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

February 17, 1984

To the Congress of the United States:

In accordance with the requirements of Title V of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1979 (Public Law 95 - 426), I am transmitting the 1983 annual report on the United States Government's international activities in the fields of science and technology. As in the past, this report has been prepared by the Department of State in collaboration with other concerned agencies of the Federal government.

I would like to take this opportunity, first of all, to express again my personal regret on the passing of Congressman Clement J. Zablocki. As Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and of the Subcommittee on International Security and Scientific Affairs, Congressman Zablocki made many significant contributions to this Nation's pursuit of foreign relations spanning several administrations. None of these, however, was more important than his tireless efforts to see that science and technology play greater roles in the conduct of foreign policy. Chairman Zablocki understood well the benefits of scientific progress toward economic growth both for our Nation and others across the globe and incorporated that understanding into the Title V legislation of which he was the prime architect. On behalf of the people of the United States, I want to express the gratitude of the Nation for his many years of distinguished service.

Science and technology have been key to the economic and social development of the United States. Political liberty and free enterprise provide a fertile environment to American scientists and engineers who have given us a standard of living unequaled in the history of the world. We are certain that science and technology offer similar hope to all nations committed to the pursuit of realistic and sustained economic development. The United States has increasingly made cooperative scientific and technological arrangements important to our developmental assistance efforts to Third World countries and of strengthened bilateral relations with other industrialized nations.

During 1983 we were successful in our efforts to encourage international science and technology cooperation. There were many positive developments which are set out in detail in this report. Of particular importance, though, are several of our bilateral relations. It is important to develop a strong bilateral relationship with the People's Republic of China while maintaining our friendship with the democratic nations of Asia. Broad-based science and technology agreements are a vital part of our efforts to build this relationship. The role of science and technology plays a similar role in Latin America. This is particularly true in our bilateral relations with Brazil and Mexico. I am certain that these nations attach as much importance to scientific and technology cooperation as we do. We will continue to pursue the opportunities for increased cooperation.

Perhaps the most disturbing development of 1983 in the field of science and technology has been our reluctant, but necessary, decision to give notice of our intent to withdraw from participation in UNESCO. Our persistent efforts over the past three years to convince the UNESCO bureaucracy in Paris to address the Agency's serious problems of administrative and fiscal mismanagement and to reorient its direction to pursue once again only the mission envisioned in its charter have failed. We see no viable option but to sever our ties with this Agency if its overt hostility to American values and its increasing substantive impotence and procedural abuse are not satisfactorily corrected. We will strive to minimize any significant adverse effect on beneficial science and technology activities at UNESCO by making alternative arrangements for U.S. participation in such programs.

Our scientific and technological relations with the Soviet Union and Poland have been adversely affected by disappointing Soviet attitudes and actions. In our Title V Report for 1982, I made it clear that cooperation depends upon the steps the Soviet Government takes to comply with recognized norms of international behavior. Soviet behavior still falls far short of this standard, and our position remains unchanged. We will continue to carefully observe Soviet behavior and adjust our science and technology cooperation accordingly.

In the overall international arena, we can be proud of our scientific leadership. It can go a long way in helping the cause of freedom and economic growth around the world. The international programs described in this report benefit our Nation and our cooperative partners, and are a source of good will around the world.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

February 17, 1984.