145. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Colombia1
27096. Subject: Colombia Calls CECLA Meeting. Ref: Bogota 0528.2
1. The following points may be helpful to Embassy in discussions with Foreign Office prior CECLA meeting. Background material on Lima Ministerial and general developments pouched separately.3
For Embassy Background:
- US planning low key approach to Conference. We hope to avoid confrontation and keep focus on economic issues. While we are seeking to make US posture forthcoming, no dramatic new initiatives now planned.
- US positions on individual agenda items currently in process of preparation. Consequently, not much specific information can be given.
- LDCs naturally desire draw out DCs prior to Conference on positions. Developed countries in Geneva and US have been careful to avoid commitment to detailed discussions which likely create misunderstanding, arouse false expectations, and serve as signal to LDCs for more pressure at Conference in certain areas. Nevertheless, we wish to be cooperative and have no objections Embassy’s participation in general and informal discussions of type proposed by Colombians.
- Major new development at Lima Ministerial was 77 split between Latins and Afro Asians over issues such as: 1) special measures for least developed, 2) relative power and influence in international organizations, 3) benefits commodity agreements and 4) negotiating tactics with DCs. US very interested this development but wishes remain neutral and uninvolved. Embassy should be careful to avoid any action which later construed as US effort widen LDC split.
- Colombian initiative interesting, particularly since Colombia has not played active role in UNCTAD recently. Would appreciate Embassy assessment of primary motives for Colombian move, i.e. 1) opportunity to re-open idea of LA regional preferences, 2) increased interest in UNCTAD, 3) concern over coffee agreement, 4) effort to increase influence in LA regional context.
2. Points for Colombians
- The US is giving active and careful consideration to all issues on the UNCTAD III agenda. We are seeking to make US posture forthcoming, but there are many restraints on our flexibility; in any case, the LDCs should be realistic in their expectations.
- We plan to cooperate fully in examination of key economic issues. We hope confrontation at the Conference can be avoided.
- We share LA concerns about European preferential arrangements that may adversely affect western hemisphere exports. We have consistently pointed out the ill effects of such arrangements.
- We do not believe the solution to this problem is western hemisphere regional preferential arrangement. Although submission of our generalized preferences legislation has been delayed, we continue to believe that proper approach is a global system of tariff preferences for all LDCs.
- We agree that UNCTAD should not be involved in the operations of international commodity arrangements such as the coffee agreement. Problems should be resolved in the framework of the Agreements, not at international Conferences.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, E 3 CECLA. Confidential. Drafted by R.M. Ogden (E/OT/GCP), cleared in ARA and IO, and approved by J.C. Leary (E/OT/GCP). Repeated to the Mission in Geneva, USUN, and USOECD in Paris.↩
- Dated January 27. (Ibid.) See also Document 144.↩
- Not found.↩