15. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Borg) to All Regional Assistant Secretaries of State1


  • Guidelines for Preparation of Regional Strategy Papers for the Promotion of Human Rights

As the Secretary directed in his memorandum of February 11,2 the regional bureaus are to prepare papers which propose human rights strategies appropriate in their regions. These strategies should contribute to the overall human rights policy being developed by the Policy Planning Staff.

Each regional strategy plan should cover the following points:

1. General considerations affecting the human rights situation in the region as a whole.

2. Description of conditions in the countries with the most serious problems. (Generally the human rights violations with which we are most urgently concerned involve widespread gross violations directed against the person, such as officially sanctioned murder, torture and prolonged imprisonment without fair trial.) These descriptions should be brief summaries and not detailed material of the type included in the security assistance reports.

3. A strategy for dealing with these worst cases which should include such items as:

a. What specific actions would we like the governments to take and how should this be communicated to them?

b. What leverage can and should be used?

c. What favorable response should we be prepared to give if the governments accept our suggestions?

d. What are the necessary limits of our possible efforts and why?

e. Are there multilateral channels that might be used to affect the situations favorably?

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4. Description of human rights situations of a less egregious character in other countries that we may be able to affect favorably and suggested tactics for dealing with them.

5. Steps the United States may take that would favorably affect the human rights situation in individual countries or the region as a whole.

Even though the preparation of these papers is intended to proceed in parallel with the work on the overall strategy paper, serious divergences are not expected since the overall paper will be developed in close cooperation with the relevant bureaus.

The regional papers should be submitted to D/HA by COB February 22.3 Direct any questions on format or the Department’s overall strategy exercise to Mr. Spear (extension 21181).

C. Arthur Borg4
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P770038–0022. Confidential.
  2. See Document 14.
  3. Copies of the Regional Strategy for Human Rights papers are in the National Archives, RG 59, Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Chron and Official Records of the Assistant Secretary for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Lot 85D366, NODIS.
  4. Borg initialed “CAB” above his typed signature.