52. Telegram From the Mission to the European Office of the United Nations to the Department of State 1

2763. Subject: ECOSOC—Declaration on Colonialism (Item 20). Ref: Geneva 2696.2

Summary: Debate on implementation colonialism declaration by specialized agencies completed in extended Friday p.m. meeting of Council. SA’s reported on their implementation of declaration and Africans and others chastized non-implementation of IBRD and IMF. Speeches were rambling and emotional, but Africans better prepared than last year, and it seems likely that resolution will emerge. End Summary.
Number of SA’s reported on implementation during past year, most of which was already included in reports to Committee of 24 [Page 85](A/AC.109/333, July 3, 1969). UNESCO and ILO got good marks from African dels particularly for their willingness conclude agreements with OAU for assistance to liberation movements. This course of action was strongly recommended by several speakers to those who have “quibbled” about problems of not being able deal directly with administering powers. IMF and UNDP (neither of which spoke) came in for scolding for failure to make meaningful report to Committee of 24. Fund called “succinctly obstreperous” by Tanzania (Waldron-Ramsey) and “recalcitrant” by Upper Volta (Diallo) and Sierra Leone (Cole). Soviets and Congo (B) also blasted Fund for supporting South Africa to tune of $62 million in 1968. IBRD was again favorite target, criticism reaching climax with charge by Congo (B) that it was “life insurance of imperialism.” Bank wisely changed tactics from last year’s session during which Bank engaged Africans in legal arguments on question of compliance with GA resolution. This year Bank spoke only of being willing consider seriously assistance to refugees. Tanzania asked if Bank willing to make agreements with OAU.
Waldron-Ramsey spoke for nearly an hour and had apparently coordinated his well organized presentation. His specific proposals were endorsed by most African dels, and they will probably appear in form of draft resolution during final week. Specific proposals were as follows:
ECOSOC should recommend that legislative bodies of SA’s and other international institutions:
Request following information from their executive director:
History of GA “legislation” this issue;
Implementation action taken;
What implementing action can still be taken;
What difficulties are encountered in executing GA resolutions or mandates of legislative bodies themselves.
Establish small “watch-do” committee of 5 or 6 members for continuing surveillance of implementation, reporting back to parent bodies of difficulties encountered.
ECOSOC should also recommend that item remain on agenda ACC and CPC so that there can be continuing coordinated review. Waldron-Ramsey also suggested that legislative bodies of SA’s and other institutions should “reaffirm” decision not to assist Portugal and South Africa since assistance is clearly being used to suppress legitimate desire for self-determination, although he did not make clear whether this latter point should be included in ECOSOC resolution.
There were fewer than usual attacks on policies of individual governments. UK came in for restrained criticism on SR, but did not reply during debate. Soviets confined their criticism exclusively to SA’s. US mentioned only by Cuban observer (as helper of colonialists and imperialists) [Page 86]and by Sierra Leone (for having recently concluded agreement with Portugal to mine diamonds in Portuguese territory).
Only non-Africans to speak were Soviets, Bulgarians (who initiated debate and took credit for giving birth to item in GA), India, and Jamaica.
Chairman announced that debate was closed on item, but that Council would take up on Thursday, August 7, any resolution that is tabled.
It seems likely that draft resolution containing Waldron-Ramsey recommendations (para 3 above) will be tabled. Also reasonable expect that more strident demands will be included, for example, would expect stress on cooperative arrangements with OAU (para 3, GA Res 2426 XXIII, para 7 of E/4712, reported reftel).
Any preliminary guidance on what US Del would be able support would be appreciated.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 19 UN. Limited Official Use. Repeated to USUN.
  2. Document 51.