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U.N. Security Council:
U.S. Statement on Passage of Resolution 242

(November 22, 1967)


Security Council: Table of Contents | Resolutions on Israel | U.S. Vetoes


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[Statement submitted by U.S. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg]

The United States is gratified that the United Kingdom draft resolution has received the unanimous support of the Council. As I made clear in my brief intervention before the vote, we have voted for the resolution because we find it entirely consistent with the policy of the United States Government on the Middle East — the five principles enunciated by President Johnson in his statement of June 19 and my several statements in the Council since then.

We trust—and we believe this Council has the right to expect—that the parties concerned, without prejudice to their respective positions, will receive the United Nations representative and cooperate with him in the peacemaking process which this resolution sets in motion.

Success will depend, in the final analysis, upon the spirit in which the parties receive him and work with him to find solutions that will permit the Middle East to benefit from a permanent state of peace, security, justice, and tranquility. For this reason, we strongly urge all parties not only to participate in the peacemaking process but to do so with the maximum spirit of accommodation, of respect for others' vital interests and legitimate grievances, of mutual accommodation and magnanimity.

Were it not for the fact that the United Kingdom resolution was so delicately balanced and our realization that the offering of any amendments, from any sources, could have upset that balance and jeopardized the chance of successful action by this Council, my delegation would have offered an amendment so that the Council could have endorsed the need to achieve a limitation on the wasteful and destructive arms race in the Middle East. This was one of President Johnson's five points. We have taken particular note of, and have been encouraged by, the fact that a provision to this effect was included in the draft resolution placed before the Council by the Soviet Union, as it was in our draft resolution.

We do not conceive that the mandate of the special representative to be designated by the Secretary-General excludes his exploring this important and urgent requirement of peace as he establishes and maintains contacts with the states concerned. His mandate encompasses the search for a just and lasting peace-and in pursuing this search, he should be encouraged by the fact that two great powers, the Soviet Union and the United States, have indicated a willingness to have the problem of a limitation on the arms race discussed and explored.

As for my own Government, we have stated before, and I renew that statement now, that the United States will use every resource of diplomacy including cooperating with the special representative to find a course which will put an end to the waste and the futility of the arms race in the Middle East. The beginning but only a beginning-can be made if the United Nations, as we have proposed, would call upon all of its members to report all shipments of all military arms into the area and keep those shipments on file for all the peoples of the world to observe.

The special representative will need all the help and support he can get-both from the parties and from the international community. I have already given my Government's pledge on this score, and I wish to reiterate it again today: a pledge to this Council and to the parties concerned that the diplomatic and political influence of the United States Government will be exerted in support of the efforts of the United Nations representative to achieve a fair and equitable and dignified settlement so that all in the area can live in peace, security, and tranquility.

Similar pledges from other members of the Council and the United Nations, particularly those with great diplomatic and political influence, would be invaluable. For they would not only lend weight to the efforts of the special representative, but they would help to reassure all the peoples of the Middle East that they are not alone as they turn their attention to the search for the foundations of a just and durable peace.

In creating the framework of peace in the Middle East, the Security Council took the first step last June—by helping to bring about a cease-fire. It is vitally important that the cease-fire be maintained. Violations by any party cannot and must not be condoned.

Today we have taken a second step, the appointment of a special representative to go to the area in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement. And for those who sometimes wonder about the value and effectiveness of the United Nations, perhaps in these two steps we have provided an answer to those worries and concerns.


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