342. Memorandum From Gordon Chase of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1
Article 19—Preliminary thinking seems to be that the best way to get out of the present financial crisis is to set up a voluntary fund to collect about $105 million (i.e., the UN owes member governments about $45 million; about $40 million is owed to the Working Capital fund; the cost of UNEF this year will be about $20 million). While this fund will not be ostensibly related to the Article 19 problem, the Article 19 problem will be avoided if the Russians come through with at least $20 million. The chances are about 50–50 that the Russians will come through. In any event, the establishment of such a voluntary fund is probably the best way to build up pressure on the Soviets.
The best guess as to the scenario over the next couple months is as follows: First, the Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly would meet individually and informally with members of the Big Four and with other key parties. These key parties would agree to the establishment of a voluntary fund; even the Russians would have a hard time refusing. Second, the Secretary General and the President of the Assembly would then propose to the Working Group (the 33-member monstrosity set up to deal with Article 19) that a fund be established. Third, the Working Group, by mid-April, would have studied the proposal and reported back favorably on it. Fourth, the Secretary [Page 744]General and the President of the Assembly would then make a pitch to members for voluntary contributions.
The fund concept might have implications for future peacekeeping operations. For the future, however, we might conceivably want to depart from the voluntary concept and go for a different format in building up the fund—e.g., a combination of voluntary contributions and assessments.
- Chairmanship of UN Day and Presidential Proclamation—State will be sending over to the White House, at the end of the week, a Presidential proclamation regarding UN Day (in October) and an announcement regarding the appointment of Robert Benjamin as Chairman of UN Day (already approved; Benjamin notified).
- Charter Amendments—State is still working on a Presidential Message regarding charter amendments. I expect to get a copy of the draft message Tuesday. The problem—When to send the Message to the Hill?
- Labouisse and UNICEF —Labouisse will resign as Ambassador to Greece and be chosen as the Director General of UNICEF.2 I am told that Bill Crockett is already in touch with the White House on the matter of the announcement. The announcement will probably be made this afternoon on the grounds that it will leak by then if it is not announced.
- ICY 3-President/Robert Benjamin Meeting—From all reports, the President-Benjamin meeting last week went off splendidly. Both Benjamin and Harlan Cleveland were walking on air after the meeting. Through Busby I learned that the President was also pleased with the meeting.
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, United Nations, Vol. 1. Confidential.↩
- Labouisse left Greece on May 8.↩
- The International Cooperation Year, designated as 1965 by the General Assembly on November 21, 1963. For text of G.A. Res. 1907 (XVIII), see Yearbook of the United Nations, 1963, pp. 117–118.↩