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

3355. Subj: Colonialism in GA: Item 23: National Liberation Movements.

Understand from reliable source in Secretariat that AF’s are planning to seek priority for item 23 which is general item on colonialism. Item which normally discussed towards end of GA may now be discussed as early as October. Reason for AF desire have item 23 discussed early is in order to have it discussed when AF FonMin’s are in town.
ALs understand there possibility AF’s will seek have national liberation movements of Southern Africa and Guinea Bissau seated as observers during discussion of item 23 as well as during discussion of Southern Africa issues in Fourth Comite.
Department will recall that members of national liberation movements appeared before Fourth Comite as petitioners, but so far have not been invited to sit as observers in same capacity as OAU or observer nations. If there move in this direction, believe it will be necessary to seek legal advice of Secretariat on this matter. Main problem of course will be, if PAIGC accepted as observer, that there may be attempts to get it recognized as government in exile. Department’s views requested.2
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 19 UN. Confidential.
  2. The Department replied on September 25 that neither this telegram nor a letter from the Chairman of the Committee of 24 made clear what was envisioned by “observer” status. The Department was inclined to oppose granting observer status to groups other than well-recognized international organizations, and recommended that the Mission vote against granting that status if it implied officially recognizing them as representatives of the territories concerned. (Telegram 174972 to USUN, September 25; ibid.)