339. Telegram 226160 From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations 1 2


  • World Disarmament Conference Resolution: Voting Instructions


  • USUN 5087
Appreciate USDel’s success in obtaining change in title of 27th GA agenda item in of para 4 to “World Disarmament Conference.” In our view this satisfactorily concludes our effort to avoid commitment in res to hold WDC.
Despite our continued misgivings about “all States” references in res, we feel balance of considerations involved indicates affirmative US vote. USDel is so instructed.

If Soviet or other key del asserts that res represents commitment to hold WDC, you may, at your discretion, draw on following in explaining US vote:

QTE Mr. President, the US Delegation is able to support the present draft resolution because in our view it is consistent with the criteria set out by Ambassador PHILLIPS last month. The resolution leaves the question of a possible world disarmament conference open for consideration and does not prejudge the outcome of that consideration. It does not attempt to prescribe when or in what circumstances such a conference might be held.

As the Assembly is aware, we have expressed doubt regarding the prospective usefulness of a WDC. Our doubts remain. However, we are of course prepared to take part in the further consideration called for in the resolution before us, on which the United States is casting (has cast) an affirmative vote. UNQTE

We share FRG concern to avoid floor argument over participation question and therefore we would not wish to stimulate possible Soviet rejoinder to any US statement on subject. However, if Soviets or others take initiative in asserting specifically that res has disposed of question of participation in WDC or that “open to all states” means that the GDR or other unrecognized authorities would attend a WDC, you should make brief statement in reply along following lines: BEGIN QTE I would like to state that in our view operative paragraph 2 of the resolution does not set forth an exhaustive list of the topics which might be addressed in further consideration of a WDC; we, for example, may wish to comment on additional aspects of the matter. Specifically, the question of the scope of such a conference and of participation are complex having many aspects on which different states might wish to express various views about a variety of situations. They will be able to do so under the present resolution. UNQTE
In unlikely event Soviets or others asset assert specifically that “all states” formula means Vienna Formula states plus GDR, North Korea and NVN, US Del should say that in his view resolution makes no such determination.


  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–1973, DEF 18–3. Confidential; Immediate. It was repeated to Bonn, Moscow, USMission Geneva, U.S. Delegation to SALT, and USNATO. Drafted by Neidle (IO/UNP); cleared by Day (ACDA), McNutt (LM/DMS), Armitage and McIntyre (UNP), Martin (PM), and Skoug (EUR/GER); and approved by Herz (IO).
  2. The telegram provided instructions to the U.S. delegation to the UN to vote affirmatively to the Soviet draft resolution for a world disarmament conference.