Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Meetings Between the President and the Secretary-General of the United Nations Javier Perez de Cuellar de la Guerra

January 14, 1983

The President was gratified that the Secretary-General was able to accept his invitation to visit Washington following the two meetings they had in New York last year. During their 35 minutes together, the President and the Secretary-General held a most constructive discussion on a number of international issues.

The President reaffirmed his administration's support for the United Nations and his commitment to the principles underlying the organization, while noting that the United States differs at times with others on how best to carry forth the Charter's mandate and that greater fiscal restraint is needed in the United Nations. The President had particular praise for the Secretary-General's superb efforts in seeking a resolution of the Falklands/Malvinas conflict last year. Among other subjects discussed were the Middle East, including renewal of UNIFIL's [United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon] mandate; Afghanistan; Kampuchea; Latin America; and the economic difficulties of developing countries.

On behalf of the American people, the President wished the Secretary-General well and pledged our continued support as he pursues his challenging task of helping to create a more peaceful world.

Others in the meeting included the Vice President, Secretary Shultz, Ambassador Kirkpatrick, Judge [William P.] Clark, Robert McFarlane, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations Gregory Newell, and senior NSC staff member Michael Guhin. Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs William Buffum accompanied the Secretary-General.

Following the meeting with the President, the Secretary-General attended a working lunch hosted by the Vice President at Blair House and is having subsequent meetings today with Secretary Shultz, Ambassador Brock, and Secretary Regan.