261. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1


  • Your Meeting with Paul Hoffman, Tuesday, September 21, 1971, 11:45 a.m.2

Hoffman has been reluctant to retire as Chief of the UN Development Program despite the clear limitations which his 80 years impose on his effectiveness. We have, therefore, delayed this meeting until Rudy Peterson was established as his successor. Hoffman now seems reconciled to his retirement, which has been announced by U Thant to take effect January 15, 1972.3 Colonel Richard Kennedy will attend the meeting. There will be no photo opportunity.

Points Hoffman will raise—The importance to the Free World of strengthening the UN’s economic and social functions. He will recommend that you press Congress for the full $100 million we have asked for the UNDP. (For the last two years Congress has cut the request back to $86 million each year. This year’s final action is still pending.)

Suggest you be sympathetic with Hoffman, but non-committal on the $100 million. (OMB Director Shultz is recommending a substantial reduction in our contribution to UNDP, in view of the limited number of other places in which cuts might be made in the foreign aid element of our new economic policy.).4

Points you can make

  • —Thank Hoffman for his long and outstanding service to the country and the international community.
  • —Indicate that you hope he will be willing to come down again around the end of the year for a more formal recognition of his superb services to the country.
  • —Say how happy you are to have found, in Rudy Peterson, a worthy successor to carry on Hoffman’s great work.
  • —Restate your view that multilateral institutions should increasingly be used for US assistance, if they show the capacity.
  • —Say you are encouraged by the reforms in the UNDP begun under Hoffman’s leadership.
  • —Say you know Hoffman will do everything possible to make the transfer of responsibility to Peterson a smooth one.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VII. Confidential. Sent for action. “The President has seen” is stamped on the memorandum.
  2. The meeting was held at the White House between 11:48 a.m. and 12:14 p.m. No further record of the meeting has been found. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary)
  3. The UN General Assembly confirmed Rudolph Peterson’s appointment as Administrator of the UN Development Program on December 14, 1971. Paul Hoffman retired as Administrator on January 15, 1972.
  4. Nixon wrote “OK” in the margin next to this paragraph.