Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972
Released by the Office of the Historian
November 22, 1972
MEMORANDUM FOR: DR.
FROM: HAROLD H.
Debate in UNGA
membership issue could come up for debate in the UN General Assembly on Friday.
As it now shapes up:
--The Indians are
backing and have asked us to co-sponsor a Yugoslav resolution calling for the
Security Council to admit Bangladesh
to the UN. Ambassador Jha has put the issue in
terms that our agreeing to co-sponsor "would be giving right signals
to India on a whole gamut of
things" and our opposition would be interpreted as the US joining forces with China against India's interests. The Yugoslav
resolution will probably win a strong majority.
--The Paks will attempt to amend the Yugoslav resolution to link Bangladesh
membership with fulfillment of the UN resolutions during the India-Pakistan war
last December (essentially at this point return of prisoners and withdrawal of
Indian forces from Pak territory). This amendment has little or no chance of
passing, although the Chinese will vote for it. We voted for a similar
"linkage" amendment in the Security Council in August and then, when
that was defeated, went on to vote for a simple Yugoslav-type amendment.
--A third alternative
will be a separate resolution not directly linking Bangladesh admission with
implementation of the UN resolutions but "associating" the two
questions by treating them in the same resolution. This could take the form of
to the Yugoslav resolution. Either way, this would be unsatisfactory to the Paks and Chinese.
There is no issue about
our vote on the Yugoslav resolution as such since it is entirely consistent
with the low-key position we have taken all along favoring Bangladesh
admission. To co-sponsor, however, would probably be more exposure than we
would want. Nor would we have any problem with a resolution or amendment
"associating" but not "linking" Bangladesh membership with
fulfillment of previous UN resolutions. It might even be preferable if there
The only real issue,
therefore, is how we want to vote on the "linkage" amendment that the
Paks and Chinese are promoting. We voted for an
amendment like this, which failed, in the Security Council last August and if
we need to remain consistent we should do so again. The question is whether the
passage of time, our having met whatever our initial agreement with the Chinese
was, and our present interest in modest improvements in relations with India in any
way changes the situation. As I see it, the one real question now is whether we
would abstain rather than voting for a "linkage" resolution. Thus, in
the end, the issue boils down to your judgment of the value of sending a
positive signal to the Indians by abstaining or voting against linkage versus
remaining in a consistent position relating to the Chinese (and to a lesser
degree the Paks).
Recommendation: That you
indicate below your preference.
"linkage" again _____
"linkage" this time _____
Vote against "linkage" this time _____