301. Telegram 171300 From the Department of State to All Embassies in Europe, the Mission to the United Nations, the Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Mission to Economic Commission for Europe, and the Mission to North Atlantic Treaty Organization1 2
- U.S. Policy Toward the Major International Organizations Dealing with the Environment
From the Secretary
The President has approved and I am directing that the following policy be implemented:
The United States will (a) exercise affirmative leadership in each of the three major international organizations dealing with he environment—the United Nations, the OECD, and NATO—; (b) encourage each organization to develop its special competences to the fullest, having due regard for political and economic realities and the potential performance of each organization.
- I am looking to my Special Assistant for Environmental Affairs (SCI/EN) in conjunction with EUR, IO and E to insure that our actions are consistent with the President’s policy.
- This policy is based on an assessment of how the US might wisely allocate its priorities among these organizations. The appraisal concludes that the United States benefits by continued substantial participation in the work being done on the environment within the United Nations, the OECD and NATO. Each of these organizations has special and unique attributes, experience and potential for dealing with various aspects of the environmental problems that will face us in the coming years. Each organization provides an important framework to facilitate United Sates cooperation with other nations. The United States has the opportunity in each organization to provide significant assistance and advice in making technology available to deal with specific environmental problems. Equally, this country has much to learn from other nations in areas where they appear to have greater expertise, [Page 4] e.g. regional planning in land use, population distribution and urban planning.
- The appraisal recommends that the United States encourage the fullest and most practical development of the special attributes within each organization, with due regard to political and economic realities and the actual potential of each. It recommends that the United States give appropriate support to those developments which promise to have a genuine impact in solving environmental issues. At the same time the U.S. should strive to achieve mutual enforcement of their environmental activities according to an overall U.S. plan so as to assure effective utilization of limited fiscal and manpower resources in furtherance of U.S. interests.
- The summary description and appraisal forming part of the staff study for this policy is being sent to all addresses by airgram.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, SCI 41 UN. Unclassified. Drafted by Herter on October 14; cleared by Pollack, Herz, Hillenbrand, Treize, and in substance with Train and Moynihan; and approved by Acting Secretary of State Irwin.↩
- The telegram was also sent to the Mission to the United Nations, the Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mission to Economic Commission for Europe, and the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The Department provided guidelines for President Nixon’s decisions on U.S. policy toward the major international organizations dealing with the environment.↩