489. Summary of Conclusions of a Special Coordination Committee Meeting1


  • United Nations Special Session on Disarmament


  • State

    • Mr. David Newsome Under Secretary for Political Affairs
    • Mr. Jerome Kahan Deputy Director, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs
    • Mr. Gerald Helman Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political and Multilateral Affairs
  • Defense

    • Deputy Secretary Charles Duncan
    • Mr. David McGiffert Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs
  • JCS

    • Lt. General William Smith
  • CIA

    • Dr. Sayre Stevens Deputy Director, National Foreign Intelligence Assessment Center
  • OSTP

    • Dr. Frank Press
    • Mr. John Marcum Senior Staff Analyst
  • ACDA

    • Mr. Spurgeon Keeny
    • Mr. Adam Yarmolinsky Counselor for ACDA
    • Ambassador Lawrence Weiler U.S. Coordinator for SSOD
  • USUN

    • Ambassador James F. Leonard U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations
  • AID

    • Mr. Robert H. Nooter Deputy Administrator—Acting Administrator
  • OMB

    • Mr. James McIntyre
  • White House

    • Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski
    • Mr. David Aaron
  • NSC

    • Dr. Samuel Huntington
    • Mr. Robert Putnam

On the basis of the SCC ad hoc Working Group report,2 the meeting addressed the issue of whether or not the US should offer at SSOD a proposal for a cutoff of the production of fissionable materials for use in nuclear weapons. ACDA, supported by USUN, favored such an initiative. All other agencies opposed such an initiative, several of them (including DOD) expressing strong opposition. If other countries offer [Page 1207] cutoff proposals, several agencies (including State) would recommend that the US agree to noncommittal consultations on the subject. Another meeting will be held next week to further consider possible US responses to cutoff proposals from other countries.

The meeting reviewed a draft speech for SSOD,3 agreeing on a number of textual changes that will be reflected in the next draft. The section on defense and NATO should be strengthened, particularly if the President delivers the speech. Generalized wording on a scale-down in strategic arms was accepted. The meeting confirmed that the initiative on nuclear accidents reporting will be offered if and only if the PRC does not express opposition in our bilateral consultations. Details of the peaceful nuclear cooperation initiative will be omitted from the speech. Agencies will suggest alternative wording for the section on disarmament/development.

After receiving a report that key allies had not objected to the idea of US negative security assurances that would go beyond the President’s October 1977 statement,4 the meeting discussed alternative formulations for the proposed assurances. The tentatively agreed formulation is:

The United States will not use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT or any comparable internationally binding commitment not to acquire nuclear explosive devices, except in the case of an attack on the United States, its territories or armed forces, or its allies by such a state allied to a nuclear weapons state, or associated with a nuclear weapon state in sustaining or carrying out the attack.

If the President approves this proposed declaration, we will inform Israel, Iran, and our allies of the proposed declaration. (JCS opposed any change in the statement of October 1977.)

The proposal for US technical assistance for regional confidence-building and peace-keeping (“eyes and ears”) was approved, provided that (1) the assistance be offered under UN or regional peace-keeping auspices; (2) references to U–2s be deleted; (3) non-military capabilities be used to the extent possible; and (4) there be a further review of budgetary implications.

Some strong support was expressed for a Presidential appearance at SSOD, as evidence of his continued commitment to arms control and disarmament. However, some concern was expressed about the implications of the proximity of an SSOD appearance and the NATO Summit.5 Both international and domestic considerations will be laid out as the basis of a Presidential decision on the question.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 93, SCC 074, SSOD—U.S. Presentation and Initiative: 5/5/78. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. Not found.
  3. Not found.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 486.
  5. The NATO Summit was scheduled to be held in Washington May 30–31.