182. Minutes of a Senior Interagency Group Meeting1


  • See List Attached2


  • SIG Meeting on Oceans Policy and Law of the Sea, November 15


Under Secretary William Schneider opened the SIG meeting by citing NSDD 43 and NSDD 58 which outline the work entrusted to the SIG.3 The meeting would be devoted to reports on work in progress.

Ambassador Malone and Mr. Guhin reported on the Rumsfeld mission to Europe. In their view, Mr. Rumsfeld had operated with great effectiveness owing to his personal acquaintance with the leaders he saw, his political approach, and his forceful presentation. A second [Page 521] round of the mission was now underway. Since his visit to Japan depended on the formation of a new Japanese government, its scheduling was not yet fixed.

On the question of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Ambassador Malone noted the formation of a working group jointly chaired by State and Interior. A draft analysis and presidential proclamation were being circulated for interagency comment.4 November 26 was set as the target date for completion of these papers.5

Ambassador Malone reviewed briefly the talks held November 11–12 with representatives of the UK, France, and the FRG concerning a reciprocal regime.6 He characterized the talks as positive but inconclusive owing to reluctance by the Europeans to make commitments in advance of national decisions on signing the LOS convention. Further talks and coaxing would be required. On the question of new future entrants to a reciprocal regime, U.S. and European views diverged; but the constraints inherent in U.S. law defined our position in favor of an open arrangement.

On preparations for the Montego Bay session, Ambassador Malone reported that the working group on interpretive statements had completed and was clearing a set of statements.7 He urged participating agencies to complete the clearance process as rapidly as possible and no later than Friday, November 19.

The Chairman raised the matter of Senator Kasten’s objections to U.S. funding of the PrepComm. In the ensuing discussion it was noted that the U.S. share of the budget could reach $5 million unless the U.S. withheld its contribution. The State Department is reviewing the legal and procedural options available to the U.S. delegation to the U.N. on this matter.

No further business was proposed, and the meeting adjourned at 11:10.


1. Drafting and clearing of the EEZ papers will proceed with November 26 the target date for completion. The papers will then be transmitted to the NSC.

[Page 522]

2. Clearance of the interpretive statements will proceed with a target date of November 19 for final agreement.

  1. Source: Department of State, Marine Law and Policy Division, Subject and Country Files, Law of the Sea, 1982–1983, Lot 85D105, LOS—S/IG. Confidential. Drafted by Tompkins on November 15 and cleared by Schneider and Malone. Sent under a November 15 covering memorandum from Bremer to members of the Senior Interagency Group No. 32.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. See Documents 168 and 176.
  4. Not found.
  5. See Document 195.
  6. In an undated and unsigned information memorandum to Shultz, Malone summarized his November consultations regarding a reciprocal seabed mining agreement. (Reagan Library, Guhin, Michael A.: Files, LOS (Law of the Sea) Follow-on Review)
  7. In an undated memorandum to the working group, Eskin submitted a final version of the Interpretative Statements package, dated December 1. (Reagan Library, Guhin, Michael A.: Files, LOS (Law of the Sea) Third Conference [3])