84. Telegram From the Department of State to Selected Diplomatic Posts1

231000. Subject: Preparation for Prepcon II.

1. Prepcon II will convene in Paris October 13. The ten participants will decide on a number of procedural questions in preparation for the subsequent Ministerial conference.

2. To assist our preparations for this meeting action addressees are requested to approach host government at appropriate levels to seek its views on the following issues:

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A. Site for Ministerial-level conference. Group of seven meeting in mid-August indicated preference for Geneva or Paris.2 USG would also prefer neutral host country. Our preference is Vienna. We learned today that Austrians have decided to offer Vienna as site for conference. Austria is also prepared to chair Ministerial, but will not press for chairmanship, as GOA considers having Vienna as site for conference more important.

B. Chairman: Group of seven consensus at August Geneva caucus favored “neutral personality” which could even come from one of participants in the conference. US believes we should adopt same balanced approach the Ten have agreed to for the commissions and favors rotatating co-chairman selected by each side from amongst participants.

C. Secretariat: We wish to minimize institutional structure at this early point in the dialogue. Therefore, we favor limiting secretariat to small, temporary group providing technical services only such as interpreting, translation of documents, distribution and other housekeeping functions.

D. Site (S) for commission meetings: This issue has not been discussed by either side and US has not yet formulated a position. Obviously, discussion of this question must await conclusion on chairmanship and site issues, however, we would appreciate indication of views on this question.3

E. Observers at commission: French aide-mémoire4 provides that “observers from organizations directly concerned with the problems considered may sit on the commissions with the right to speak.” In oral statement by French, it was indicated that both IEA and OPEC would be invited to participate in energy commission. At August meeting of group of seven in Geneva, consensus emerged favoring right of any nation participating in conference to observe commission’s work. Commissions will be limited to 15 members. Obviously, right of all countries to sit in on work of commissions could vitiate purpose of limiting size of commissions and we would oppose this. USG has no fixed views on observer organizations in other commissions, except for IEA in energy commission. We welcome views of host governments. What organizations do they envisage for each commission.

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F. Agenda: There has been no discussion of an agenda for the Ministerial conference. Participants will recall difficult negotiations on this issue at April meeting which we are anxious to avoid. We believe agenda for conference should be short and non-controversial.

G. Terms of reference for commissions: Consensus contains broad, general statement regarding scope of commissions’ tasks. Does host government envisage broadening these general descriptions or including more detailed guidance at conference or is it agreeable to letting each commission determine work program for itself. To avoid controversy on this potentially difficult question at Prepcon, US would prefer latter approach.

3. IEA Governing Board will meet October 10 to develop consensus on above issues.5 We would, therefore appreciate replies by October 3 at latest.

4. Request for reports on substantive issues will be forthcoming in septel.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, D750336–0417. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Raicht; cleared by Enders and Preeg and in ARA, NEA/RA, AF, and E; and approved by Robinson. Sent to Algiers, Brasilia, Caracas, Jidda, Kinshasa, New Delhi, and Tehran. Re-peated to Bonn, Dublin, Rome, Luxembourg, The Hague, Copenhagen, Brussels, London, Vienna, Oslo, Ottawa, Tokyo, Wellington, USOECD Paris, USEC Brussels, Ankara, Madrid, Bern, Stockholm, and USUN.
  2. The group of seven LDC/OPEC nations that had participated in Prepcon I (Algeria, Brazil, Indian, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Zaire) met informally in Geneva August 10–12. (Telegram 6343 from Geneva, August 14; ibid., D750281–0169)
  3. Telegram 231097, September 28, informed the same addressees as this telegram that the United States, “in view of apparent growing support from EC countries,” would support Paris as the site of the Prepcon. (Ibid., D750336–0571)
  4. See Document 78.
  5. Regarding the second Prepcon, the IEA Governing Board at its October 10 meeting “agreed on a common position on all anticipated procedural issues.” The U.S. representative on the Board proposed that the IEA “demonstrate greater interest in the energy problem of non-oil LDCs by adopting program to deal with these problems.” The Board also debated the “future work of the Agency” and reached the consensus that the IEA “should continue to concentrate on development of Long-Term Program, which will establish a comprehensive political framework which would provide guidance and direction for specific cooperative program.” (Telegram 26516 from USOECD Paris, October 11; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, D750354–1085)