34. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Australia 1

83983. Subject: Lodge Commission on UN.

Australian Emboff (Williams) asked Dept views on Lodge Commission Report on UN,2 what official standing it had and what follow-up we planned.
Deptoff (IOPelcovits) explained that President’s Commission was part of national effort at reappraisal of UN during 25th anniversary. It constituted useful fresh look at issues by prestigious group but represented views of private citizens with no official standing.
We have taken no official position on recommendations but will review them carefully, and expect to draw on them as source of ideas and proposals as we formulate policy. Many of Commission’s recommendations are consonant with our policies and efforts on key issues, providing welcome public support in such areas as peacekeeping, ICJ reform, fiscal solvency, improved organizational procedures and need for improved international action on issues like narcotics abuse and preservation of environment. Others we will want to assess in terms of soundness, overall priorities, and capacity of international institutions to carry them out.
We agree with report that as more and more issues are handled through multilateral diplomacy stress should be put on improved organization and performance in UN system.
Williams said at this stage did not want single out specifics but believed Australia would support action for improved UN organization and performance, and raising quality of secretariat. He thought Canberra would also look favorably on recommendations for associate status to incoming microstates and for better screening of regional candidates for SC seats. Expressed interest in being apprised either in Washington or New York if we intended implement specific recommendations.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Nathan A. Pelcovits, cleared by Armitage and Martin, and approved by Pelcovits. Repeated to USUN.
  2. The Report of the President’s Commission for the Observance of the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations was released on April 26, 1971. (Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, May 3, 1971, pp. 708–709)