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to countries engaging in gross violations of human rights unless such loans directly benefit the people.

There were several initiatives in the human rights field in 1976. Secretary Kissinger, in an address to the Sixth Regular General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in June, proposed that the Inter-American Human Rights Commission be given a stronger mandate and enlarged investigatory staff. At the United Nations in September, Secretary Kissinger urged cooperation within the U.N. system for the protection of human rights. He pledged U.S. support for practical approaches to lessen the practice of officially sanctioned torture, promote fair trials, improve the procedures of international bodies concerned with human rights, and meet the problems of refugees. After the Israeli rescue of hostages at Entebbe airport in Uganda, the United States defended the Israeli right, flowing from the right of self-defense, to use limited force to protect its nationals, and took the opportunity to press, albeit unsuccessfully, for a U.N. resolution condemning and calling for punishment of terrorist acts in international aviation. The United States gave strong support to an initiative by the Federal Republic of Germany which resulted in a U.N. resolution setting up an ad hoc committee to draft a treaty to prevent the taking of hostages.

Congress enacted, in the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976, major provisions aimed at restricting the provision of security assistance to governments engaged in a consistent pattern of gross violation of internationally recognized human rights, including a requirement for detailed reporting by the Department of State, upon request, and provision for termination of assistance to a particular country by joint resolution of Congress. The same Act prohibits assistance to countries granting sanctuary to international terrorists and contains antidiscrimination provisions affecting the eligibility of a country for military assistance, sales or credits if the government of such country discriminates against U.S. personnel on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sex.

Legislation for the protection of diplomats was signed into law on October 8, 1976, enabling the United States to become a party to two antiterrorist conventions: the 1971 OAS Convention to Prevent and Punish the Acts of Terrorism Taking the Form of Crimes Against Persons and Related Extortion That Are of International Significance, and the 1973 U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons. The two conventions require parties either to extradite or prosecute offenders against internationally protected persons, whether or not the crimes occur within the territorial jurisdiction of a state party.

In July, President Gerald R. Ford transmitted to the Senate two treaties with the Soviet Union on nuclear weapons: the Treaty and Protocol on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests and the Treaty on Underground Nuclear Explosions for Peaceful Purposes. In October, the President issued a statement on nuclear policy calling on all nations to join in a cooperative effort to preserve the benefits of peaceful uses of nuclear energy while preventing nuclear proliferation. He specified several actions, domestic and international, aimed at restraining the spread of plutonium. In November, the United States proposed at the United Nations an international agreement to ban the use of radiological materials as weapons of war.

In the field of aviation, Secretary of Transportation William T. Coleman announced, on February 4, 1976, his decision to permit the Concorde supersonic transport to operate in the United States on a trial basis for 16 months. The Digest summarizes his opinion and carries Department of State legal views transmitted in advance of that opinion. In September, President Ford issued an International Air Transportation Policy Statement, setting forth the objectives the United States would seek in negotiations with other countries and calling for revision of certain regulatory policies of the Civil Aeronautics Board. The courts continued to hand down decisions on the liability of the carrier in certain terrorist incidents occurring in air terminals.

In September, Secretary Kissinger, in one of his last efforts as Secretary of State to mediate foreign conflicts, undertook a series of negotiations aimed at a settlement of disputes in southern Africa. He particularly sought orderly transition to majority rule in Namibia and Rhodesia. He suggested a framework, based on a British plan, for a Rhodesian transition to majority government within two years. This recommendation led to the convening of a Geneva Conference on Rhodesian Settlement. By the close of 1976, no agreement had been reached on such a transitional arrangement.

The Departments of State and Justice continued to oppose in 1976 legislative proposals to subject executive agreements to veto by concurrent resolution, as well as a proposal which would authorize the Senate to designate particular executive agreements as treaties. A Department of State legal memorandum discussed the authorization and appropriation power of Congress in relation to treaties. In the case of the U.S.-Spain Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation the Senate gave its advice and consent subject to the provision of the necessary funds through the normal procedures of Congress “including the process of prior authorization and annual " appropriations."

The 1976 Digest includes a legal opinion on nonintervention in internal affairs. It discusses the extent to which the principle has been refined through contemporary international law and practice and how it could be applied to a situation where there is no established government, as during the civil war in Angola. The Digest also contains excerpts from a study entitled “Widening Access to the International Court of Justice," an official statement of the criteria applied by the United States in deciding whether to recognize a new state, a statement of the Department of State's requirements on applications for the extradition of fugitives from justice abroad, and a model U.S. extradition treaty.



Legal Adviser
Department of State

Washington, D. C.

January 1977

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