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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 10, 1967


This document was made possible with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)

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    Disagreement between representatives of Mexico and the UAR on the non-aligned group developing a common position.
    "Note on Meeting of the Non-Aligned Group at the Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament," March 10, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, File No. HI/1012(48)/67. Obtained by Ryan Musto.
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Note on Meeting of the non-aligned group held at the deputies’ level on Friday the 10th of March, 1967, at the Swedish suggestion, to consider certain specific issues which were of interest to non-aligned members

…Meeting was attended by the second men of the various delegations…

Tello of Mexico expressed the view that this informal group of the non-aligned members should explore the possibility of evolving a minimum common stand in regard to various matters, which were of special interest to the non-aligned members. He argued that time was fast running out, because once there was an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union in regard to a joint draft, it would become impossible to get anything changed in that document. It was, therefore, essential to take the US aide-memoire as the basis of our work and pool our ideas with a view to determining the common position of the eight non-aligned.

Osman of the UAR opposed the Mexican suggestion and said that in the present stage of our negotiations there was no room for a joint memorandum or even for the preparation of a common stand. He said that the UAR position was that the negotiations should take place in the entire Committee of Eighteen, where individual delegations may make statements on their respective positions. In the UAR view, the non-aligned group was neither a sub-committee of the 18-Nation Committee, nor was it a bloc, it was only an informal gathering, and, therefore, it should not think in terms of any joint paper on a common stand.

Tello of Mexico asked Osman to explain why he was opposed to developing a joint position, if as a result of discussions it was found that there was a common agreement in regard to certain matters, particularly when in the past the non-aligned had prepared join memoranda in regard to various issues.

Osman replied that his delegation had a formal reservation about presenting a common position and believed that it must have a flexible approach. Also, the UAR delegation did not want it to appear that the non-aligned were some sort of a super body. Therefore, the UAR was prepared to participate in the work of the group on the condition that no demand would be made at this stage of the work of the committee to evolve a common non-aligned approach. If need be, a common paper could be thought of only towards the end of the year, just before the Committee recessed for the General Assembly session, as has been the practice of the past. The UAR would like to adopt a very cautious approach in regard to this whole question. They would like to retain their freedom to present their stand only in the Committee and not in the non-aligned group.

Tello of Mexico then said that this meant that we should recommend to our Ambassadors that there was no agreement to draw up a joint position of the non-aligned in regard to the various issues raised by a non-proliferation treaty. Osman replied that the UAR view remained that no common stand or joint memorandum should be developed.

…Tello of Mexico said there should be two new articles in the treaty, regarding nuclear-free zones and nuclear energy…

Brazil put forward draft formulation that the treaty shall not affect the rights of states to establish nuclear-free zones