443. National Security Decision Memorandum 1961 2


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


  • Law of the Sea Instructions, 27th Session U.N. General Assembly

With reference to the report and related memoranda forwarded in response to NSDM 177, the President has approved the recommendation that the United States Delegation to the 27th Session of the United Nations General Assembly should support a resolution:

  • -- fixing a specific date and, place for the Law of the Sea Conference, with two substantive sessions in 1974;
  • -- providing for an opening session of the Conference, devoted primarily to organizational matters, in the fall of 1973;
  • -- calling for an accelerated schedule of work by the U. N. Seabed Committee during 1973 in preparation for the Conference; and
  • -- stating that if the U.N. General Assembly, at its 28th Session, determines the progress of the preparatory work by the Seabed-Committee to be insufficient, it may decide to postpone the Conference.

The Interagency Law of the Sea Task Force should submit a prompt report for review by the President on actions taken by the 27th U.N. General Assembly together with recommended instructions for the U.S. Delegation to the next meeting of the U.N. Seabed Committee.

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Except as affected by the directives of this memorandum, the contents of NSDM 177 remain valid.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 364, Subject Files, National Security Defense Memoranda, Nos. 145-264. Confidential. Copies were sent to the Secretary of Transportation and the Director of Central Intelligence. The General Assembly adopted a resolution on December 18 that provided for an organizational session of UNCLOS III in November-December 1973 and a substantive session in April-May 1974. The resolution expressed the expectation that subsequent sessions of UNCLOS III would convene until an agreement was concluded. The General Assembly also called for an accelerated work schedule for the Seabed Committee during 1973 (UN Document A/RES/3209(XXVII))
  2. The President approved instructions for the U.S. delegation to the UN General Assembly regarding the timing, location, and program of work for the 1973 Law of the Sea Conference.