United Nations: Grateful for Small Favors

Jordan was on the verge of anarchy.

Egypt and Israel confronted each other uneasily across the Suez Canal. Half a world away, the corridors of the United Nations Secretariat building buzzed with talk of skyjackings and guerrillas. There were plenty of crises—and opportunities for the U.N. to assume a peace-keeping role. Yet when the new president of the General Assembly, Norway's Edvard Hambro, addressed the world organization last week at the opening of its 25th session, he implicitly acknowledged that the U.N. was powerless to cope with problems of such magnitude.

In his first speech as president, the cool, suave Norwegian,...

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