122. Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts 1

12683. Reference: State 011003; State 177449; State 184606.2 Subject: Security Council Meeting in Africa.

Security Council decided January 19 hold session in Addis Ababa beginning January 28 and ending February 4.3 Agenda item agreed on is “Consideration of Questions Relating to Africa with which SC is Currently Seized and Implementation of Council’s Relevant Resolutions”. It was not possible for SC working group to arrive at agreed consensus statement or general resolution to be adopted at end of meeting and substantive questions have been deferred until Addis session.
In Council and fifteen-member working group meetings, Soviet Union made numerous lengthy propagandistic and anti-Western speeches, clearly signalling its intention to use meeting to flog Western members of Security Council. (We presume Soviets will also attack NATO for its support of Portugal.) China also made similar statements, though somewhat more reserved and generalized. Guinea and Sudan made clear that purpose of meetings in their view was to dramatize the lack of UN action on African issues and put the finger on Western nations for alleged non-implementation of Security Council resolutions on such matters as “Portuguese colonialism”, Rhodesia and sanctions, South Africa arms embargo and SAG refusal to withdraw from Namibia. France was quite frank in expressing its reservations concerning not only financial costs but also questionable political results. French delegate pointedly referred to widespread feeling regarding alleged “UN impotence”, which could be heightened by Africa meeting of SC. UK took low key approach and did not even speak at last Security Council meeting. US delegate emphasized concern over UN financial situation and reserved right to oppose future meetings away from New York, for budgetary reasons. (Also stated he was pleased [Page 235]that estimated cost of proposed meeting only one-third of $500 thousand amount originally mentioned in press.)
For your information, estimated cost of meeting to UN is about $106 thousand, much of which attributable to transportation for approximately 120 UN Secretariat staff. Ethiopian government has stated it will pay for substantial amount of local costs including hotel rooms for UN officials and local transportation, as well as providing conference facilities.
On substantive side, we expect that Africans as well as Soviet and Chinese delegations will concentrate on “non-implementation” issue, especially with regard to Rhodesia (no independence before majority rule), Rhodesian sanctions, Portuguese denial of self-determination, and breaches of (non-mandatory) UN embargo on arms to SA. We believe that US record is basically better than that of certain other Council members and we will be prepared to defend it. Undoubtedly there will be attacks on the Byrd amendment and on US aid to Portugal particularly in context of recent Azores Agreement.
Regarding latter you should be prepared to draw on State 011003, January 20 and previous messages referred to therein in discussions with host governments. Regarding Byrd amendment we will send you further guidance as necessary. In the meantime, you should continue to draw on State 177449, September 24 and State 184606, November 3. We suggest you use above guidance on both subjects if raised by host governments or if appropriate occasion arises (e.g., discussions of SC meeting in Africa).
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 SC. Confidential; Limdis; No Distribution Outside Department. Drafted by Walker; cleared by Donald S. Spigler, Rothenberg, and Thomas G. Martin; and approved by C. Robert Moore. The time of transmission is not legible. Sent to all African posts and repeated to Lisbon, London, Moscow, Paris, USUN, Luanda, and Lourenco Marques.
  2. These three telegrams transmitted guidances to U.S. posts in Africa concerning U.S. assistance to Portugal, the extension of the Azores bases agreement, and the defeat of a Senate attempt to repeal the Byrd amendment authorizing the purchase of Rhodesian chrome. (Ibid., DEF 15–4 PORT—US, DEF 2–5 US, and INCO CHROME 17 US—RHOD, respectively)
  3. The final meeting of the subcommittee on January 18 was described in telegram 191 from USUN, January 18. (Ibid., UN 3 SC)