204. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Arms Control (Barber) to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Yarmolinsky)1


  • African Nuclear Free Zone Resolution in United Nations

Tomorrow, the United States must vote on a resolution calling for the denuclearization of Africa, which has been drafted primarily by African states. Ambassador Yost, calling for Ambassador Goldberg, has said that he believes he can get the first operative paragraph dropped if the [Page 316] US will vote for the resolution. (While the language does not appear troublesome, the resolution, which is reaffirmed, forbids transport of nuclear weapons in the air and seas about the territory of Africa.)


I recommend that we concur in Ambassador Yost’s proposal. I have referred this to the JCS, who have suggested two changes:

Striking the first paragraph. This is the condition for US acceptance.
Delete the words “or deploying” in paragraph 5. Reason: To avoid implication of interference with transit rights.


I believe this point can be made quite clear in the US policy statement; to wit: we interpret the word “deploy” to mean the permanent stationing of nuclear weapons in the area.

As Mr. Vance has indicated that he wished to reserve judgment on this matter until the issue became clearer, you may wish to call him on it. I would appreciate an answer before we close tonight.2

Arthur Barber 3
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 70 A 3717, 388.3 Africa. Secret. A typed notation on the source text reads: “Mr. McNaughton has seen.”
  2. A handwritten notation at the bottom of the source text reads: “Mr. Vance approved (29 Nov. 65).”
  3. Printed from a copy that indicates Barber signed the original.