Message to the Congress Transmitting the Annual Report on United States International Activities in Science and Technology

July 11, 1983

To the Congress of the United States:

In accordance with Title V of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1979 (Public Law 95 - 426), I am pleased to transmit the 1982 annual report on the United States Government's international activities in the field of science and technology. This report, as were its predecessors, has been prepared by the Department of State in collaboration with other concerned Federal agencies.

In the past year, there have been several important developments in our international science relationships, all of them reflecting one of our principal foreign policy goals -- to give science and technology a more prominent position in our relations with other countries. This is important not only to the conduct of our foreign relations, but to the successful fulfillment of many of our own science and technology objectives. As I have indicated in my Annual Science and Technology Report to the Congress, international collaboration can help advance many of our own national interests. Thus, I have asked my science advisor, Dr. George Keyworth, to pay special attention to international affairs and, throughout the Federal Government, concerted action has been taken to demonstrate our commitment to using the advances in science to overcome both national and international challenges.

There has been substantial progress. For the first time, international science cooperation was a subject for discussion among the leaders of the principal industrial democracies at the Versailles Summit. Those discussions led to a study by the Summit countries of the relationship between technology, employment, and growth, and to the establishment of eighteen new projects for cooperation among us. Although these projects will, in the first instance, be led by one or another of the Summit countries, they could eventually involve other countries and international organizations and lead, in time, to advances for countries of the Third World. These projects for enhanced cooperation were endorsed by the heads of state at the Williamsburg Summit and it was agreed that we would discuss them again at our next meeting.

Last July, Prime Minister Gandhi and I initiated a new program for enhanced scientific collaboration between the United States and India. A group of some of the most distinguished scientists from both our countries met in India in January and prepared a far-reaching program in medicine, agriculture, meteorology, and energy. Work began in April 1983, and we expect to see the first results within the next twenty-four months.

Similarly, when I visited Brazil late last year, President Figueiredo and I reaffirmed our desire to strengthen science and technology collaboration. We have developed a program for joint work in five significant areas and, as part of our projected joint efforts in space, I proposed that a Brazilian payload specialist train with American astronauts for participation in a future space shuttle mission. When President Zia of Pakistan came to Washington in December, we agreed to establish a new Joint Commission to coordinate several bilateral activities, including common undertakings in science and technology.

In May, Dr. Keyworth led a highly successful mission to China for the third meeting of the U.S.-PRC Joint Commission for Scientific and Technological Cooperation. At the conclusion of the meeting, three new protocols on cooperation in nuclear physics and magnetic fusion, aeronautical science and technology, and transportation science and technology were signed. These supplement seventeen existing protocols that already include agriculture, students and scholars, space technology, high energy physics and hydropower. In addition to the new protocols a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the basic biomedical sciences was also signed. It is in our fundamental interest to advance our relations with China. Science and technology are an essential part of that relationship and I have taken steps recently to ensure that China has improved access to the U.S. technology it needs for its economic modernization goals. We will continue to assist China through mutually beneficial cooperative efforts in science and technology.

We are continuing our cooperation with the U.S.S.R. in science and technology. This is a complex matter made more difficult because of Soviet behavior regarding Afghanistan and Poland, as well as their efforts to acquire sensitive Western technology. Decisions to renew agreements are being made on a case-by-case basis taking these concerns into account along with the benefits to the U.S. through participation. For example, I have recently approved the renewal of an agreement for cooperation with the Soviets on atomic energy, with appropriate limitations to protect our interests while letting the work proceed.

These examples suggest the range of our international effort in science and technology, but they are hardly exclusive. We have programs with more than three dozen countries, in every part of the world, at every level of sophistication. Science, as we know, has always had a special international character, and the advancement of science can make profound contributions to freedom and prosperity around the world. These tasks are formidable, for our scale of measurement must be decades, even generations. For this reason alone, our government, in a cooperative spirit, will continue to work closely with others prepared to join with us.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

July 11, 1983.