51. Memorandum From William J. Jorden of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Echeverria Doctrine

You asked about the state of play on the Echeverria Doctrine. It was originally planned to take this up at a two-week meeting of the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva beginning in mid-July. However, at the February meeting of UNCTAD it was decided that the Secretary General should discuss this matter with governments concerned and come up with a time for further discussion. Our UN people do not now believe that UNCTAD will stick with the original July schedule. It is more likely that the subject will be added to the agenda of the UNCTAD board meeting in August, which will probably last three days.

Our options regarding the Echeverria Doctrine are:

(1) to fight it hard and try to prevent its acceptance in any form;

(2) to work actively to water it down, if necessary adding a statement on “the rights of developed countries and the duties of developing countries”—the reverse of the Echeverria approach;

(3) assume an active role trying to constructively change the doctrine;

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(4) take a fairly low-key approach but work closely with other developed countries and state our positions or suggest alternative language where appropriate so we can vote for at least part of the final product.

State will almost certainly opt for (4). No active thought is being given to using deliberate delaying tactics, although certain parliamentary moves would always be available—referral to subcommittees, requests for special reports, proposing alternatives or amendments that would take time to consider, etc.

A three-day session in August would probably not provide enough time for Mexico to win agreement from all the LDC’s in support of the Doctrine. A two-week session would be more troublesome.

As you have noted, the Canadians hit Echeverria very hard on his Doctrine noting some of the problems posed for developed countries. We have no reports as yet of reactions in other countries visited—the U.K. and Belgium.

  1. Summary: Jorden briefed Kissinger on possible U.S. approaches to President Echeverría’s proposal for a charter of economic rights and duties.

    Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Country Files, Box 788, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. IV, 1973. Confidential. Sent for information. On the first page of the memorandum Kissinger wrote, “I favor approach 2 or anything else that delays it.” Copies were sent to Hormats and Rondon.