UNITED NATIONS Not everyone agreed with Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul Haq who said in a toast at the final dinner: “the 40th Anniversary celebrations have been an outstanding success.”

Many delegates were upset that a committee of more than 100 national representatives was unable to agree on an anniversary declaration of purpose.

But from 230 speeches leading up to the Oct. 24 anniversary, and more than 300 bilateral meetings of world leaders, came some original suggestions and positive results. A veteran U.N. observer, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, who spent 11 years as U.N. high commissioner for refugees, said one accomplishment was the goodwill “generated by the commemorative session.

Tensions between India and Pakistan seemed to thaw, he noted, after Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Pakistan’s Zia decided in a bilateral meeting to start talks on trade, border issues and nuclear development.

If the personal chemistry that worked between Zia and Gandhi can be kept up you’ve won half the battle,” he said.

Another initiative was Israeli Prime Minister Peres’ offer to go to Jordan for peace talks, softening the Israeli position on an international conference demanded by the Arabs.

The Prime Minister of South Korea met with the vice president of North Korea, only for five minutes at a reception, but it was the first such contact between the divided nations.

And Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze spent nearly half an hour in conversation with Peres at a reception given by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Israel and the Soviet Union have no diplomatic relations.

Peres also met with Polish foreign minister Stefan Olzowski, Israeli sources said this facilitated the reestablishment of low-level diplomatic relations between the two countries who broke ties after the 1967 Mideast war.

Reagan also had a chance to smooth relations with Italian Premier Bettino Craxi, whose government fell after U.S. fighter planes forced an Egyptian plane carrying Palestinian ship hijackers down on Italian soil.

Reagan also had a chance for a second meeting with Shevardnadze to prepare the ground for his November summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

“The question is, how are you going to keep the momentum going after such meetings?” Prince Sadruddin asked.

The president of Bangladesh, Lieutenant General Husain Muhammad Ershad called for an international “Peace Corps” of youth volunteers to be organized by the United Nations “to integrate the youth more effectively into the development process.”

Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme called for a more even payment of U.N. dues to make the world body “less dependent on contributions from any single member state.”

Palme was referring to the United States, which pays 25 percent of the U.N. budget and has been pushing for weighted voting on budget matters to give it financial influence reflecting the size of its contribution.

He said other states would have to take up the slack and Sweden was willing to start talks on the change.

Article extracted from this publication >>  November 1, 1985