281. Note From the Coordinator of Population Affairs, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (Benedick) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (Malone)1


  • U.S. position at Mexico City Conference

It is interesting that the Soviet position at the World Population Conference in Bucharest in 1974 (attached)2 has surprising parallels with the draft U.S. position.

—It views population growth as a challenge to governments to improve welfare;

—It states “Population growth cannot be an obstacle to economic development”;

—It rejects family planning as a contributor to economic development;

—It states that increasing industrialization and social factors will take care of population growth rates.

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The Soviet view has traditionally been that the issue of rapid population growth is a capitalist ploy to divert the attention of Third World countries from the need for more aid and more radical economic policies.

Richard Benedick3
  1. Source: Department of State, Country Files, Miscellaneous Population Files, 1974–1992, Lot 93D393, Background Papers 1980–1984. No classification marking.
  2. Dated February 6, attached but not printed.
  3. Benedick signed “Richard” above his typed signature.