN, 1980, 299, 307.
62
Carter, Keeping Faith, 475.

-234-

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