• Short Summary

    Two third-world diplomats are confirmed candidates for the post of United Nations Secretary-General to succeed U Thant.

  • Description

    GV U.N. Building PAN DOWN TO ambassador being interviewed SOF UP at 7 feet

    MS Mr. Amerasinghe

    TRANSCRIPT: INTERVIEWER (SEQ. 1): "Mr. Ambassador, what do you see as the major issue confronting this session of the General Assembly?"

    AMBASSADOR: "I believe that there are two issues that are likely to dominated the coming session of the General Assembly. The first is what I would call the problems of Southern Africa, which will have been highlighted and pushed forward by two events. First the decision....the last decision....of the International Court of Justice, not to give judgement on the substance of the case submitted by Liberia and Ethiopia...and secondly, also, I think the assassination of Prime Minister Verwoerd has also helped to give a new look to this problem....the succession of leadership in South Africa. For all these reasons I feel that the African problem will be a very predominant problem in the coming session. And, of course, there is the fact that the African countries, the Asian countries in the United Nations have asked for private treatment of the South West Africa issue. Now, in addition to the African problem I feel the other problem which will also be pre-occupying the next session would be the question of the succession to the Secretary U Thant."

    AMERASINGHE (SEQ. 2): "The Governments immediately concerned, namely, those of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the United Arab Republic, were informed of the establishment of the Special Committee.

    The Government of Israel's attention was drawn to operative paragraph 3 of General assembly resolution 2443 which requests the Government of Israel to receive the Special Committee, co-operate with it and facilitate its work. The Secretary General has been informed by the Permanent Representative of Israel that his Government is not prepared to extend co-operation or facilities to the Special Committee. The Government of Israel considers the procedure followed in the appointment of the Special Committee to be irregular and the appointment itself to be, therefore, ultra vires and illegal. The Government of Israel has also impugned the impartiality of the members of the Special Committee and stated that the elementary precautions for ensuring complete objectivity and the maintenance of quasi-judicial standards in the investigation had not been taken and that the results of any inquiries conducted by such a body would no be worthy of credence by fair-minded men."

    Initials OS/1155 OS/1209

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Two third-world diplomats are confirmed candidates for the post of United Nations Secretary-General to succeed U Thant.

    One is Ethiopia's Minister of Communications, Mr. Makonnen - a former Ambassador to the United Nations.

    Before the General Assembly session in 1966, Mr. Makonnen was asked to preview the meeting.

    The other third world candidate is Mr. Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe - at present Ceylon's Ambassador to the United Nations.

    He last year discussed the Middle East situation from his position as chairman of the United Nations Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories.

    SYNOPSIS: A third-world candidate for the post of United National Secretary General is Mr. Endalkatchew Makonnen - now Ethiopia's Minister of Communications, but also a former ambassador to the world body. In 1966 he previewed the approaching session.

    The other third world candidates for Secretary General is the Ceylonese diplomat, Mr. Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe During his term as Ceylon's Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Amerasinghe has drawn attention to his ability as chairman of a number of important committees -- notably the politically-charged committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Seabed and Ocean floor.

    Mr. Amerasinghe is spoken warmly of by Russian diplomats -- but latest reports from the United Nations say his active involvement in the campaign to defeat American plans to keep Taiwan in the world body has spoilt his chances. Mr. Amerasinghe is said to be looked upon with some suspicion by western nations -- because of the leftwing political leanings of the Ceylonese government. Among Mr. Amerasinghe's more controversial ideas: he wants the United Nations moved out of the United States. Last year Mr. Amerasinghe was appointed chairman of a committee charged with job of investigating Israel's activities in land occupied since the 1967 war. Israel strongly opposed his appointment as chairman of this committee. Mr. Amerasinghe is 58.

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