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

152721. Subject: UNGA—Soviet Views.

Soviet Chargé Vorontsov called on Asst Secy De Palma Sept 16 to present routine résumé of Soviet views re 25th UNGA, along lines reported Wellington 2147.2 He was able provide no info on Kosygin or Gromyko attendance at GA.3
Vorontsov said 25th anniversary declaration should be short and general in nature, stressing eiteration of Charter aims and principles. It should deal with ways to resolve major world problems and stress “main task” of UN—maintenance of peace. Following points should be covered: end of arms race and GCD [GDC]; implementation of GA declaration on non-intervention in internal affairs of states; completion of definition of aggression and agreement on measures to stop aggression; liquidation of colonialism in accordance GA anti-colonialism declaration; development of international cooperation in solving economic, scientific, technological, social and cultural problems; respect for human rights and dignity without discrimination.
Following described by Vorontsov as GA items of principal interest to Soviets:
Strengthening of international security. USSR hoped there would not be many conflicting resolutions on the Soviet-sponsored item. Soviets understood Western dels had developed draft but hoped “we would not fight” and would deal with item in “dignified” way.
CBW—Soviets would continue to fight for position taken at Geneva.
Seabeds—Soviets considered draft treaty completed at Geneva very important matter.
Colonial questions—Colonial powers must fully implement anti-colonialism declaration.
LOSUSSR-sponsored agenda item signified Soviet interests, which seemed to be pretty close to those of US.
De Palma responded that 25th anniversary declaration should be document that could be adopted by acclamation and must therefore [Page 150]be even simpler than outlined by Vorontsov. While declaration per se perhaps not too important, it would be most unfortunate to try to achieve one and fail. He hoped Soviets would view matter in this light so that short, non-controversial declaration could be worked out in NY consultations. Similar considerations applicable to international security item. No one trying to deprive Soviets of credit for having taken initiative on this question, but if something generally acceptable to be achieved, Soviets could not insist on their original formulations. If they did, there could be no agreement. Western draft resolution covered many subjects in which Soviets interested in moderate and reasonable terms.
Extremely difficult tactical situation on LOS was being thrashed out in NY now, De Palma said. He agreed US and Soviet views on substance this subject quite close. On colonial questions, De Palma anticipated proposals would probably be cast in terms that would present problems.
On CBW De Palma noted US and USSR knew each other’s positions. He hoped differences could be bridged, but emphasized US not prepared see one instrument covering both chemical and biological weapons. Some way of relating two aspects might be possible, such as concluding instrument covering biological weapons first and agreeing at same time to work toward instrument covering chemical weapons.
De Palma concluded with general comment that it would be very good if real gains could be achieved at 25th GA. However, even if this not possible, both US and Soviets should at least seek ways to minimize controversy. Otherwise there danger that GA would appear to be demonstration of futility of UN. This not in interest of either country. Vorontsov nodded assent.
In response Vorontsov query re possible new proposals, De Palma said there considerable talk in NY about possibility of action on hijacking. He noted US initiative in ICAO, however, and wondered what useful action GA could take now. Vorontsov commented practical measures such as announced by Pres Nixon were what was needed, not declarations.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 GA. Confidential. Drafted by Betty-Jane Jones, cleared by G. Norman Anderson, and approved by Assistant Secretary De Palma. Repeated to Moscow.
  2. Dated September 11. (Ibid.)
  3. Foreign Minister Gromyko did attend the session and addressed the UN General Assembly on October 22. A summary of his address is in telegram 2632 from USUN, October 22. (Ibid.)