United Nations role in Grenada elections being considered
United Nations, N.Y.
The international community has clearly expressed its disapproval of the United States invasion of Grenada. By 108 votes to 9, with 27 abstentions, it adopted a resolution which ''deeply deplores'' the invasion and calls it ''a flagrant violation of international law.''
However, Belgium added a paragraph to the text of this resolution which only two days earlier had received 14 votes at the Security Council and would have been adopted, had it not been blocked by the US veto. This new paragraph calls for ''immediate elections'' on the island.
Thus, while the General Assembly wanted to be on record as opposing military intervention, it also wanted to express its support of democracy.
The vote represented a big diplomatic slap at a superpower. The Soviet Union was dealt a similar slap when the General Assembly in January 1980 voted by 104 to 8 to condemn the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Only Israel, El Salvador, and the East Caribbean countries that took part in the invasion voted alongside the US.
Friendly countries and allies, such as France, Italy, Norway, Egypt, Singapore, and Pakistan voted in favor of the resolution. Many delegates, otherwise friendly toward the US, felt they could not apply a double standard with regard to military intervention.
''If we want to continue to disapprove of Vietnam's presence in Cambodia, of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, we have to deplore the US invasion of Grenada, '' a moderate Asian ambassador says.
Another resolution, introduced by Trinidad and Tobago, is likely to be adopted by the General Assembly. It calls for ''the immediate withdrawal of combat troops'' from Grenada, for free and fair elections under ''international supervision,'' and for ''the deployment in that island of a security presence including elements from the Caribbean community and from the commonwealth.''
Whereas the first resolution deals with the past and criticizes the US, the second one looks at the future and at the restoration of democracy in a credible manner in Grenada. Presumably the UN will be asked to play a role in this respect.
''Elections under American military occupation might undermine the legitimacy of the future regime in Grenada,'' says one Western diplomat. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar is sending UN Undersecretary Diego Cordovez on an urgent fact-finding mission.