Council of Foreign Ministers Files: Lot M–88: CFM London Documents

Report by the Deputies to the Council of Foreign Ministers

C.F.M. (45) 12

Composition and Functions of Joint Secretariat

The Deputies submit the following recommendations regarding the composition and functions of a Joint Secretariat to serve the Council during the period of the present visit of Foreign Ministers:

(1) A Joint Secretariat shall be established consisting of the Secretaries of the five Delegations. The Joint Secretariat shall include the necessary number of officials drawn from the five Delegations, the numbers required being established by agreement between the Secretaries of Delegations.

(2) The Secretary General of the Joint Secretariat is appointed by agreement between the Secretaries of Delegations. Mr. Norman Brook has been appointed Secretary General for the period of the present visit of Foreign Ministers.

(3) The Joint Secretariat will organise the technical handling of all the documents of the Council. It will be responsible for reproducing, in a numbered series all documents submitted by Delegations for consideration by the Council and circulating copies to all Delegations. These documents will be reproduced in English, Russian, French, and, where necessary, Chinese; and the Joint Secretariat will be responsible for arranging for translations to be made.

(4) The Joint Secretariat will make arrangements for meetings. It will make any changes desired in the times of the regular meetings of Foreign Ministers and of Deputies, and it will also assist in arranging such other meetings as may be required.

The Joint Secretariat will also issue Agenda papers for meetings whenever it is possible to give notice in advance of the questions to be discussed.

(5) As regards the recording of meetings, the Secretary General will prepare a full summary of the proceedings at meetings of both Foreign Ministers and Deputies. He will submit these summaries in draft to a meeting which he will hold each evening with the other [Page 156] members of the Joint Secretariat, who will thus have an opportunity to offer comments and corrections. The summaries will then be circulated to Delegations by 8 a.m. on the morning following the meetings to which they relate, not as agreed records carrying the full approval of all Delegations but as informal summaries issued primarily on the responsibility of the Secretary General, but after consultation with a member of each Delegation. A definitive version of this summary will be issued later after the receipt of any corrections from Delegations.

The summaries will be discussed with all members of the Joint Secretariat on the basis of an English text. Translations into Russian and French will then be put in hand at once, and these should be available during the course of the following morning.

It is recommended that this system be tried on an experimental basis, subject to review in the light of experience.

(6) The Joint Secretariat wall also make itself responsible for securing, in consultation with the Delegations, a fully agreed statement of conclusions reached by the Council as the work of the Council proceeds. By this means the Joint Secretariat will build up from day to day a body of agreed conclusions, which will greatly facilitate the preparation of an agreed Protocol and Communiqué at the conclusion of the Foreign Ministers’ visit.