Mr. Train feels that the U.S.
Delegation is well prepared and in an excellent position to press for
items of major interest to the U.S.
Memorandum from the Chairman of the Council on
Environmental Quality (Train) to President Nixon
Washington, June 1, 1972
- U.S. Preparations for UN Conference on the Human
Environment—June 5-16, Stockholm
I wish to inform you of the status of U.S. preparations for the
UN Conference on the Human
Environment to be held in Stockholm, June 5-16. Over a two-year
period, a very intensive effort, involving 21 Federal agencies and
considerable citizen participation, has resulted in the
identification of U.S. priorities for international action at the
Conference and the development of U.S. position papers on a large
number of specific Conference proposals submitted by the United
Nations Secretariat. The Under Secretaries Committee has reported to
you on agency positions in a more specific manner.
The overall U.S. objective for the Conference is to raise the level
of national and international awareness and understanding of
environmental problems and to increase national, regional and global
capabilities to recognize and solve those problems which have a
serious adverse impact on the human environment. By doing so, we
will maintain and improve our overall international economic,
competitive position as other countries adopt control measures
comparable to our domestic programs.
On the basis of well-defined intra-agency proposals and initial cost
estimates, agreement has been reached on the following U.S.
priorities for Conference action:
- Support for the development of a range of conventions, [Page 3] agreements, and
other mechanisms to conserve and improve the environment
consistent with other U.S. policy objectives. (For example,
considerable time and effort is being spent on negotiating
an international ocean dumping convention that would bring
other countries into line With our proposed domestic
- Improvement of existing systems for global monitoring
including ‘human health, the atmosphere, the oceans, and
- Development of arrangements to coordinate national
research programs concerned with environmental problems of
regional or global significance.
- Strengthening of training, education and public
- Establishment of an international referral center to
facilitate exchange of environmental information useful in
- Encouragement of regional programs designed to deal with
environmental problems common to several countries.
- Establishment of a small highly qualified UN secretariat to develop and
coordinate environmental programs and administer a Voluntary
Fund for the Environment. We will strongly oppose any effort
to establish a new specialized UN agency for the environment.
- Support of, a non-Governmental mechanism to provide
scientific advice to the UN
and to nations on, for example, priorities for international
Through an interagency mechanism which has met continuously r the
last two years, the U.S. position on about 100 proposals
international action, recommended by the UN Secretariat, has been developed. Position papers on
all these proposals have received interagency clearance. The
recommendations of the [Page 4]
Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee (the Baker Committee) have
been carefully considered and incorporated, where feasible, into the
I believe this is a remarkable example of productive interagency
cooperation. As Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to Stockholm, I feel
that we are well prepared and in an excellent position to press
clearly and forcefully for those Conference items of major interest
to the United States.
Russell E. Train