112. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1

554. Subj: Periodic Meetings of SC. Ref: State 32664; USUN 511.2

Yost told Jakobson (Finland) Mar 26 that US in principle sees constructive opportunities in Finnish suggestion for periodic meetings of SC while mentioning caveats ref Dept el. Jakobson was most appreciative. He is still awaiting replies from other perm members and has [Page 221]had positive response from most non-perms. He would like to have SC agree on suggested course prior to mid-June.
Re level of attendance, Jakobson readily agreed that “specially designated representatives” (perhaps PermReps) would probably attend spring meetings and that attendance of FonMin’s at fall meetings would not be problem since they would be scheduled in connection with opening of GA.
As to fixed dates, Jakobson argued that great merit of Finnish proposal was that it would provide for regular exchanges of views. Perhaps initial meetings would not be particularly fruitful but it highly desirable institute periodic get-togethers.
Jakobson well aware of problem of current unsatisfactory composition of SC. He observed that situation would probably improve if position and prestige of Council enhanced through periodic meetings.
Jakobson also recognized problem SYG’s report might present difficulties but thought, on the whole, this would be manageable.
Re “strengthening peacekeeping,” Jakobson acknowledged that he did not intend for SC to take over other work currently in train.
Finns currently thinking, assuming other SC members go along with proposal, that best means of recording agreement on subject as well as on ground rules would be summing up by SC Pres. (For reasons of modesty Jakobson would prefer not do this while he in chair in April.) Jakobson believes strongly that meetings should be private and that they, as a rule, should not seek to adopt reses. He also opposed to attendance by non-SC members.
Concerning reactions of others, Jakobson reports Sovs hope to have preliminary reaction in near future. (He agreed with Yost that Sovs can hardly take any stance other than positive one since similar proposal included in Sov “strengthening international security” initiative at 24th UNGA.)
UK reply in preparation. French have indicated their reply may take a while.
Reaction from most non-perms, including Poles, has been positive so far. Tomeh (Syria) is only del to sound skeptical note.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 SC. Confidential. Repeated to London, Moscow, Paris, Helsinki, and Brussels for USNATO.
  2. Telegram 32664 is printed as Document 111. In telegram 511 from USUN, March 25, Yost reported that although he was aware of the possible complications, he did not wish to seem too negative about a proposal envisaged by the Charter. “In general, periodic SC meetings of character Finns propose seem to me one way of moving UN back, at least marginally, onto center of world stage and thus making it more available and useful for objectives we have in mind.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 SC) The Department concurred in the Finnish draft consensus statement on May 1. (Telegram 66492 to USUN; ibid.)