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United States Senate


April 27, 1972

The Honorable William P. Rogers
Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Secretary:

In my capacity as Chairman of your Advisory Committee on the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, it gives me great pleasure to transmit the Committee's final recommendations in the following report. This report represents the fruition of a year-long effort by the 27member Committee to actively involve the interested public in our government's preparations for Stockholm.

Our primary vehicle for soliciting this citizen input has been a series of regional public hearings conducted over the past year. The first hearing was held in Miami last July, followed by one in Washington last November, and then six others held during March in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, and Washington. Over 300 invitations were sent to a broad range of interests requesting citizens to either testify at a hearing or submit written statements and over 170 people accepted our invitations.

Another 300 people submitted their views in writing in lieu of an appearance at a hearing. The transcripts of the hearings as well as the written responses accompanying this report reflect the diverse sources of information which the Committee enlisted. Scientists, doctors, lawyers, labor leaders, industrialists, environmental activists, and private citizens, while differing in their strategies for mankind's survival, wholeheartedly agreed to the need for bold collective action on behalf of the common environment all nations share. There was further unaminity of opinion on the significance of involving the American public in this country's domestic and foreign policy-making, especially at a time when the average citizen feels increasingly removed from the day-to-day proceedings of Government. Although I realize that we are not the first Advisory Committee to assist your


Department in formulating official policy, I feel that in one respect we have established an important precedent that bears repeating. This is the release by your Department of draft conventions and draft United States positions for public scrutiny prior to their being tabled in an international forum. The release of the draft conventions on Ocean Dumping, Endangered Species, Islands for Science, and World Heritage Trust served to illustrate that government and a concerned citizenry can indeed form a mutually beneficial partnership: While not specifically recommending the continuation of this advisory committee, I wish to emphasize the significance of establishing some form of citizens advisory mechanism to bridge the gap between government and its constituency.

I would like to call your attention to the prompt and gracious efforts of the Rockefeller, McClellan, and Ford Foundations, which provided funding for staff; and the University of Georgia Law School and the Environmental Protection Agency, which lent staff members to the effort. Needless to say, your able Assistant for Environmental Affairs, Mr. Christian A. Herter, Jr. made an invaluable contribution to the Committee's efforts.


Howard Sohn

Howard H. Baker, Jr.




May 1, 1972

Dear Howard:

The report of the Advisory Committee on the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment is most gratefully received. The report is exemplary evidence of the successful work of the Committee due in large measure to your extensive personal participation and the strong and effective leadership contributed to this endeavor. Each member of the Committee deserves our thanks for his personal participation. The Committee staff is to be congratulated for its untiring efforts and the high quality of its work.

The involvement of the American public in the preparatory process required by the United States Government to effectively participate in an international Conference such as planned for Stockholm is, I agree, most important. Your Committee has set a most useful precedent. I also concur in the suggestion that a mechanism for continuing consultation in this area between the Government and the public is most desirable.

Please accept my most heartfelt thanks for a job well done. We look forward to your participation on the United States Delegation to the Conference, and I feel sure you will bring to the Stockholm deliberations the wealth of information and advice developed by the Committee.

With best personal regards,



William P. Rogers

The Honorable
Howard H. Baker, Jr.,

United States Senate.

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