279. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for Health Issues (Bourne) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • North-South Strategy

The President recently signed off on the World Health Initiative that we discussed and I anticipate spending a major part of my time during the next several months on this issue. While in Geneva last week I spent several hours with Dr. Tom Mahler, the Director General of the World Health Organization, discussing ways in which the relationship between this Administration and WHO could be enhanced.2 It has been extraordinarily poor during the last eight years, and there is ample room for improvement.

The health issue I believe has tremendous potential in connection with the North-South Strategy, and I would like an opportunity to have input in the development of that initiative. In particular, I would like a chance to impact on PRM–83 during the final drafting stage next week, if you feel this would be helpful.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 63, PRC 028, North/South Issues [1]. Unclassified. Inderfurth initialed the memorandum and wrote at the bottom: “I have sent a copy of this to Hormats. Rick.”
  2. Bourne recounted his meeting with Mahler in a February 12 memorandum to Fill. In it, Bourne noted: “I had a most valuable 3 hour meeting with Dr. Thomas Mahler, Director General of the World Health Organization while I was in Geneva. This was the second time I had met with him in the last 3 months, and I laid out to him in general terms the President’s interest in the world health problem, and asked for his assistance. Mahler is a bright energetic person with whom I have a tremendously positive relationship and I feel we can develop an exceptionally positive working relationship with him.” (Carter Library, Staff Office Files, Special Assistant for Health Issues—Peter Bourne Files, Subject Files, Box 34, International Health, 1/27/77–3/30/77)
  3. See footnote 7, Document 219.