The new session of the United Nations General Assembly opened in New York on Tuesday (Sept. 19).
The new session of the United Nations General Assembly opened in New York on Tuesday (Sept. 19). Mr. Stanislaw Trepczynski, the Polish deputy foreign minister, was elected a President, and made a bitter attack on the war in Vietnam, which he said violated every rule of ethics. He told the 132 national delegations the war could not be justified any longer on logical grounds by any stretch of the imagination.
Mr. Trepczynski, who it 48, is only the second communist president. He was elected by 128 votes with four abstentions. He is regarded as one of the "new breed" of Communist diplomats who are more ready to seek peaceful co-existence. He has had a long career in international politics, has written extensively on international affairs, and speaks four languages. He intends conducting the UN affairs in French.
Tight security was maintained when the assembly convened. There were several demonstrations outside the building. They included airline staff calling for anti-hi jacking measures, 100 women anti-war protesters, a group called the Afghanistan Emergency Relief Committee who said the UN was withholding aid from starving Afghans, and a dozen members of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry, who released 12 doves as a gesture against exit fees for Soviet Jews. Later a man in the public gallery inside threw leaflets into the hall calling for freedom for Soviet Jews. He was quickly hustled out and the president continued unperturbed.
SYNOPSIS: It was back to work for the hundred and thirty-two delegations to the United Nations. But as they arrived for the ceremonial opening of the new session, New York police were mounting a tight security operation. With a wave of guerrilla violence sweeping the world, they were taking no chances on extremists trying to murder any of the delegates. Yet despite their keen surveillance and checks, one man later caused a disturbance in the assembly - but he threw leaflets, not a bomb.
The delegates heard the formal announcement that they had elected the second communist president in United Nations history. He's Mr. Stanislaw Trepczynski, deputy foreign minister of Poland.
The new President is 48, speaks four languages, and intends conducting the assembly business in French. He has had considerable experience in international politics, and has taken part in many international meetings end conferences, though his work as deputy foreign minister since 1971 has precluded him from direct involvement with the United Nations. Diplomats believe he is determined to continue the general improvement in the international climate that has been noted in recent years.
But delegates soon noted his toughness, when Mr. Trepczynski attacked the Vietnam war in his opening speech. He said the conflict violated every rule of ethics. The war could not be justified any longer on logical grounds by any stretch of the imagination, and the world had the right to expect the conflict to be stopped once and for all. But one of the most important of the hundred and one items on the agenda concerns a new form of warfare - guerrilla attacks.
It was lodged by the Secretary-General, Mr. Kurt Waldheim, following the shooting of 11 Israelis at the Munich Olympic Games. He said he was prompted by the world-wide fear caused by the recent wave of kidnappings, murders and plane hijackings.