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

47999. Subject: U.S. Position on UN Budget for CY 1971. Ref: USUN 483.2

At April 2 Four Power meeting (USUN 483) you should indicate that we intend approach SYG on ‘71 budget and will wish to exchange information concerning it with other delegations in hope they will take similar positions with SYG. However, we believe concerted approaches are unnecessary and prefer concept of individual approaches by concerned and responsible delegations, including but not necessarily limited to major donors, rather than joint Four Power effort.
You should see SYG soonest, explain present USG and Congressional concern at rate of growth of UN budget and express strong hope that any increase in initial estimates for 1971 be limited to what is absolutely essential. You should point to possibility of proposals for [Page 292]new initiatives at next GA resulting from 25th Anniversary and Second Development Decade, which may well call for some budgetary increases, and to need to forego expansion of organization and staff pending delineation such initiatives and their financial implications.
Re possible post increases for 1971, you should express strong hope that these be kept to absolute minimum for reasons mentioned in paragraph 2 above. They should be limited to those additional posts specifically recommended by manpower survey which hopefully will be offset by reductions which we assume will also be forthcoming from survey for those parts of Secretariat it finds overstaffed. You should take position that results of manpower survey should be fully and strictly applied so that Member Governments have confidence that there exists a satisfactory basis for further development of Organization. You should express view that SYG will be in much better position to assess real needs of Organization in terms of additional posts after he takes into account decisions of next GA and after entire manpower survey has been completed.
You should point out that, apart from any post increases as discussed in paragraph 3, we would foresee a 1971 budget submission by SYG which would provide for only a minimum of increases. We believe that SYG should limit such increases to following:
about 5 per cent ($8.4 million) increase for higher wages and prices in 1971 and for full funding in 1971 of 1970 provisional posts, but we believe a portion of price and wage increases can and should be absorbed;
$3.0 million for construction costs in Geneva and New York;
$0.5 million for UN International School; and
$2.0 million for non-recurring conference costs. Should UNCTAD III be deferred until 1972, these conference costs could be reduced to $1.0 million. Moreover we would hope SYG will be able to recommend the elimination or reduction of obsolete or low priority activities the savings from which would offset in part some of the increases above.
Following four power discussion you should inform other like-minded and responsible delegations of our position in such detail and in accordance with such schedule as you think appropriate and you should urge those found to be sympathetic to our viewpoint to make similar though not necessarily identical approaches to SYG in support this general concept.
In support this approach we agree that USUN officers should work closely with Controller and his staff on continuing basis to make certain that they take fully into account all reasonable possibilities for holding 1971 estimate to minimum (including for example reductions in documentation costs).
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 10–1. Confidential. Drafted by Edward W. Lawrence; cleared by Ward P. Allen, Joseph F. Donelan, Louis E. Frechtling, and Strait (BOB); and approved by Assistant Secretary De Palma. Repeated to Vienna and the Mission in Geneva.
  2. Telegram 483, March 20, mentioned, among other things, that the Soviet representative at a Big Four meeting proposed that the Permanent Representatives of the Big Four should inform the Secretary-General that the 1969 Four-Power note set a $169 million budget ceiling for 1971. (Ibid.)