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

March 20, 1985

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 transmitting the Administration's annual report on international activities in the fields of science and technology for Fiscal Year 1984. The report was prepared by the Department of State in cooperation with other relevant agencies, consistent with the intent of the legislation.

This Administration has recognized from the outset that the achievement of our most essential national goals -- enhanced national security, increased industrial competitiveness, better health and quality of life for all our citizens -- depends upon a strong and vital science and technology enterprise. In view of the impressive scientific and technological capabilities of many other countries, we are increasingly aware of the importance of international cooperation as a means of augmenting our strengths in these areas. The generation of new knowledge and progress in technology offer benefits to all nations committed to realistic and sustained economic growth. Indeed, the future of the world depends largely on science, technology, and the willingness of nations to marshal their greatest resources -- human creativity and talent -- to work together to solve the problems that challenge mankind. We in the United States are determined to help make that future a bright one.

Substantial efforts were made during 1984 to implement the Title V legislation. In June, Secretary of State Shultz addressed a message to all our embassies abroad stressing the central importance of science and technology as a critical element of our foreign policy. In September, he followed that with a request for detailed descriptions of each mission's specific plans to better integrate science and technology into the conduct of our foreign affairs.

Consistent with our foreign policy objectives, we continue to emphasize government-to-government scientific cooperation in our bilateral and multilateral relations, in particular, fostering our cooperative relationships with the nations of Western Europe, with Japan and other democratic nations of the Pacific Basin, with India and the People's Republic of China, and with friends in our own hemisphere.

During 1984, we continued to participate in several cooperative scientific projects agreed upon at the Williamsburg Economic Summit in June 1983 and endorsed at the London Economic Summit in June 1984. As in the past years, we stressed the ability of cooperative efforts in science and technology to enhance the economic and military strength of the Western Alliance. We continue to support the NATO Science Committee's activities to stimulate collaborative research in significant frontier fields of science and to facilitate the exchange among member countries of their most promising young scientists and engineers. The importance the United States places on the NATO Science Committee was highlighted last Spring when we hosted the Committee's meeting in Washington.

During 1984, we continued to review our science and technology relationship with Japan. The U.S.-Japan Advisory Commission submitted a report to Prime Minister Nakasone and me entitled ``Challenges and Opportunities in United States-Japan Relations.'' It suggested in particular that ``. . . the time has come for a high-level review to determine possible improvements and new directions for mutually beneficial cooperation.'' Such review was launched in April, and I expect to be able to highlight its conclusions in my message accompanying next year's Title V report.

Last January, we reviewed the range of activities that have been carried out during the first five years of our Bilateral Cooperative Agreement in Science and Technology with the People's Republic of China, and took particular pleasure in extending that agreement for five more years. Cooperative research is now being conducted under twenty-three separate protocols within the broad auspices of that agreement, and accords in several new areas, including fossil energy, and space cooperation, are in the final stages of negotiation.

Significant strides were made in the special cooperative programs with India -- in health, agriculture, and monsoon research -- that emerged from my discussions with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in July 1982. The government of India continues its support of these initiatives under the new leadership of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Special reference must be made to our bilateral science and technology relationship with the Soviet Union. In past reports, I have stressed that cooperation with that country depends upon steps taken by its government to comply with recognized standards of international behavior. While that behavior is often far from constructive, I have approved during 1984 renewed cooperative efforts in carefully selected areas such as agriculture, health, and environmental protection and safety, that recognize complementary strengths and ensure mutual benefits. I took this action to convince Soviet officials of our desire for peace and our willingness to explore whatever roads might be open to take us there together.

We recognize that there are important opportunities to address science and technology issues within the technical agencies of the United Nations system, but such opportunities should be pursued only where there are realistic expectations of shared benefit and success. Where success proves beyond our grasp, we must reevaluate our position and find more effective alternatives. Such is the case with our participation in UNESCO. I stated at the end of 1983 our intention to withdraw from that agency should acceptable reforms not be undertaken within a year. That period expired on December 31, 1984, and we have withdrawn as planned. Despite U.S. withdrawal, we remain committed to the belief that genuine reform of UNESCO is a worthwhile goal, and in the coming year, we will work with all countries, individuals, and private organizations who seek improvement in UNESCO to achieve that purpose. When UNESCO returns to its original mission and principles, we will rejoin UNESCO and participate in the full range of its multilateral scientific programs.

In conclusion, I want to stress again the importance of cooperative scientific and technological arrangements in our assistance to developing countries. On November 22, 1984, in an address to members of an international association for research and development in nuclear energy, His Holiness John Paul II emphasized the importance he perceives in such arrangements. ``Cooperation in the fields of science and technology is one of the most effective means not only for contributing to the physical welfare of people, but also of fostering the dignity and worth of every person.''

The United States is committed to a role for scientific and technological cooperation in international affairs, and we will pursue this goal to the benefit of all nations willing to join us.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

March 20, 1985.