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60
NOVEMBER 2012
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
SEPTEMBER SONG,
UNITEDNATIONS
EDITION
A member of the U.S. delegation to the
September 1973 United Nations General
Assembly session learns some valuable
lessons about the art of diplomacy.
BY JACK SUL L I VAN
Jack Sullivan was a longtime staf member of the House Foreign Af-
fairs Committee. He later served on Jimmy Carter’s presidential tran-
sition team and as assistant administrator of USAID for East Asia.
T
he legislation by which the U.S. Congress ratifed
U.S. membership in the United Nations stipu-
lated that a group of private American citizens
and members of Congress would be part of the
U.S. delegation to the annual meeting of the U.N.
General Assembly each autumn in New York City.
In 1973 it was the turn of two House members to attend and,
by virtue of my seniority on the staf of the House Committee
on Foreign Afairs, I was assigned to go with them. Te State
Department rented us an ofce in a nearby building and pro-
vided a secretary. My primary mandate was to keep the House
members happy.
From the beginning things went badly.
Henry Kissinger had just been named U.S. Secretary of
State, having successfully undermined the incumbent, William
Rogers, with President Richard Nixon. Kissinger was anxious to
be part of the U.S. delegation at the opening ceremonies of the