The last 1974 session of the United Nations General Assembly ended on Wednesday (18 December) with many of the 136 delegates from member states calling it the "General Assembly of the Arabs".
The last 1974 session of the United Nations General Assembly ended on Wednesday (18 December) with many of the 136 delegates from member states calling it the "General Assembly of the Arabs". The thirteen-week session had seen important diplomatic gains for the Arab States, including the Assembly's invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organisation to participate in the debate on the Palestine question.
The session also saw an increase in the influence of the "Third World" states. Their dominance was never more oblivious than when they circumvented three Western vetoes in the Security Council and suspended the South African delegation, whose credentials were rejected earlier.
The same group of developing nations also forced the passage of a sweeping new economic charter, opposed by the West, and the establishment of a special fund to help poor countries worst affected by the economic crisis. The United States and West Germany both announced they would not contribute.
At a news conference on the last day of the session, the United States Permanent Representative, Mr. John Scali, was asked if he thought that 1974 had been "the year of the Arabs". He replied that at a time when oil had become a major problem, it was only natural that "the voice of many Arab countries should be heard with additional respect".
SYNOPSIS: At the end of the United Nations' 1974 session, the Permanent Representative for the United States, Mr. John Scali, was asked on Wednesday, if he thought the past year had been "the year of the Arabs".