109. Memorandum From the Director of Regional Affairs, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Moore) to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Green)1

SUBJECT

  • The GA Concludes Its Session

Viewed from a narrow EA standpoint, the 27th GA was, in many ways, a success. Korea was postponed without too much difficulty; Khmer credentials did not prove to be the problem we had once anticipated and the question of Charter revision with its implications for Japanese Security Council aspirations was kept alive. Our relationships with the Chinese were surprisingly good and our two delegations established a very useful working relationship. We were, of course, on opposite sides of many of the chief issues before the Assembly, but this disagreement on substance was remarkably free of bilateral rancor. Indeed the Chinese, even when the opportunity was there, generally avoided clashing directly with us and turned instead on the Soviets.

Viewed over-all, however, the Assembly this year was not a good one for the US. While we were successful on the important matter of [Page 217]our assessment, and on many other less visible issues, our defeat on the terrorism question was a severe one, particularly in public relations terms. Moreover, we were increasingly on the losing side of many questions—trade issues, colonial questions, disarmament matters— and sometimes cast a lone negative vote or voted in the company of only a few others. There was, moreover, evidence of a greater cohesiveness in bloc voting on many issues with the blocs usually opposing our viewpoint.

These problems are not new—we have been losing on a number of votes for years—but the extent of our isolation was much more marked this year. Some of our difficulty may stem from a misperception of where our true interests lie. Our losing fight over the location of the headquarters of the environment organization is a case in point. There are thus a number of places where an adjustment in our own philosophy might be of immense help. But the problem is deeper than can be met with changes in our position on one or another issue. We have fundamental disagreements on many questions with the great majority of UN members and these cannot be easily adjusted. IO will be looking into this problem in the year ahead but obviously there are rough waters ahead for us in New York.

We will be commenting in more detail on the session in a later memorandum, but we do want to take this occasion to note the outstanding job done by Tom Bleha as the EA Regional Adviser with our Delegation. He put much thought and effort into his assignment and he established excellent working relationships with the EA Delegations in New York. Moreover, he must be credited with much of the success we had in bringing so many EA states to our side on the assessment issue.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 GA. Confidential. Drafted by McNutt. The memorandum is stamped “Mr. Green has seen.”