4. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2
- July–August 1973 Preparatory Meeting for Law of the Sea Conference
Introduction and Summary
The eight-week July–August session of the U.N. Seabed Committee will be the final preparatory session before the first organizational session of the Law of the Sea Conference is convened in New York late this fall in conjunction with the meetings of the U.N. General Assembly. (The first substantive session of the Conference is scheduled for Santiago, Chile, April, 1974.)
The NSC Under Secretaries Committee has recommended approval of the U.S. Delegation’s recommended instructions, subject to the understanding that a comprehensive review of the economic issues raised in the law of the sea negotiations will be undertaken under the direction of the Chairman of the Under Secretaries Committee. (Memorandum from Deputy Secretary Rush at Tab 2.) I concur with that recommendation.
Recommended U.S. Position
The recommended instructions for the July–August meeting, developed by the Law of the Sea Task Force, build on guidance set forth in earlier NSDMs rather than recommending changes to approved U.S. policy.
The main points of the Delegation’s proposed instructions are summarized at Tab 3. Of particular importance, the Delegation will continue to seek support for the broadest possible navigational freedoms—a 12 mile territorial sea, linked to freedom of transit through and over international straits. On coastal state resource jurisdiction, the Delegation will continue to indicate that the United States can accept virtually complete coastal state resource management jurisdiction over resources in adjacent seabed areas if this jurisdiction is subject to international treaty limitations.
With your approval, I will sign the memorandum to the Agencies at Tab 1 approving the negotiating instructions for the July–August session, with the understanding that a review of the economic policy aspects of our negotiating position will be conducted and taken into consideration in the further development of the U.S. position.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–241, NSDM 225, LOS Preparatory Conference. Secret. Sent for action. Clift forwarded the memorandum and its attachments to Kissinger under a covering memorandum of July 12. Tab 1 is published as Document 5. Tab 2 is published as Document 3. Kissinger initialed approval for Nixon.↩
- Kissinger recommended approval of the U.S. delegation’s instructions for the July–August 1973 Law of the Sea preparatory conference and forwarded a summary of the delegation’s proposed positions.↩