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By Arthur S. Lall

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In what turned out to be a symptomatic indication of UN decline, this problem was passed on to the United States for unilateral mediation. Since then it has become a general rule that detailed and complex issues are fitted more for traditional diplomacy than for UN solutions. But the United Nations did not give up easily. One of the features of the multilateralism is tenacity; a problem once inscribed on the agenda of a UN body seldom leaves that agenda. Annual discussions in the General Assembly took place with occasional Security Council debates on individual outbreaks of violence.

To some extent this is true and ex­ plains the emergence of regional organizations such as the OAS, ASEAN, the OAU and the Arab League. However, the presumption does not always correspond with the facts. Within some regions, sharp rivalries have existed, and in the Middle East region there is the major Arab-Israeli dispute. Never­ theless, negotiations within the Organization of American States and within the Arab League, which are the subjects of two of the chapters in this section, reflect the factor of special closeness.

The Security Council was not even capable of adopting a resolution calling for abstention from belligerency and for a blockade. It watched helplessly while the preparations for war went for­ ward; indeed some members even expressed doubt whether the council should consider the matter at all. The mediation for ending the 1967 conflict went forward in communications between the Great Powers during the summer. The General Assembly concluded a dramatic session without a substantive resolution in early July.

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