United Nations Headquarters, New York, 6 Dec 1971- During a discussion in the UN General Assembly , Saudi Arabia's Ambassador Jamil M. Baroody who wanted to speak immediately after Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, rose and began a speech. After Baroody was ruled out of order because he was speaking out of turn, UN Undersecretary for General Assembly Affairs Constantin Stavropoulos left the rostrum to confer with the ambassador. Baroody, however, was not in a talking mood and threw a right cross to the chin of Stavropoulos which the latter neatly blocked. The newspapers next day carried photographs of the incident. [From newspaper reports - December 7, 1971 ]
Local newspapers and TV had a field day reporting on this incident, and making snide remarks about the boxing prowess of the two persons involved. One paper carried a photo of the incident on its sporting page! But on a serious level, at UN meetings, the Chair has to take care that those who want to speak are given the opportunity, and in the order in which they make the request. Sometimes, especially with delegates sitting in remote parts of the room, it becomes difficult. Tempers can rise, if delegates feel they have intentionally been snubbed by not being recognized. In this case, Ambassador Baroody was a well-known figure on the UN scene, and not being given the floor must have incensed him greatly. Diplomats are human, after all !
Mr. Baroody throws a right cross at Mr. Stavropoulos