215. Telegram From the Mission to United Nations to the Department of State1

1214. Subject: (U) Falklands Crisis: Ambassador Kirkpatrick Confers With UN Sec Gen and Security Council President.

1. Secret–Entire text.

1. Ambassador Kirkpatrick met with SYG and President of SC, PRC PermRep Ling Qing, May 3, to consult about Falklands crisis. Meeting was held at request of Ling Qing and SYG who have been consulting SC members in groups and individually.

2. Meeting began with announcement by SYG that Argentine cruiser, Belgrano, had sunk with as many as 500 men on board. On this most somber note, SYG said that his efforts to assist in the peaceful resolution of the conflict would be made much more difficult. Equally, the urgency of the UN’s task had been greatly increased by the Belgrano developments and the US decision to support the UK. These greatly increased the urgency of a UN mediating role.

3. Specifically referring to his consultations with Pym and Roca in the past 48 hours, de Cuellar said he had developed some proposals, so far procedural, repeat procedural, only, which he had presented to the parties which they were now considering; he expected answers by May 5.2

4. De Cuellar and Ling Qing solicited US views as to possible SC actions. Ambassador Kirkpatrick replied that US would welcome appropriate UN initiative. The conflict in the South Atlantic was dangerous. In an interdependent and volatile world, the danger that the conflict could spread must be taken most seriously, and the UN had been created to deal with such problems.

5. Ambassador Kirkpatrick agreed that effort now focusing on procedural aspects of a solution was the correct starting point. This was wise and correct. She thought it was necessary that the President of the Council and the SYG work aggressively at finding a way towards stopping the conflict. While there was a need to push ahead, it was perhaps better not to call an SC meeting immediately. Ambassador [Page 457] Kirkpatrick concluded by stating strongly that the SYG could count on strong US support for his efforts.

6. Footnote: While the consultations were chaired by SC President, it is perhaps noteworthy that he appeared to be working very closely with the SYG. During the conversation, the SYG usually took the lead.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, D820231–0500. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Sent for information Immediate to Buenos Aires and London.
  2. Pérez de Cuéllar began meeting separately with the two sides on May 2, proposing measures that included simultaneous force withdrawal and negotiations toward a diplomatic solution. He continued to meet with both parties until May 21. (Yearbook of the United Nations, 1982, p. 1328)