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

179962. Subject: Observer Status for GDR in Second Committee. Ref: USUN 3601.2

Following confirming Herz/Phillips telcon.
Our position on GDR observer status in any form at this GA prior to FRGGDR inner-German agreement and Four-Power understanding on continued validity of Quadripartite rights3 rests on two [Page 77]essential points: (A) SYG invitation to any state to participate in committee work is without precedent; there are no grounds in UN procedures or past practice for granting such status and it is undesirable both from point of principle and precedent to depart from established practice (if necessary, you could point out that our willingness to work out arrangement for GDR presence at Stockholm is not comparable case as GDR would not have been present at invitation of a UN organization or official but at invitation either of Conference President or Swedish Government. This, had it been accepted would have carried no connotations for their relationship to GA); (B) We can command sufficient support to defeat any move putting issue to vote (we would, of course, expect FRG support on the issue if it came to vote).
We therefore conclude that if we clearly stand firm on this issue, it will not be posed prior to inner-German agreement, and you should therefore consult with Gehlhoff and then indicate to SYG at earliest opportunity that there has been no change in our position that any observer status for GDR in General Assembly context must await completion of inner-German agreement and related understanding among the Four Powers. In the meantime, we will maintain that GDR does not fulfill generally accepted criteria for UN observer status (membership in specialized agencies and recognition by majority of member states).
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. X. Confidential; Exdis.
  2. In telegram 3601 from USUN, September 30, Bush described a telephone conversation that he had had with Waldheim on September 29. Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko had urged Waldheim to invite the German Democratic Republic to take part in the Second Committee’s discussion of environmental matters as an observer. Waldheim had been noncommittal. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 GER E)
  3. Reference is to the Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin, signed at Berlin, September 3, 1971. (Department of State Bulletin, September 27, 1971, pp. 318–322)