97. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Davies) to the Counselor of the Department of State (Pedersen)1

The Secretary’s Speech to the UNGA

There are four topics which we would suggest for inclusion in the Secretary’s statement, one of which—narcotics—is not peculiar to our area.

We believe the Secretary should give major emphasis to South Asia—to underline the dangers of war in the area, but especially to focus attention on the humanitarian problem in India and East Pakistan, to underline the UN role of leadership in dealing with these problems and to provide vigorous support to the Secretary-General’s appeal for contributions and support from the world community.

We think the statement should include the following points—a) the threat to peace poses dangers not only to India and Pakistan but to the world community, b) the threat of famine in East Pakistan and the problem posed by the influx of refugees into India must also concern the international community, c) the international community, and India [Page 190]and Pakistan, have a responsibility for ensuring the peace, for averting famine and relieving human misery, d) we look to the UN to continue asserting vigorous leadership and coordination of efforts to deal with the food situation in East Pakistan and refugee relief in India. We intend continuing our support for these efforts. e) We recognize that the political problems in Pakistan must be resolved by the Pakistanis themselves, f) we trust both India and Pakistan will avoid actions which can increase tensions and will also be alert to the opportunities for dealing with the refugee problem so as to reduce tensions.

In general, the Middle East section of the Secretary’s UNGA speech should be consistent with our present emphasis on quiet diplomacy and should avoid arousing undue expectations of early dramatic progress. While this is not the occasion for launching new public policy initiatives on the Middle East, it is an opportunity to adumbrate some of our concepts with respect to an interim Suez Canal agreement and to shift the focus to that effort and to the idea of a step-by-step approach, away from the idea of a quantum jump to an overall peace.

The speech should (a) recall what has been accomplished (with special emphasis on the ceasefire); (b) stress the importance of a Canal agreement as a practical first step toward peace; (c) register some impatience with the negativism of both sides and call for some risk-taking by the parties; and (d) urge that the UN contribute to the process of moving toward peace by avoiding both unproductive polemics and any attempts to shift the focus from negotiations by the parties themselves to new UN prescriptions on the substance of a peace settlement.

We believe it would be desirable to get some mention of narcotics into the statement—with the emphasis on the growing international nature of the problem and the need for concerted international action to deal with it. If the subject can be worked into the statement, we would like the Secretary to commend Turkey publicly for its decision to eliminate production in 1972, for this example of international good citizenship and as an example which others should emulate.

Lastly, if possible, a sentence or two welcoming new members of the UN—Bhutan, Bahrein and probably Qatar.

We would prefer to give you draft language for the South Asia and Middle East portions of the statement and will get them to you next week.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 GA. Unclassified. Drafted by Stanley D. Schiff on September 3 and concurred in by Alfred L. Atherton and Anthony C. E. Quainton. A handwritten note on the memorandum reads: “Speech given and points used per Passage 1/25/72.” See footnote 2, Document 100.