Letter to Congressional Leaders Transmitting the Report on Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. Chairman:)
In accordance with Title V of the Foreign Relations Act of Fiscal Year 1979, as amended (Public Law 95 - 426; 22 U.S.C. 2656c(b)), I am pleased to transmit this annual report on Science, Technology and American Diplomacy for fiscal year 1992.
This is the first Title V report in which the entire period of coverage falls within the post-Cold War era, and a number of trends important to international science and technology (S&T) have become evident. As traditional Cold War concerns fade, the character and impact of S&T in U.S. foreign policy are also changing significantly. The importance of S&T in addressing problems such as environmental degradation and international economic and technological competitiveness will grow. At the same time, S&T will continue to be important to traditional military concerns and in areas of increasing importance following the demise of the Soviet Union, such as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The material presented in this report illustrates the significant role of S&T in American diplomacy and the tremendous changes in its character and impact following the end of the Cold War. This year's report focuses on three topical areas: S&T interactions with the Newly Independent States and the Baltics; the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED); and a number of very big ("megascience") programs, including illustrative space activities. The report also features narratives on 22 selected countries and 3 international organizations (the European Community, NATO, and the OECD).
As the definitive annual official reference on U.S. Government international S&T agreements and activities, this Title V report:
Reviews a number of salient international S&T themes and issues, chosen by consensus in the executive branch;
Illustrates by means of both narratives and an extensive data base an in-depth review of U.S. Government activities in the chosen thematic areas; and
Provides, via the data base, a comprehensive overview of official U.S. Government international S&T activities in all areas.
In early 1991, I enunciated five major interrelated foreign policy challenges and objectives in the post-Cold War era:
1) promoting and consolidating democratic values;
2) promoting market principles and strengthening U.S. competitiveness;
3) promoting peace;
4) protecting against transnational threats such as environmental degradation; and
5) meeting urgent humanitarian needs.
The importance of S&T to achieving all five goals is seen clearly in the thematic areas that are the focus of this report.
Science and Technology Interactions with the Newly Independent States and the Baltics: U.S. S&T efforts in the former Soviet Union and Baltics have focused on forging new S&T links, assisting in military S&T conversion and the meeting environmental, health, energy and other needs, and helping to maintain a sound S&T infrastructure. A collapse of the former Soviet scientific community would greatly endanger sustainable progress toward open societies and market economics and would increase the risk of weapons proliferation. Building a strong S&T infrastructure will help provide a solid foundation for a stable transition away from Communist rule and centrally planned economies.
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development: Science and technology are critical tools in protecting against transnational threats such as global change, ozone depletion, and loss of biological diversity. Communication and cooperation in the international S&T community provided the basis for UNCED preparations and the three principal documents it produced, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, and a statement of principles for the management, conservation, and sustainable use of forests. The convention on global change, opened at UNCED for signature, is based on the results of an extensive international S&T effort.
Megascience Programs: The scientific facilities needed to pursue ever more fundamental questions about the nature of the universe are growing larger and more complex. As the costs associated with scientific research rise, maintaining national intellectual and technological competence in forefront areas requiring large facilities or global-scope research will increasingly require international collaboration. By sharing the burdens of supporting megascience projects, nations produce fundamental knowledge not possible to attain unilaterally.
The thematic focus of this report illustrates the critical role of S&T in meeting our major foreign policy challenges. These challenges transcend partisan political differences and will, I believe, continue to permeate U.S. foreign policy into the next century.
Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Claiborne Pell, chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; and John Glenn, chairman, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.
George Bush, Letter to Congressional Leaders Transmitting the Report on Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/266713