49. Memorandum From the Deputy Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs (Schneider) to the Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs (Derian)1


  • PRM Meeting

1. Primary Goal:

Retraction of PRM on basis that all or virtually all objectives are now in process of being resolved.

2. Strategy:

(a) Define interface between on-going activities and PRM;

(b) Emphasize overall coordination will be hampered by interfering in process already set in motion by NSC April 1 memorandum calling on State to establish inter-agency committee2 (in place).

(c) Recommend reporting by inter-agency committee on weekly basis of actions undertaken—but by agency representatives to their respective agencies based on D/HA summary of inter-agency meetings.

3. Interface between on-going activities and PRM:

(a) First objective is “Define U.S. objectives in the area of human rights, including, where appropriate, the timeframe for achieving such objectives.”

RESPONSE: The Deputy Secretary was charged by the Secretary with following up on the NSC Memorandum of April 1. On that basis, country action plans are currently being drawn up which focus on specific U.S. objectives.3 These plans, as well as objectives in such functional areas as International Organizations (UN, ILO, etc.) are soon to be available. Those objectives, spelled out along with summary of current conditions, will be provided through the inter-agency committee [Page 145] to other departments. The directions include requiring, in the case of specific countries, 3, 6-month and 1 year and beyond time frames.

(b) Identify what constitutes “a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights”, listing those nations which currently fit this definition. The proverbial “hit list”, it is the single area in the PRM where no formal action has been undertaken.

However, at the same time, it should be noted that D/HA has been in touch with the authors of the language and with legal scholars to provide a tentative analysis of the words involved.

(c) Evaluate actions, etc.:

1. “Diplomatic actions, public statements, and various symbolic acts.”

RESPONSE: All of these elements are contained in the directions previously submitted by D/HA to regional bureaus for consideration in preparation of country action plans,4

2. “Changes in levels of security and economic assistance and food aid—as both sanctions and incentives.”

RESPONSE: Again, specifically cited in directions to Bureaus in preparation of country action plans. Inter-Agency Committee and Arms Export Control Board now engaged in developing procedures for consideration of existing programs, loans, grants and sales under those programs, and future budget proposals.

3. “Initiatives in International Financial Institutions of which the U.S. is a member.”

RESPONSE: Inter-Agency Committee has not begun to deal with current loans in IFI’s but to establish procedure for early action within IFI’s to link loan activity to promotion of human rights.

4. “Use of overseas radio, and later television, broadcast facilities.” Preparation of specific human rights action plans by USIA, CU and PA will be completed for consideration by Coordinating Committee and by Inter-Agency Committee.

5. “Improved access into the U.S. etc.”: Previously mandated and recommendations submitted. Being considered by White House. Although, if the last recommendation from State was negative on amending the law, perhaps this can be viewed as the basis for a new evaluation.

6. “. . . international forums.”

[Page 146]

RESPONSE: Being undertaken by IO with results to come before Coordinating Group in State and then Inter-Agency Committee.5

4. “Review national security aspects, etc.”:

As it relates to “friendly states and allies” part of the country action plans. Similarly, as it relates to Korea. PRC action up in the air.

5. “Develop a strategy . . . relations with Congress . . .”:

RESPONSE: Initially undertaken through the Inter-Agency Committee as it related to IFI’s and through SAPRC with regard to security assistance. H in process of preparation following Christopher to Vance memo,6 although actual tasking memo not yet approved.

  1. Source: 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, PRM–28. No classification marking. Schneider did not initial the memorandum. Another copy is in the National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Deputy Secretary: Records of Warren Christopher, 1977–1980, Lot 81D113, Box 23, Human Rights—PRM I.
  2. See Document 31.
  3. In a May 12 memorandum to Holbrooke, Christopher directed EA to develop country-specific action plans and submit them to Schneider and Vogelgesang by June 7. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P830106–1949)
  4. On May 13, Schneider provided the regional bureaus with guidance concerning the preparation of action plans. (National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Deputy Secretary: Records of Warren Christopher, 1977–1980, Lot 81D113, Box 19, Human Rights—Tasking Memos)
  5. See Document 52.
  6. In Christopher’s May 3 memorandum to Vance, he commented that the administration’s “strategy for Congressional relations on the human rights question need not be so much a ‘strategy’ as an attitude. That attitude should start and end with the determination to work with the Congress.” He indicated that in addition to promoting cooperation between Congress and the Department of State, he had instructed D and D/HA to meet with representatives of the major Washington-based human rights organizations. (National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Deputy Secretary: Records of Warren Christopher, 1977–1980, Lot 81D113, Box 19, Human Rights—Tasking Memos)