May 4, 1968
Directives for the USSR Delegation at the Continuing XXII Session of the UN General Assembly
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
Per Point 44, Prot. No. 80[i]
for the USSR delegation at the continuing XXII session of the UN General Assembly
I. Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
1. When considering the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons at the continuing XXII session of the UN General Assembly, be guided by the resolution of the CPSU CC Plenum from 10 April 1968, the directives for the Meeting of the Political Consulting Committee of the states of the Warsaw Treaty in Sofia (P72/I from 3 March 1968), the declarations of the USSR, NRB, VNR, GDR, PNR, and ChSSR[ii] from 7 March of this year, and the decision of the CPSU CC Politburo and the USSR Council of Ministers on the report of the Soviet Union delegation on its work at the PKK meeting. Be guided also by the CPSU CC resolution (P77/48 form 29 March 1968) on the conduct of work among non-nuclear countries with the goal of ensuring their support for a treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
The delegation is to proceed on the premise our interests are met by the expeditious conclusion of the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
2. Work towards concluding the session with the acceptance of a resolution which in some form or another would provide a positive assessment of the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, developed in the Committee of 18. With regard to the text of such a resolution and the conduct of necessary work for its support among UN members, be guided by the resolution of the CPSU CC (P79/39 from 10 April 1968).
3. Divert any attempts to reexamine the text of the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons developed in the Committee of 18 States, considering that such a reexamination could play into the hands of those who would speak against a solution to this problem. Underscore that the treaty presented by the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee is the result of the collective efforts of many states. Each of its provisions was subjected to a thorough and in-depth examination. Point out that in accordance with the wishes of many countries in the process of examining the treaty in the Committee of 18, a whole range of additions were introduced into its text, touching on issues like the peaceful use of nuclear energy, the application of nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes, the conduct of negotiations on disarmament issues, the creation of non-nuclear zones, the conduct of periodic conferences to examine how the treaty is operating, the procedure for putting corrections to the treaty into force, etc. Declare that now the task of all states is the collective effort to work towards having the treaty quickly concluded and in this way the General Assembly mandate will be fulfilled calling on all states to quickly conclude such a treaty.
4. Decisively speak out against attempts to transfer the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons for further examination by the Committee of 18 States, and equally against attempts to not make any decisions at the XXII session prior to discussion of this issue at conferences of non-nuclear countries, called for August and September of this year, or prior to the XXIII session of the General Assembly.
5. As to those corrections which have been proposed but not included in the text of the treaty, be guided by the following if they should again be promoted at the session:
a) On permitting non-nuclear states to create nuclear explosive devices and independently conduct nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes. Explain that our negative position in regard to this proposal is determined by the fact that as devices for nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes in no way differ from devices used in nuclear bombs, relinquishing such capability to non-nuclear countries would essentially lead to proliferation of nuclear weapons. As regards non-nuclear countries obtaining benefits from the production of nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes, that possibility is envisioned in the treaty (Article V).
b) On including provisions in the treaty on the obligations of nuclear weapons states to undertake concrete measures in the area of nuclear disarmament. Such a proposal in essence will lead to a disruption in agreements on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and would in no way simultaneously advance a solution to disarmament issues. Point out that the Soviet Union is a decisive proponent for implementing disarmament programs, to include nuclear. However, a solution to these issues met opposition from Western nuclear weapons states. Under these conditions, attempts to reexamine concrete obligations in the treaty on non-proliferation with regard to solving these or other disarmament issues could only create impediments to achieving agreement on the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Along with that, emphasize that the conclusion of the treaty on non-proliferation would immediately create favorable conditions for the struggle to halt the arms race and disarmament as a whole. Including an article in the treaty on the obligation of its participants to conduct negotiations in a spirit of good will on effective measures to halt the nuclear arms race in the near future and for nuclear disarmament, as well as a treaty on a general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control (Article VI) will provide the impetus for efforts of states to resolve disarmament issues.
v) On including an article in the text of the treaty on safeguards for non-nuclear countries. Proceed on the premise that the Soviet Union proposed including an article in the treaty on the non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear member-states of the treaty, which have no such weapons on their territory. In light of the fact that the it turned out not to be possible to reach agreement on this basis, as a way out and considering the wishes of the non-allied states, agreement was reached relative to a draft resolution of the Security Council on safeguards for non-nuclear countries. Underscore that accepting such a resolution, accompanying corresponding declarations from nuclear weapons states, will allow for a solution to be found for the issue of security of non-nuclear states on the basis, pursuant to the UN Charter, which responds to the interests of maintaining international peace and security.
g) On expanding control of peaceful atomic activity of not just non-nuclear, but nuclear, states. Proceed from the premise that such an approach is pointless as the treaty on non-proliferation does not limit the production of nuclear weapons by nuclear weapons states and posits its task as not permitting the further proliferation of nuclear weapons.
6. If, in the course of discussion of the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons at the General Assembly, it becomes clear that it will be advisable to introduce some refinements or additions into the text of the treaty which do not change the substance of the agreed text, and the acceptance of which would facilitate attracting a wider circle of countries to the treaty, the delegation may, upon agreement with the Center, move on accepting such corrections.
7. Considering that a number of non-nuclear countries, like India, Sweden, Japan and others, have already advanced requirements that nuclear-weapons states implement measures for disarmament as soon as possible, and first of all nuclear disarmament, it may be expected that these requirements will be repeated at the General Assembly session. It is not excluded that in these conditions, the U.S.A. will attempt to portray itself at the session as active proponents of disarmament and in every way propagandize their proposals in this area (for example, on halting the production of fissile materials for military purposes, on freezing strategic offensive and defensive nuclear weapons delivery systems, halting underground nuclear tests with the establishment of international inspections).
The delegation must explain the Soviet Union’s program in the area of disarmament and, taking into account the progress of discussion at the corresponding moment with the aim of exerting pressure on other countries towards their support of the treaty, circulate the USSR Government Memorandum at the General Assembly on some urgent measures to halt the arms race and for disarmament (attached), pointing out that it is a program of measures proposed by the Soviet Union for follow-on discussion at negotiations on disarmament.
8. Proceed on the premise that our interests would be satisfied by examination of the issue on nuclear weapons in the First Committee, and not in plenary meetings of the Assembly. Meanwhile, it must be considered that the Chairman of the First Committee, on whom depends the course of discussion of the issue to no small degree, is the UAR representative, who has a positive position on the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. In this case, only confirmation of decisions achieved in the First Committee would take place in plenary meetings.
9. Work towards having the treaty signed in Europe, specifically in Geneva where negotiations on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons took place. Be guided by the fact that after signing of the treaty in Geneva by those states who wish to do it there, the treaty is to be open for signing in the capitals of the depository-states – in Moscow, Washington and London, as happened during signing of the Moscow Treaty on the banning nuclear tests in three environments [the Limited Test Ban Treaty]. The possibility of signing the treaty in Moscow will allow the GDR to become a participant on an equal basis with other states.
The delegation is to proceed such that the treaty on non-proliferation must be open for signing immediately after conclusion of examination of the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons at the session.
II. Position on the Middle East
The delegation is to proceed on the premise that the issue on the advisability of examining the issue on a position on the Middle East must be decided taking into account the position of Arab countries and, first of all, the United Arab Republic.
[Translator’s note – the rest of the guidance, not related to nuclear issues, is not translated here.]
[i] Translator’s Note: The following information is extracted from Protocol No. 80 of the CPSU CC Politburo meeting, finalized on 6 May1968 and covering numerous resolutions made during 16 April to 6 May 1968. A number of decisions were made during the meeting, including Point 44.
[ii]NRB, VNR, GDR, PNR, and ChSSR – respectively, People’s Republic of Bulgaria, Hungarian People’s Republic, German Democratic Republic, Polish People’s Republic, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
This directive to the Soviet delegation to the 22nd U.N. General Assembly states opinions of Nuclear weapons and proliferation, as well as statements on the Middle East.
The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.
To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].