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70. Telegram From the Department of State to All Diplomatic and Consular Posts1

178340. Subject: Communications on Human Rights Policies.

1. On July 5, 1977 the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs sent the following message to the three Commanders-in-Chief in Europe, the Pacific and Southern Command and an identical memorandum to the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency: Quote The President has made clear the commitment of this government to the support of human rights as enunciated in such international instruments as the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Human rights concerns are a key element in our national policies, and it is important that our military personnel abroad have a thorough knowledge of these policies. The State Department has been asked to assure that its guidance to our diplomatic missions on the administration’s policies regarding human rights is made available to the unified commands and to US military personnel in attache or security assistance offices, so that they will have the fullest possible personal understanding of the government’s position on the issue as background in their work, and for their interchanges with host country officers. End of quote.

2. I heartily endorse this proposal. I have asked that outgoing Department messages concerning general human rights policies and issues be copied to all commands and that messages dealing with regional or country specific human rights issues which may be of interest be copied to the concerned commanders. Country Teams are requested to do the same. Moreover, Chiefs of Mission are requested to discuss appropriate ways of assuring that all members of Country Teams including the military components have prompt access to general policy pronouncements and discussions of human rights issues relevant to their countries and regions, including those which are received through United States Information Agency channels. All elements of the Country Team should be informed on human rights policy in order to be in a position to respond intelligently to questions on the subject and to support US policy as appropriate subject to guidance from the Ambassador. Addressees should also share messages concerning [Page 221]human rights problems and issues in their countries with neighboring posts as appropriate.

Vance
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770274–0270. Unclassified. Drafted by Jones; cleared by Leslie Brown, Holly, Ericson, ARA, Fuerth, Shurtleff, Martens, USIA/IOP, DOD/OSD, and Spiegel; approved by Derian. Also sent to USCINCEUR, CINCPAC, USCINCSO. Sent to Harold Brown for information. Sent to military addressees for POLAD.