62. Telegram From the Department of State to All Posts in Africa 1

167826. Reference: (a) State 167451,2 (b) State 166107,3 (c) USUN 2367,4 (d) State 167419.5

Subject: Action Program on 10th Anniversary Decolonization Declaration.


For your background, following are key paras (condensed) of “Action Program” submitted by Committee of 24 to UNGA for vote possibly today or tomorrow:

Begin Summary:

—Member states shall do utmost promote in UN and international institutions and organizations within UN system, effective measures for full implementation of Declaration…including adoption by Security Council of effective measures against governments and regimes engaging in any form of repression colonial peoples which would seriously impede maintenance of international peace and security.
—Member states shall render all necessary moral and material assistance to peoples in colonial territories in struggle attain freedom and independence…
GA draws attention of SC to need continue giving special attention to problems of Southern Africa by adopting measures ensure full implementation Resolution 1514 (XV) and its own resolutions, and in particular: [Page 99]
  • —To widen scope of sanctions against illegal regime of Southern Rhodesia by declaring mandatory all measures in … Article 41 of the Charter;
  • —To impose sanctions on South Africa and Portugal whose governments have blatantly refused to carry out mandatory decisions of Security Council;
  • —To give urgent consideration … to promoting speedy elimination of colonialism, to … imposing fully and unconditionally, under international supervision, embargo on arms of all kinds to government of South Africa and illegal regime of Southern Rhodesia;
  • —To consider urgently adoption measures prevent supply of arms of all kinds to Portugal as these enable that country deny right of self-determination and independence to peoples of the territories under its domination. End Summary.

Re separate but inter-related problem of 25th Anniversary Declaration para 6 on Colonialism and para. 7 on Apartheid (see ref B.), US del agreed, after recording US objections to language paras. 6–7 (see refs C and D), to submission of whole declaration to Plenary.
Septel will follow re US explanation of vote on 10th Anniversary declaration and voting pattern.6
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 19 UN. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Walker, Peter C, approved by Donald S. Spigler, and cleared by Samuel R. Peale. Also sent to Lourenco Marques and Luanda, and repeated to USUN.
  2. Telegram 167451, October 10, alerted all posts in Africa of the likelihood that the United States would have to vote against the Program of Action marking the 10th Anniversary of the Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 166107, October 8, described the Department’s objection to the Draft Declaration on the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations, particularly since paragraphs 6 and 7 singled out specific areas for censure while ignoring “other obvious examples of oppression and tyranny of which members and world community well aware.” (Ibid., UN 30)
  4. Telegram 2367 from USUN, October 10, reported that proposed U.S. revisions received no support, even from the U.K. Delegation, and were adamantly opposed by African delegations. (Ibid.)
  5. Telegram 167419, October 9, supplied a statement for use in the October 9 meeting of the Committee for the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations. (Ibid.) The text of the statement as delivered by Ambassador Finger is printed in Department of State Bulletin, November 16, 1970, pp. 631–632.
  6. Transmitted in telegram 167972 to all posts in Africa, October 12. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 19 UN) The General Assembly approved the Draft Program of Action on the 10th Anniversary of the Declaration on Decolonization on October 12, by a vote of 86 to 5, with 15 abstentions. The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa voted against it. Ambassador Finger’s statement in explanation of the U.S. vote is printed in Department of State Bulletin, November 16, 1970, p. 635.