The United Nations Security Council agreed on Tuesday (16 January) to hold a special session in Panama from march 15 to 21, despite strong opposition from United States Ambassador George Bush.
TGV INTERIOR U.N. Committee seated
SV Panamanian & Peruvian delegates
SV Secretary-General Waldheim seated next to President
SCU Panamanian delegate speaks in Spanish
CU Ambassador Bush speaks in English
"Since there are no Latin American issues currently under council consideration, the holding of this meeting is likely to appear capricious, and based more on the particular interests and special considerations of an individual member than on concern for work of the council. The agenda will necessarily be vague, general and contrived."
The United Nations Security Council has decided to hold a special session in Panama City in March. The council accepted the invitation on Tuesday from Panama, which will have the presidency of the council during March.
It will be only he second meeting away from the U.N. in twenty years.
The decision met stiff opposition from the United States, which feels Panama will be using the session to raise its special interests in the Panama Canal Zone. This was confirmed by Panamanian Ambassador Aquilino Boyd who said the status of the canal zone should be on the agenda. The zone was an enclave foreign to Panamanian control, dividing the country politically and economically. He said the situation was contrary to the U.N. Charter.
The United States and Panama have been in protracted negotiations over the U.S.-controlled zone around the strategic canal from the Caribbean to the Pacific.
Ambassador Boyd said the council meeting in March should consider eliminating conflict in the zone. He called it a hotbed of international tension, a dangerous and potentially explosive situation. The general agenda proposed by Panama covered the strengthening of peace and security in Latin America.
The Panama City meetings will come just 13 months after the council met last year in Ethiopia to discuss African problems. United States Ambassador George Bush said that Ethiopian meeting was not a precedent for the Panamanian one, meant to serve Panama's special interests.
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Background: The United Nations Security Council agreed on Tuesday (16 January) to hold a special session in Panama from march 15 to 21, despite strong opposition from United States Ambassador George Bush.
Panamanian Ambassador Aquilino Boyd declared that the issue of the Panama Canal Zone would be raised during the meetings. The United States and Panama have been involved in protracted negotiations over the future of the canal zone, which divides Panama in half. Panama wants full control of the canal.
Ambassador Bush warned that the meeting might be used by Panama for its own interests.
Ambassador Boyd said the council would be asked to discuss the 'semi-colonial' status of the canal zone. He said the zone's division of Panama socially, politically and economically with a foreign enclave was contrary to the U.N. Charter.
During debate on the meeting, Ambassador Bush made a statement, a partial transcript of which follows: