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

5350. For the Secretary from Bush. Subject: Reduction in US Assessment.

We were successful in 5th Comite in obtaining approval of our res on this subject, but we need to improve our support for UNGA plenary. Since two-thirds vote may be required in plenary, it is essential that we: (A) Hold firm 67 dels that voted for our res in comite; (B) move some of 32 abstentions into affirmative category; and (C) move some of those that voted negative to abstention and, if possible, to affirmative. We are cranking up here with this objective in mind and on a selective basis suggesting that approaches be made in capitals.
We must not be overconfident even to slightest degree re plenary vote. On contrary, we must make every effort possible within next week to garner maximum amount of support for our res in plenary.
To that end I suggest you send following cable to all diplomatic posts:2 For the Ambassador from the Secretary

As you are aware, UNGA 5th Comite on Dec 1 favorably approved long-sought USG objective of reducing maximum assessment for UN regular budget to 25 percent. This success, I am convinced, resulted in good measure from high degree of coordination and cooperation, at many levels, among USUN, Embassies and Dept. Our success to date is highly gratifying to me, as I am sure it is to all of you. However, we are not home free yet since our resolution must still be acted upon favorably by plenary, in a vote that we now hope to have, at latest, on Dec 13. We may be faced in plenary with a requirement for a two-thirds vote (of those voting either yes or no). Our 5th Comite margin exceeds two-thirds by only two votes. We must now work toward insuring that Comite supporters stick with us in plenary and toward improving votes of those dels that either abstained or voted negatively in Comite. This is essential particularly in view of the fact that experience shows that some unpredictable changes will occur.

Prior to plenary vote, USUN will be following up on selective basis with dels in effort to maximize plenary margin. In some instances [Page 377]posts will be asked to make further démarches in capitals to supplement USUN’s efforts. If opportunities occur where posts have received no specific follow-up direction, you may be able to consolidate or improve position of host govt. I would caution, however, against any approach that might appear to be gratuitous double-check, that would give rise to negative reconsideration in NY or capitals, or that would be interpreted as excessive pressure by USG. It is important therefore that you exercise particular discretion in making uninstructed contacts in capitals.

Your continued responsiveness to tactical situation in NY will be essential to final vote on this issue. There is no doubt that outcome will be crucial for our future relationship with UN.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. X. Confidential; Priority; Exdis.
  2. Sent as telegram 222289 on December 8. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 GA)