352. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State1

4464. Subject: Peacekeeping. Reference: USUN 4339.2

Stevenson, accompanied by Plimpton, Yost and Finger,3 met afternoon May 11 with SYG, Quaison-Sackey, and Vellodi. They had during two days consulted all other members committee;4 USSR, France and UK individually Monday,5 29 other members in two groups yesterday.

Quaison-Sackey started meeting with statement along lines described reftel. Said SYG intends to present draft report to committee by June 1 and President expects committee hold intensive meetings, perhaps twice a day, in order reach agreed report by June 15. Content of such report with respect to future might be “few paragraphs of guidelines” which might be general enough to achieve acceptance.

It was clear SYG and Quaison-Sackey expected little progress re future and concentrating principally on achievement solvency. They said all members of committee agreed there should be “normalization” of work of GA. Small countries urged US and Sovs agree on formulation.

In reply Stevenson query re Sov and French willingness to contribute toward solvency, Quaison-Sackey said Fedorenko reiterated Sov readiness make “substantial” contribution on basis Afro-Asian proposal and on understanding contribution should fully eliminate question of “so-called arrears.” French position much more difficult; Seydoux maintained peacekeeping operations, past or future, not subject to GA assessment and agreement on future must precede any French contribution. He was not explicit exactly what agreement on future required nor did he promise any French contribution even if their conditions met. SYG and Q–S affirmed Sovs attached no such condition re agreement on future.

Q–S also impressed by difference in French and Sov reactions to his presence in Vienna June 15. French reply very formal, pointed out occasion is purely ceremonial and other matters had no place. Gromyko sent [Page 764] Q–S message that he looking forward to meeting him in Vienna and to talking.

Yost queried whether Sovs would, as Afro-Asian text of Dec 306 implied, accept agreement not to raise Article 19 only for remainder of 19th session or whether they want assurance for all time. Q–S responded that Sovs clearly want arrears question settled once and for all. Vellodi read exact language Fedorenko had used as follows:

“However, taking into account the financial difficulties of the UN, the Soviet Union expressed its willingness to make a voluntary contribution on the basis of the proposal of the African and Asian countries of 30 December 1964, on the understanding that our voluntary contribution, the size of which will be decided by the Soviet Government itself, should fully eliminate the question of the so-called arrears of the Soviet Union and the question of the application of Article 19 of the UN Charter to the Soviet Union.”

Fedorenko first set adoption of res by Comite of 33 as precondition but, when Q–S suggested statement by Pres embodied understanding as proposed in comite by Argentina, Fedorenko did not reject this possibility.

In optimistic vein Q–S said he was sure Sov contribution wld really be substantial. Told Stevenson “you hold whip hand.” Stevenson said he was not sure what SYG and Q–S were asking US to do and how we held whip hand. Sovs were clearly asking we renounce for all time application Article 19 in connection their past arrears and in advance of our knowing how much they wld contribute, whether or not UN involvency wld be overcome, how UNEF wld be taken care of and whether Sovs wld support regular budget including servicing of bond issue, UNTSO, UNMOGIP, etc. SYG said latter subjects not yet discussed with Sovs but indicated he might explore them shortly. Stevenson also pointed out Congress aiming for adjournment July 15. US hopes be able make contribution but before discussing with mbrs Congress we would have to know other elements of package. We wld need this in latter part June in order hold necessary Congressional consultations.

SYG made clear he did not feel he could launch appeal for contributions until requested do so by Comite of 33. He and Q–S agreed appeal shld be launched during latter part June. Q–S said most comite mbrs expressed preference for ltr of appeal from SYG rather than pledging conference. (Obviously he held that view.)

Q–S then expressed view key to solution might be omission any ref to Art 19 but stress on “normalization.” He then read from notes on proposal [Page 765] made earlier same day by Pazhwak (Afghanistan) based on three points: (1) “we” must do everything in our power before resumption GA so that “it should function normally”; (2) solvency shld be achieved through voluntary contributions; (3) comite shld try develop “guidelines” for future peacekeeping, then submit them to all mbr govts of UN for comments and resume to discuss these comments. Q–S had impression Pazhwak formula discussed with other African and Asian dels. (Earlier in day mbr Indian del had urged US consult Pazhwak.) We expressed interest in this Pazhwak formula but also noted it unlikely Sovs would be satisfied with it. (Later Vellodi told MisOff Pazhwak wld not provide text nor wld he confirm Vellodi notes; he said he had just been speculating out loud.)

While vague on total contributions expected, contributions Sovs might make and any understanding concerning UNEF and bonds, SYG and Q–S seemed unaccountably suphoric [sophomoric?] about possibility solving financial crisis. This based on feeling Sovs showing signs of desire to solve crisis. In response our query, SYG said Sovs had said nothing directly to him about $108 million target figure but noted he had heard from several quarters that Sovs talking in terms of total required as less than half that amt. Apparently SYG and Q–S do not consider much more difficult French position as insuperable obstacle, their main concern being agreement by “two super-powers.”

On question of future, Q–S said French del had requested comite meet May 17 when it wishes make policy statement. Mtg, which will be chaired by Argentina, may also hear from Iraq, UAR, Netherlands and Algeria. Seydoux had mentioned possibility of establishing a finance comite responsible to the SYG and this will probably be in French statement. Seydoux expressed opposition to collective responsibility for financing any peacekeeping operation. Said there must be no compulsion to pay, whether operation mounted by SC or GA. In curious twist of logic Seydoux said UNEF operation might be considered collective responsibility because it is observation, not peacekeeping, whereas UNFICYP involves contingent use of force, is peacekeeping and therefore not collective responsibility. SYG noted there has actually been more shooting in UNEF than in UNFICYP and suggested French position is rationalization of their payment for operation arising out of Suez.

Comment: It is obvious that we risk deadlocking in old chicken-egg controversy which stymied GA. SYG and Q–S apparently think agreement by Comite of 33, to be embodied in its June 15 report, on Sov stipulation concerning normalization work of GA and waiver application Art 19 is likely to be essential prelude to SYG launching appeal for vol contributions shortly after June 15. They probably will seek further info from Sovs regarding related financial problems but would not expect receive any notification of size Sov vol contribution until it is made. We [Page 766] urged they concentrate in talks with Sovs and French on adequate assurances UN solvency will be restored as necessary prerequisite to Art 19 waiver. However, unless new Pazhwak formula proves firmer and more salable than we expect, chicken-and-egg seems to lie directly in our path.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, United Nations, Article 19, Vol. 2. Confidential; Priority.
  2. Dated May 3, it discussed the latest maneuvers by “African nationalist states” seeking to resolve the Article 19 impasse. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 19 RHOD/UN)
  3. Seymour Finger of USUN.
  4. Reference is to the Committee of 33.
  5. May 10.
  6. Reference is to General Assembly Resolutions 1994 (XIX) and 1995 (XIX), adopted unanimously. For texts, see GA docs. A/C. 2/224 and A/C. 449.