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CONFIDENTIAL - GDS   ACTION
October 16, 1975

MEMORANDUM FOR:THE PRESIDENT
FROM:HENRY A. KISSINGER
SUBJECT:Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for
US Security and Overseas Interests: NSSM 200
 
NSSM 200 directed a study by the NSC Under Secretaries Committee of the
impact of world population growth on US security and overseas interests.
The study was to provide possible courses of action for the United States in
dealing with population matters abroad (Tab C).

In response to NSSM 200, the Chairman of the Under Secretaries Committee
has forwarded for your consideration a report on world population that
recommends a US global population strategy (Tab B). In a covering
memorandum the Chairman highlights the findings and recommendations
of the study:

FINDINGS
-- The UN medium population projection forecasts world population
growth from 3.9 billion today to 6.4 billion by the year 2000 and
over 11 billion by 2050. This is a relatively optimistic projection,
and holding growth within these limits will require an internation-
al population control effort;
-- Regional imbalances of growth will be severe with the greatest
population growth in the poor countries;
-- Perhaps the most serious callenge from both a humanitarian and
a national interest viewpoint would be adequacy of world food
supplies for the developing countries as populations press against
limits of available land, water, capital and resources inputs;
-- Excessive population growth holds back economic development
and social progress, bringing on frustrations and tensions leading
to instability.

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RECOMMENDATIONS

-- Support of the UN Population Plan of Action adopted at the
Bucharest, Rumania Conference, plus a global target of
replacement fertility levels by the year 2000;
-- Engagement of the developing countries themselves and their
political leaders in efforts to moderate population growth;
-- A bilateral and multilateral assistance strategy giving
priority to thirteen key countries which contribute almost half
the present population growth;
-- Delivery of family planning information and services to all and
increased funding for AID's population control programs;
-- Increased funding and support for a worldwide effort for
research in human reproduction;
-- US participation with other donor countries and UN agencies in
a cooperative endeavor to develop systems for the delivery of
basic health services, including family planning, to poorer
countries;
-- A major worldwide effort of education about population growth
and family planning;
-- Increased provision for food aid, stockpiling for shortages and
agricultural assistance (our food policy is being actively
addressed separately in the followup to the US-initiated World
Food Conference.)

The Chairman's summary recognizes that population control policy requires both
high level attention and continuing review and updating. It observes that
US efforts must be undertaken in such a way as to minimize criticism that they
are directed against the interests of the developing countries. Above all, the
problem must be recognized by the developing countries themselves. Thus,
as the NSSM 200 directive indicated, the objective of the United States is to
work closely with others rather than seek to impose our views on them.

 
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The USC Chairman recommends that you endorse the proposed global popu-
lation strategy summarized above. Because this strategy involves complex
and difficult questions, including questions relating to political and security
interests, and because a number of different agencies of the government have
an interest in this matter, the Under Secretaries Committee, with the exception
of AID, also recommends that you assign to that Committee responsibility for
the monitoring of policy aspects of implementation of the strategy, for con-
ducting an annual review of progress and for recommending to you any
significant changes that may be needed. AID recommends that this respon-
sibility be assigned to the Development Coordination Committee, chaired by
the AID Adminstrator.

IN response to the Chairman of the Under Secretaries Committee's memorandum
to you, and the NSSM 200 study, I recommend that you authorize issuance of a
NSDM that:
-- confirms that US leadership is essential in world population matters;
-- endorses the policy recommendations contained in the Executive Summary
of the NSSM 200 response, with the following observations and exceptions:
- care must be taken that our AID program efforts are not so
diffuse as to have little impact upon those countries contri-
buting the largest growth in population;
- there should be an examination of past and present US pop-
ulation control programs to determine those approaches that
are the most cost effective in reducing population growth and
recommendations should be made as appropriate on revised
priorities suggested by the examination;
- a review should be undertaken quickly to examine specific
recommendations for funding in the population assistance and
family planning field for the period after FY 1976;
- in this regard, there should be a detailed analysis of the recommended
funding levels in the NSSM 200 study, bearing in mind the desire
to advance population control goals;
- this analysis should include the appropriate level of funding of
multilateral programs;

 
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- strong emphasis should be placed on encouraging leaders of
key developing countries to support population assistance pro-
grams. You underscore that the objective of the US is to work
closely with others rather than to seek to impose our views on
others, and that in all efforts we recognize the basic dignity of
the individual and his or her right to freely choose family goals
and family planning alternatives;
- the recommendation contained in paragraph 21(c) of the Executive
Summary dealing with the announcement of a United States national
population goal is outside the purview of the scope of NSSM 200,
but the Under Secretaries Committee, in conjunction with all appro-
priate agencies of the Executive Branch, may wish to make further
recommendations to the President on the subject;
- implementation of a US worldwide population strategy will involve
careful coordination -- the response to NSSM 200 study is a good
beginning, but that there is a need for further examination of the
mix of US assistance strategy and its most efficient application;
- the Chairman, NSC Under Secretaries Committee, is assigned the
responsbility to define and develop policy in the population field
and to coordinate its implementation beyond the NSSM 200 response,
and ist to submit to you an initial report within six months from the
date of the NSDM on the implementation of this policy, with recom-
mendations for any modification in our strategy, funding programs,
and, particularly, the identification of possible deficiencies. There
would be a requirement for annual reports thereafter;
- the Chairman is authorized to request other appropriate bodies and
agencies to assist him in this task as required. For the purpose
of implementing this NSDM, the Under Secretaries Committee should
include, ex officio, representatives of the following agencies:

                          Council of Environmental Quality;
                          Office of Management and Budget;
                          President's Science Adviser.


OMB and CEQ concur in the draft NSDM.

 

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RECOMMENDATION

That you authorize me to issue the NSDM on the World Population Policy at
Tab A.
 

                    Approve                                             Disapprove                      

 

 

Attachments

 Tab A   -Proposed NSDM
 Tab B -Report on world population, forwarded by the Deputy
Secretary of State on December 14, 1974
 Tab C -NSSM 200, April 24, 1974, which directed the study on
world population growth and implications for US
security and overseas interests

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  CONFIDENTIAL - GDS

 

 


NSSM 200 MAIN
NSDM 76
INITIATING MEMO
NSSM 200 REPORT   /   EXEC SUMMMARY
ENDORSEMENT MEMO
NSDM 314
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL   o   USAID-PHN   o   USAID CONTRACTORS   o   U.N. NGO FRONTS   o   U.S. NGO FRONTS
1974 PLAN OF ACTION (Bucharest)   o   1994 PLAN OF ACTION (Cairo)   o   1995 PLATFORM FOR ACTION (Beijing)
CONGRESS LETTER TO HEADS OF STATE
SENATE HEARING ON U.N. CONFERENCES
CONGRESS MEMO ON HABITAT AGENDA