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SATl'SSAY. CECKSEl 11. 12C2-.T52 CAHCIXU TiriS-IJ
I am a true advocate of the United Nations. I "
have defended this great institution which does so
much good. I write a weekly column from its vast
reservoir of information. There are never moments
which are dull here for there is so much to chronide
and share with the people I love those who read :
the black newspapers throughout the United States.
For two years now, as I wind down the book I am -writing
about this world body plus my worldly
excursions in journalism about Africa, the Arabs, :
the Caribbean and the Third World I am beginn-.
ing to feel some chagrin.
v All is not well behind these great walls of marble. '
There's this gang of the few who go out of their
way to make life a little untenable for the vast ma
jority, I don't even think these guys are necessarily
organized but they end up achieving the same
things, Let's call it denial, inconvenience, lack of
quality plus lousy planning and thinking. 1 suppose
I had best segmentize my approach about the abera
tions which one is subject to.
Gaining Entrance The Badges
The security force is an excellent and very
necessary arm of the UN. Their record in keeping
interlopers -out and thereby incidents down is
meritorious. There are five ways to et inside the
building: As a visitor, you have your own entrance.
Unless you have a pass to attend specific meetings
of the various bodies and committees, you are
restricted to a hugh area which has two cafeterias, a
gift shop, lounges, restrooms, post office, chapel
and a gallery. To see other parts of the- UN, you
must join a tour or have a certified friend who can
take you to certain areas, including the dining room
and cafeterias. People who work for the Secretariat
have special identification and so do others ac
credited to the UN who represent non
governmental organizations (NGOs). Then there
are the journalists who, in addition to their own
press cards, are required to have a UN temporary
pass or a regular UN I.D. which includes one's
,- Of course, members of the Diplomatic Corps of
the 1S7 Missions are also issued special identification.
The rule has been - you must show your I.D. to
gain entrance or have a valid reason ot enter.
On my return from the People's Republic of
China a few weeks ago, I was taken to task for not
wearing my badge. Although I am known to most
Security guards, this officer went far afield war- ;
ning me in harsh language (I at if I didn't wear this
plastic card around my neck or on my lapel, he
would personally prevent me from entering the UN
building. Again, needless to say, this blond
gentleman failed to hear my explanation that I was
unaware of such a regulation because I had told him
that I had been in and out of the UN since the days
of Dr. Ralph Bunche and had always respected UN
rules. This man remained ugly until I walked away.
Herein lies the crux of this badge business. It
seems as if Mr. Jack W. Santarelli, Chief of Securi
ty, has sold the new Secretary-General, Mr. Javier
Perez de Cuellar, this new requirement. The truth
of the matter is, many members of the Missions
refuse to wear them. Some journalists who work for
the major newspapers and networks also don't -comply.
I remember this same guard who upbraid
ed me passed the reporter of New York's most
respected newspaper by, who seldom wears his
My point here is don't play favorites. Apply the
rule to everybody.
Just to prove how inept the badge regulation can
There Are Aberrations Inside
United Nations Headquarters
By Curtis T. Perkins
Periodical Report who had this to say in part about
UN food: ...:.' XxxX.
"Since writing my review of UN eating facilities
the new cafeteria has opened on the first floor. So,
a word or two about that. I returned from vacation
and went immediately to check out the new improv
ed cafeteria, and indeed it is. so far as ambiance is
concerned. But it seems we must sacrifice food for ,
comfort. While the new caf. is considerably quieter;
although it shakes a bit when traffic rumbles
beneath), and a lot smarter, the food has really
gone off. Both qualitatively and quantitatively,
what we get to eat now, has greatly diminished. For
example: a spinach salad, which used to come on a
normal sized dinner plate now comes on something
the size of a saucer; a side salad, which used to be
either soupbowl size, or hearts of lettuce on a bread
and butter plate, now comes in a sort of dish
Chinese restaurants serve soy sauce i.e., tiny; a
shred of lettuce and a bitty tomato. On another oc
casion, I watched a colleague order Brackwurst. He
was astonished when given one lone little sausage, a
blob of instant mashed potatoes, and a stalk or two
of overcooked, yellowing broccoli. It was rather
like being a prisoner, lining up for rations inap
petizing and inadequate. The vegetables, never par
ticularly delectible, are now abominable, and those
portions are a joke. Furthermore this cafeteria,
which I'm told cost 12 million dollars, has not solv
ed the problem of chaos and queues. The space
allotted to serving food is ridiculously small and
very badly organized. God knows what it will be
like during the GA at peak hour. Even in August,
when half the staffs away, the queues for food at
various counters are intertwined, confused, and as
long as they ever were in less attractive surroun
dings. However, if you prefer light and space to
staving off hunger, the new cafeteria is a definite
improvement, and it would seem that starvation is
the price we have to pay for style. I wouldn't mind
so much if the style or the smaller portions had also
improved but it hasn't. You just get less of
something worse. The Staff Council Committee
responsible for services such as food should con
sider this when the catering contract comes up for
renewal, and at least go for comparable quality
without new surroundings, if not increased quanti
ty. I'm sure we won't have to worry about increased
prices; they'll happen anyway.
... The Delegates Dining Room on the other hand,
has pretensions to being a "good resaurant". No
serious gourmet would agree, and sometimes the
food, which is considerably higher-priced than the
cafeteria, is nevertheless suspiciously like that serv
ed in the cafeteria (Cod Almondine, for example).
The vegetables too, tend to have the same over
cooked, stewed appearance, and taste, but the
tables have tablecloths, there are flowers and
napkins, and people to take a rather long time serv
ing you. The food is certainly more exotic; I had a
be, X made my own test. I borrpwed.one from a jaartridge, stuffed , witfu. snails and mushrooms
....?! i fc a . J! J ' ' v rr j I ' - - A' , - -i '.'
guaras aian i fvqrvvHoucg,,;!! recently ,anatiiuvi
to have a quick snack. The third floor cafe is essen-.
; tially cafeteria food with a waitress, less variety, but
a smaller, and more agreeable setting."
I have just learned that the UNCA Cub's food
serving may be eliminated by the Canteen Corp.
unless more meals are purchased. They claim no
1 profit is being made in the Club, s '
- -XXX X That Newsstand; .
Let's say it is a disgrace, this little alcove Newss
tand on the first floor is not large enough to accom
. modate Jhe reading needs of the personnel of the
over ISO nations who are members of the UN. Nor
the hugh Secretariat headquartered in the building.
You cannot for instance purchase any black
newspapers distributed in New York or nearby.
These include the Black American. The New York
Voice and the Amsterdam News. There are no
African, Caribbean or Third World newspapers or
Like everything else, the Western media
dominate and thereby distort the status,
achievements and needs of the under-developed.
This little old newsstand seems a ploy in controlling
news flow in favor of the West.
I would urge that the Department of Press and
Information of the UN conduct a serious survey of
the Missions, the Departments in the Secretariat,
and among the special agencies to ascertain the
.reading desires of those people. I am sure they will
find out that this newsstand is not presently meeting
Politics on Press Space
Several months ago, I criticized the Press and
Public Information Department for playing
favorites with rooms and desk space for cch
respondents. Although Zionist publications have
; i more than their share of such space, very little if
- any is afforded black journalists. Yet, the black
press in America constitutes the staunchist support
for the UN.
There are many old timers who occupy private
rooms in the Press Section who have not published
in months, if not years.
Further, UNCA members are favored over non
. members. I am not a member and neither do I
desire to belong, nor will join.
Recently 1 wrote also that with the new cafeteria,
die old area, plus other rooms allotted to food ser
vice and now closed, should be converted into
private or semi-private space for news people.
Certainly, the UN needs all the coverage possible
and ill treatment of the smaller sectors of the
press in deference to the big media is definitely
The "New Media Order" should begin at the UN
Cashing a $25.00 Check
For years as a courtesy to the diplomatic corps,
members of the Secretariat, the press, etc. the
-bartenders of the UN could cash a check up to
on-the-spot inspection of all badges is questionable
I do however wear my badge at all times.
For the past several months prior to the current ,
take over of the UN concession by the Canteen
Corp. (a US company), the food was well portioned
and good in the Delegates Dining Room, the UNCA .
Club and in the cafeterias.
Lately, the Canteen Corp is cutting corners in
every way. I agree with and quote the reporter who
wrote in the March-September edition of the
it cwasnU bad, -although a little, dry.
Most of the regular entrees are. fairly safe, but
although the Dining Room is presumably meant to
be elegant, fit for a Foreign Minister if not a King,
it really is rather awful looking. Occasionally I have
taken non-UN people to lunch there and they are
quite appalled at the decor. The wine list isn't bad. I
can't use superlatives about anything, so isn't bad is
about as complimentary as I'm prepared to be at
this stage but some of the wines listed are not stock
ed, or they're out of stock indefinitely.
... The UNCA Club is merely a sandwich bar. At
certain times it is relatively quiet and not a bad spot
Letters to the Editor. . .
Evening Diploma Program And...
Thank you for thTimes' excellent coverage of
the Evening Diploma Program at Southern High
School. Your newspaper's story was a comprehen
sive, people-filled interpretation for our communi
ty. Dr. Yeager requested that I also share his ap
preciation J. Carlton Polk
Special Assistant to the Superintendent
for Community Education
and Social Services
IMF Loan to South Africa
Now that the November elections are over, the
American electorate must continue to be ever
vigilant in sending strong messages to the President
and elected House and Senate representatives.
One such issue is : the recent International
Monetary .Fund loan to the racist South African
regime which has a bloody record of gross human
South Africa, facing a serious balance of
payments crunch as a result of declining gold and
diamond prices, was forced to request another loan
from the IMF, The Reagan Administration sup
ported the loan request.
It is important to note that South African
membership in the IMF is becoming an increasingly
political issue. A November, 1981 UN General
Assembly resolution called on the IMF to.considcr .
expelling South Africa. .
? Technically, any member country using funds in
a manner inconsistent with the purposes of the IMF
may be denied access to financial resources. In
1976-77, however, the Fund loaned $464 million to
South Africa, a sum which may have increased the
ability of the minority regime to mobilize its forces
to crush the Soweto uprising, The $1.1 billion re
quested this time- equals exactly the increase in
South Africa's military expenditures from 1980-82.
Write to the President and members of the House
and Senate to object to your tax dollars being used
to support the apartheid regime. Instead, the U.S.
should use it's influence to dismantle South '
Africa's racial exploitation and military aggression.
NCCU Alumni Meeting December 17,
7:30 p.m. 6112 Yellowstone Dr. '
Several House Armed Services Committee
members have urged the Navy to permit U.S. Navy
ships to dock at South African ports for shore
leave. The Department of Defense should hear that
there Is strong opposition to this Idea,
Eight members of the House Armed Services
Committee made this recommendation to Navy
Secretary John Lehman in a letter this spring. Their
letter was a result of a visit to South Africa in May
as part of a trip to the Middle East and Africa con
cerning the Rapid Deployment Force. The delega
tion claimed in its trip report that South African
government officials with whom they met assured
them that black American Navy personnel would be
treated as "honorary whites" while on shore leave
in South Africa. The U.S. Navy has refused to use
South African ports for shore leave since 1967,
when it learned that shore leave entertainment for
3800 crew members of the USS Franklin Delano
Roosevelt, some 200 of whom were black, was to be
Please write to the Secretary of Defense Caspar
Weinberger, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
20310, with copies to Senator Charles Percy, 4321
Dirkson, Washington, D.C. 20510 and Senator
John Tower, 142 Russell Senate Office Building,
Washington, D.C. 20510.
- Leonard E. Bodrick
Transafrica Action Alert Coordinator
2nd Congressional District
. Durham, N.C.
$25.00. Foolishly, the franchise operator, Cx Co
teen Corp., has snuffed out this courtesy.
Surprisingly, there have been few, if any bounc
ed checks in this accommodation. Yet, with years of
tradition in this courtesy, a convenience is being
I would urge the reinstitutioo of cash
$25.00 check. It will save embarrassment for those
who want to purchase refreshments for their friends
Xvx-;-; -v. rarkhtf
The Department of Traffic of New York Gty.
evidently prodded by Mayor Edward Koch's hatred
of the UN, expends a goodly portion of its staff
writing tickets for cars with DPL plates. This is a
waste of time.
The UN has grown and parking space in its huge
garage under its complex is now too small. I would
urge the UN Development Corporation to build
parking space for UN diploma;!, personnel and
No place to park inhibits good will for the UN.
Agents, informants and just plain spies abound
at the UN. You can smell them a mile away. Some
are bold and unapologetic. Others are more low
key. Some have listening devices disguised in foun
tain pens, eye glasses etc., and in sophisticated and
The fact is how they downgrade the UN often
reporting false information to their governments or
the agents for whom they work.
They get in the UN as official members of the
Missions, with soft jobs in the Secretariat, members
of the press and non-governmental organizations
Many of those "buck for hire" opportunists in
form for South Africa, MOSSAD, KGB, the CIA
and other intelligence bodies. They are against us
blacks and the Third World.
They do no good for the UN as those informants
are the lowest breed of people.
The UN is the most greatly protected of institu
tions. New York's finest (police) arc always outside.
Intelligence officers (legitimate) also operate in and
outside the gates. The UN has its own plain clothes
people. Together, this makes for a formidable pro
Therefore, I am appalled at the display of guns
on the hips of the UN Security Officers. Of all
places, the toting of guns demeans the UN; back-up
units seconds away could always be available with
guns. But, outward display of deadly weapons
distorts the image of UN peace.
Those at Fault
For the many reasons enumerated here on UN
imperfections, blame has to go to Mr. Yasushi
Akashi, Under Secretary General for Public Infor
mation; Mr. Clayton Timbrell, Assistant Secretary
General for General Services; Mr. Allen Robertson,
Chief, Commercial Management Service, and Mr.
Paul Gates, Manager, Canteen Corp. Chief San
tarelli also needs to take another look at his
The UN is an effective organization. The new
Secretary v General needs all the goodwill he can
muster. So far his achievements are nil.
Morale of his staff is very low. Funding by
Members States is being cut back.
To be successful, he must correct things within
his house. The above are obviously in need of attention.
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