UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 26, Reuter: The U.N. General Assembly may leave New York next September if the United States insists on shutting the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) mission here, officials said on Friday.

The United Nations invited the PLO to take part in U.N. meetings without the right to vote and the threat to close its mission has put the United States on a collision course with world body.

Officials said there was a real threat that a specially reconvened session of the General Assembly next week might agree to move the 43rd General Assembly, opening on September 13, to Geneva or Vienna.

The U.N. has subsidiary headquarters in both places.

UN financial experts were directed to cost a possible switch and report urgently to Secretary General Javier Perez De Cuellar so that he could put the data before the Assembly, officials said.

The United Nations is in grave financial difficulties because of the failure of the United States and other members to pay their assessed dues. Perez De Cuellar, therefore, is trying to hold down expenditures.

U.N. Press Secretary Francois Giuliani said he was sure it would be more costly for the organization to hold a three month General Assembly session away from New York.

Delegates opposed to any move said they hoped that members would back away from the idea if they were “scared” by Perez De Cuellar’s financial estimate.

But they also said that a determined effort to move the Assembly, regardless of costs, would be hard to defeat given the bitter opposition engineered by the United States’ proposal to close the PLO mission by March 21.

The U.S. Congress approved “antiterrorist” legislation directing the Justice Department to close the 13yearold mission, although the State Department said this would violate the headquarters agreement between Washington and the United Nations.

In a report to the General Assembly on Friday, the Secretary General said the United States had ignored his request that it name a member for a three person arbitration panel.

Arbitration is provided for in the headquarters agreement and Perez De Cuellar named former world court President Eduardo Jimenez De Arechaga as the U.N. member of the proposed three member panel.

The General Assembly is expected to refer the whole problem to the world court for an advisory opinion and possibly censure the United States for violating the headquarters accord.

A high UN official said the Assembly seemed likely also to consider a formal proposal to move its next full session to Geneva or Vienna.

Article extracted from this publication >> March 4, 1988