245. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations 1
Washington, December 20, 1971, 1823Z.
227889. Subj: SYG. Ref: A. State 227770, B. USUN 5149.2
- On further reflection, and in light of ref B, we think it will be safer for us to abstain on Ramphal, vote no on all candidates other than Jakobson, Waldheim, and Ortiz. There are too many unknowns in the equation and it is possible that unless we veto, Rahnema, for instance, might just squeak by with nine positive votes. We cannot be certain that others among Five will vote against him.
- After this trial heat, it seems to us that we should accept voting on individual candidates, with results announced after each vote, even if you are unable to obtain order of voting that is most desirable from our point of view. Any candidate receiving nine votes (without veto) would be nominated, but it would be understood that otherwise top candidates could still be reconsidered.
- You might also after the voting approach Malik and tell him we are puzzled by continued Soviet veto of Jakobson since it would seem that Finnish SYG could be attractive to him. You would of course [Page 441]counter the allegation that Arabs are against him by pointing out that Arabs are far from united and some important Arab countries either favor him or have said they can live with him. Purpose of this approach would be to smoke out Soviets whether they intend to veto Jakobson indefinitely.
- As for Cuevas Cancino, while he is Western-oriented and even pro-American (in contrast to Garcia Robles) we think he would make a weak Secretary General and certainly less acceptable to us from that point of view than Ortiz or Waldheim, so would not wish to see him encouraged at this point.