424. National Security Decision Memorandum 1571 2


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Secretary of Commerce
  • The Secretary of Interior


  • Preparatory Meeting for the Law of the Sea Conference
The President has reviewed the report submitted on February 22, 1972 by the Interagency Law of the Sea Task Force. He has approved that report as the negotiating instructions for the American delegation to the current Preparatory Meeting concerning the Law of the Sea, and specifically notes and approves the recommended changes in the U.S. position as set forth in NSDMs 62 and 122 in regard to:
the naming, means of establishing the outer boundary of, and applicability of international standards to, the intermediate seabed resource zone.
coastal state authority over coastal and anadromous species of fish. The United States delegation, however, should not indicate receptivity to a fisheries zone defined in mileage terms until an earnest effort has been made to obtain international support for the current U.S. position. If the delegation deems it necessary to move to a zonal approach, the President directs that a particular effort be made by the delegation to convince other distant water fishing states and the U.S. interests involved of that necessity, and does not wish any change in the public or private U.S. fisheries position until that effort has been made and its results reported to and reviewed by the President.
The President will wish to review very carefully the position of the United States for the Geneva meeting of the Preparatory [Page 2] Committee in July. He has therefore directed that the Interagency Law of the Sea Task Force submit by June 20 both a report on the current meetings of the Preparatory Committee and the suggested instructions for the Geneva session. The President desires that in those documents, full attention be paid to the issues of pollution and scientific research, as well as to the other issues involved in the Law of the Sea negotiations.
Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 364, Subject Files, National Security Defense Memoranda, Nos. 145-264. Secret. A copy was sent to the Director of Central Intelligence.
  2. The President approved instructions for the U.S. delegation to the preparatory meeting for the 1973 Law of the Sea Conference and requested a report to guide the development of subsequent negotiating positions.