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

4222. Subj: Reduction in US Assessment to 25 Percent.

US Del now has agreement of Chairman Fifth Comite that consideration of scale of assessments item under which US will present 25 percent proposal will commence on or about Nov 15. Comite consideration of interim report of Special Comite on UN Financial Situation will follow scale of assessments item.
On basis of consultations here and reports from Wash and capitals, I am convinced time has now arrived for all-out effort to secure favorable GA action on our 25 percent proposal. I am optimistic that we can win on this issue but only if we make concerted effort at this juncture.
I consider it especially important that Asst Secretaries of State for geographic areas now mobilize their resources in support of our efforts here. I am convinced that, if we are to secure the necessary votes, we must make approaches within bilateral framework as well as UN context in order fully to convey importance we attach to this issue.
Areas causing us most concern are: first, Africa; second, Latin America; third, Near and Middle East, and then balance of Asia. Since these are areas composed largely of LDCs which are particularly interested in and dependent upon UN developmental activities, should be possible to convince most countries those areas that best hope for continued US support for such activities lies in success of US 25 percent proposal; if we fail, prospects are less than bright for continued US high-level support on which UN activities have been dependent. Particularly in the case of countries assessed at the floor rate (0.04 percent), we should be able to demonstrate conclusively that they cannot possibly be hurt by US proposal since they will not be affected by it in any way. Only way in which they could possibly lose in this effort would be if the US proposal were defeated and, as a result, levels of US voluntary financial support for UN developmental activities were endangered.
Dept best judge of cases in which approach recommended above can be limited to consultations with Wash Ambassadors or should at this stage include further démarches in capitals. In regard to latter Dept may wish request posts to make maximum use of contacts in Finance Ministries as well as formal approaches to Foreign Ministries. In case of many, perhaps most, LDCs, we believe Wash démarches may be more effective than efforts in capitals, unless latter made at Ambassadorial/Presidential level, in transmitting message of how important issue is to USG, UN system and LDCs, and in conveying adequate understanding of full range of political considerations underlying our position.
I would appreciate reporting on urgent basis re results of effort recommended above so that we can coordinate our activities here, and would hope that renewed calls for démarches in capitals and Washington would (1) be tailored to the individual country’s special circumstances to the extent possible and (2) be coordinated with USUN.2
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 10–4. Confidential.
  2. The Department replied on November 2 that it had been canvassing on a desk-by-desk basis to find out which approaches would be most effective, with particular emphasis on the African area. Bush was asked to identify countries that should be concentrated on as the situation developed. (Telegram 199261 to USUN, November 2; ibid.)