Film: 5994

Social History | 1970 | Sound | Colour

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Synopsis:

Opening shots of different nationalities - Africans, Europeans, Indians and South Americans. The voice-over talks of the importance of the United Nations (UN) in the world. Shots of the New York UN building. UN flag against New York skyline, flags of UN member states. More shots of UN building - great angles, statues, fountains etc. UN ambassadors cars arriving - black Chevrolets, Rolls Royces. Zoom into interior shot of foyer area of UN. Different nationalities in the Delegates Lounge. Black and white schoolchildren are shown around the UN building by a Pakistani woman guide wearing a pink sari. The Security Council Chamber, both empty and filled with member state representatives. In close up - the Algerian and Zambian diplomats. Members voting by secret ballot - a woman carries the wooden ballot box to each Security Council member to place their vote in. Programme chooses to look at the opinion of five members in detail - Finland (Jacobsen), Zambia (Mwenga?), United Kingdom (Lord Carradine), Singapore (Ko) and the Secretary General of the UN (U Thant).
Talking head of U Thant speaking of the aims of the UN - human survival and human progress plus international peace. The delegate from Zambia, Mwenga, speaks about the exclusion of the People's Republic of China. He walks down the street to his chaffeur-driven car. He takes notes on a yellow legal pad in the back of the car. In the chamber, Jacobsen looks at documents and listens to the proceedings. The delegate from Singapore, Ko, is in the General Assembly looking at documents; then in his living room with his bright yellow-dress wearing pregnant wife. who is reading a magazine Ko puts on a record as his voiceover mentions cynically that the UN is not all it's cracked up to be - ritualistic party attending, posturing oratory etc. Close up of his wife. Lord Carradine sits at a window by a river, taking papers out of a leather briefcase and talks of the slow progress of the Cold War. Shots of him in the Security Council chamber.
The schoolchildren are in the General Assembly with their guide who explains the voting system using red (no), green (yes) and yellow (abstention) lights.
Lord Carradine thinks the UN should allow the People's Republic of China membership even though the Nationalist Chinese are already members. A man sitting in front of him in the General Assembly yawns spectacularly. Shots of delegates from Burma, Burundi and Jordan (one of the Jordanians rubs his eyes and yawns). Over general shots of the assembly, added commentary talks of the scandalous nature of the People's Republic of China's exclusion from the UN as a result of the USA's fear of communism. Shot of US delegation. Close up of UN representatives from El Salvador, China, US delegate speaking from the podium, Ivory Coast, Guyana, Zambian delegate speaking from the lecturn, Lord Carradine speaking.
COMMERCIAL BREAK leader for 3 seconds at 19.57 minutes.
Shots of the Delegates Lounge, men smoking, a woman wearing knee high patent white boots in the background - the camera tracks past her. Reception desk of Delegates Lounge with woman announcing names.
A hawk flies through the air, over land. It is Cyprus. UN helicopter lands in Cyprus during Greek/Turkish conflict (c.1964). Greek army post and Turkish army post face each other in the mountains. In between is a UN post with a soldier standing guard outside. UN soldier looks through binoculars at village in the valley below - the commentary tells the viewer that schoolchildren were massacred there. UN helicopter leaves, flies over Cyprus. UN vehicles escort a convoy of Greek drivers through a Turkish zone. Greek area of Nicosia, Greek Orthodox priest walks along street, two men on bicycles, machine gun posts, no man's land, Un soldiers keep sentry. Men unload sacks off the back of a truck. Street scenes of Nicosia, truck full of oranges, old man smoking pipe, UN soldiers walk through market, UN peacekeeper bicycles to UN sentry post.
Secretary General (U Thant) explains structure of the UN and how democratic political decisions are made by the Security Council. Talks of what might happen if UN soldiers are withdrawn from Cyprus.


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