The United States and other major industrial countries were under intense pressure today at a major United Nations conference here to embark on a big new foreign aid program.
Worried by the energy crisis and signs of global recession, the wealthy nations infuriated the "Group of 77" developing countries, who seek the funds, by what the group saw as delaying tactics in negotiation.
The meeting -- the U.N. Conference on Science and Technology for Development -- was called to discuss the transfer of technology to the developing world. Without money for their science, the poor nations contend they cannot hope to raise living standards.
The Palestine Liberation Organization delegate to the conference, Walid Kamhawi, said Israel had introduced into the Holy Land "The ugly face of science and technology" and called on the United States to halt military aid to the Jewish state.
An Israeli delegate remained in the conference hall while the PLO official spoke.
Seeking a $2 billion aid fund for Third World science, the Group of 77 - actually 120 countries -- hinted at a possible walkout if progress was not made.
One of the poorest of the poor, Bangladesh, pleaded for help, telling how it had watched the United States go to the moon "amidst our hunger and starvation."
Photographs of earth from the moon show no man-made boundaries, said Roushan Ghani, the Bangladesh delegate. He said his country "prays to almight Allah" that artificial barriers to its access to science would be torn down.
His country, he said, had 85 million people to car for, most of them "poor, hunger-stricken and ill clad."
The Group of 77 wants a levy on industrial and oil states for a fund which, by 1985, would pump $2 billion annually into Third World science. Delegates said the sum is modest compared with global spending on the arms race.