265. Editorial Note

The Conference on International Economic Cooperation (CIEC), which began meeting in December 1975, held its final meeting at the Ministerial level in Paris from May 30 to June 3, 1977. As the opening of the meeting approached, officials at the Department of State revisited the issue of announcing a doubling of U.S. foreign aid over 8 years. (See Document 263.) On May 25, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance met with [Page 805] several members of Congress to discuss the CIEC. He later reported to President Jimmy Carter: “Most of the discussion centered around our proposal to seek from the Congress authority to double our bilateral aid over the next five years. A large majority of the group said that if we made such a statement in Paris now we might prejudice the current aid bill. They suggested we make a general statement about increases and work to develop support for doubling our aid later on the basis of the results of the CIEC meeting.” (Memorandum from Vance to Carter, May 25; Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 18, Evening Reports (State): 5/77) As a result, in his May 30 address to the CIEC, Vance announced that “President Carter will seek from the Congress a substantial increase in the volume of our bilateral and multilateral aid programs over the coming five years.” For the text of Vance’s address, see the Department of State Bulletin, June 20, 1977, pages 645–648. (Quotation is on page 646.) Vance sent Carter frequent reports on the status of the negotiations; these reports are in the Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 18, Evening Reports (State): 5/77 and Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 18, Evening Reports (State): 6/77.

Telegram 16350 from Paris, June 3, summarized the conclusion of the Conference on International Economic Cooperation thus: “CIEC came to a satisfactory conclusion during the early morning hours on June 3. The two sides reached agreement on a number of issues in the four areas of CIEC: energy, raw materials, development, and financial affairs. Gap in package was lack of agreement on on-going energy consultation process. While the areas of agreement fell short of G–19 aspirations, the substantive outcome was generally favorable. The tone and atmosphere of the CIEC conclusion should have a positive impact on future North/South relations.” The telegram noted that the Conference communiqué announced agreement “on guidelines for energy supply and cooperation, on the principle of a common fund, for increased and more effective official development assistance, for enhanced public financing for energy and raw materials development, on the special action program of one billion dollars to assist the poorest countries on a relatively fast-disbursing basis, as well as other subjects related to transfer of technology, industrialization, and food and agriculture. The key disappointment was failure to get conference agreement on an on-going energy dialogue.” According to the telegram, “an integral element in the final CIEC compromise, which the G–19 reluctantly accepted was that the results of CIEC could not be pocketed by the G–19 and then condemned in a unilateral declaration.” As a result, the communiqué balanced reference to the lack of progress on certain developing country goals with reference to the belief that the negotiations had increased mutual understanding. (Telegram 16350 from Paris, June [Page 806] 3; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770198-0487) The text of the final communiqué of the Conference on International Economic Cooperation is printed in the Department of State Bulletin, June 20, 1977, pages 650–652.

In the June 4 Evening Report to Carter, Acting Secretary of State Warren Christopher suggested that the United States could “be reasonably satisfied with the results of the CIEC,” which he summarized thus: “a common text was agreed upon; the developing countries did not issue a unilateral declaration; both sides expressed disappointment that only limited agreement had proved possible; but both sides also pronounced themselves satisfied that the dialogue had been comprehensive and that a positive tone had prevailed.” Christopher asserted that the “CIEC represents a form of diplomacy that is growing in importance. In the UN and elsewhere, the developing countries continue to demand action to reduce the asymmetry they perceive in the international economic system. The developed countries have responded with concessions calibrated to continue the dialogue and keep it nonacrimonious. The state of bilateral relations between the US and particular developing countries has had only a rough bearing on their conduct in this kind of multilateral discussion. Bloc politics has produced a cohesion that survives in the face of widely divergent national economic interests. To take four countries with whom we have relatively good relations, Iran and Saudi Arabia were both helpful to us at CIEC, but Mexico and Venezuela were not. We need to reflect on the implications of this kind of diplomacy and consider how we can deal with it more effectively.” Carter directed that Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Terence Todman and First Lady Rosalynn Carter be apprised of the stances of Mexico and Venezuela. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 18, Evening Reports (State): 6/77)