323. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2


  • U.S. Preparations for UN Environmental Conference

At Tab A is a report from Russell Train listing U.S. goals for the UN Environmental Conference now meeting in Stockholm. These are:

  • --Development of international agreements to improve the environment.
  • --Improvement of global systems for monitoring overall environmental areas such as the atmosphere and the oceans.
  • --Coordination Of national research programs.
  • --Strengthening training, education and public information Programs.
  • --Establishment of an international center to help exchange information.
  • --Encouragement of regional programs.
  • --Establishment of a voluntary fund for the environment administered by a small UN staff.
  • --Establishment of a non-governmental mechanism to give scientific advice to the UN and individual countries on priorities for international action.

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.

[Page 2]

Tab A
Memorandum from the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (Train) to President Nixon


  • 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.

U.S. Priorities

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 legislation.)
Improvement of existing systems for global monitoring including ‘human health, the atmosphere, the oceans, and terrestrial environments.
Development of arrangements to coordinate national research programs concerned with environmental problems of regional or global significance.
Strengthening of training, education and public information programs.
Establishment of an international referral center to facilitate exchange of environmental information useful in problem solving.
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 action.

U.S. Positions

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 U.S. positions.

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
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 217, CEQ I. No classification marking. Sent for information. A stamped note on the memorandum indicated the President saw it. McDonald signed the attached report for Train.
  2. Kissinger summarized CEQ Chairman Train’s memorandum on U.S. environmental goals for President Nixon.