118. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon 1 2

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT - Evening Report

Terrorism Item in UN General Assembly - The UN’s Legal Committee today approved a disappointingly weak resolution on terrorism 76-34(US) with 16 abstentions. The resolution sponsored by a group of “non-aligned” countries expresses “deep concern over increasing acts of violence which endanger or take innocent human lives” but only asks nations to submit proposals for further action to the UN Secretary-General by June 1, 1973, and creates an ad hoc committee to study them.

We supported the Italian draft which would have asked the International Law Commission to draw up a draft convention on international terrorism for adoption by the time of the next General Assembly.

The Legal Committee’s action will be seen as a rebuff to U.S. efforts, after the Munich tragedy, to obtain UN action against terrorism. Ambassador Bennett had reiterated our strong belief that the United Nations should be up to the task of acting constructively on this urgent problem affecting so many nations and areas of the world. Nonetheless despite extensive efforts to find a compromise, we were unable to surmount African concern that action against terrorism would impinge on national liberation movements.

William P. Rogers
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, President’s Evening Reading: Lot 74 D 164.
  2. Rogers reported that the UN’s Legal Committee had voted to support a “disappointingly weak” resolution on terrorism.