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Lyndon B. Johnson: Message to the Congress Transmitting 20th Annual Report on U.S. Participation in the United Nations.
Lyndon B. Johnson
100 - Message to the Congress Transmitting 20th Annual Report on U.S. Participation in the United Nations.
March 9, 1967
Public Papers of the Presidents
Lyndon B. Johnson<br>1967: Book I
Lyndon B. Johnson
1967: Book I
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To the Congress of the United States:

I am submitting herewith the twentieth annual report on United States participation in the United Nations, covering calendar year 1965.

That year gave new evidence of our country's vigorous commitment to the world organization, and to the cause of peace which it serves. All of the American efforts recorded here--whether political, economic, social, legal or administrative--were designed solely to further that commitment.

The whole world shared our grief when Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson died in London on July 14, 1965. The respect and affection in which he was held, and the world's gratitude for his contributions to the United Nations, found expression in messages from officials and leaders around the globe., and in the rare tribute of a memorial meeting in the General Assembly hall at the United Nations.

One measure of a nation's regard for the United Nations is the quality of representatives it sends to the Organization. Accordingly, I asked Arthur J. Goldberg to leave the Supreme Court of the United States and to succeed Ambassador Stevenson as our Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Ambassador Goldberg's first important task was to help end the paralysis suffered by the General Assembly in 1964 as a result of the U.N. constitutional crisis. It had become clear that the membership as a whole was not prepared to apply the penalty provided by Article 19 of the Charter--loss of vote in the Assembly for those more than two years in arrears--to those members who had refused to contribute their assessed shares of certain peacekeeping operations. On August 16, Ambassador Goldberg announced that the United States would not seek to frustrate the evident desire of many members that the General Assembly should proceed normally. At the same time, he made it clear that the United States reserved the same option to make exceptions to collective financing assessments in the future.

The consensus reached by the General Assembly included agreement that the Organization's financial difficulties should be solved through voluntary contributions, particularly from those delinquent in their payments. A few nations contributed, but those furthest in arrears did not. The financial condition of the United Nations thus remained precarious.

During 1965, the Security Council made a major contribution to international peace by halting the hostilities between India and Pakistan arising from the Kashmir dispute. In thus arresting a full-scale war on the subcontinent, the Organization prevented untold tragedy in Asia--and proved anew its value as an instrument for peace.

United Nations peace forces and truce supervisors continued to stand guard throughout 1965 in Cyprus, in Kashmir, in Korea, and along the troubled borders of Israel. The Security Council also dispatched United Nations representatives and observers to the Dominican Republic during the disorders there; but the primacy of the Organization of American States in dealing successfully with this regional problem, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, remained unimpaired.

During the year, concrete steps toward disarmament were again strongly urged from all quarters, although progress proved disappointingly slow; the serious problems of race relations and colonialism in Southern Africa were also a cause of increasing debate and concern; and the United Nations and its members were repeatedly urged by the United States to join in the search for peace in Vietnam.

In my speech in San Francisco on June 25, 1965--the Twentieth Anniversary of the United Nations--I called upon its members to use all their influence, individually and collectively, to bring to the negotiating table those who seemed determined to continue the conflict. Ambassador Goldberg addressed similar appeals to United Nations members. Indeed, in his first official communication as U.S. Representative, a letter to the Security Council President on July 30, 195, Ambassador Goldberg recalled the legitimate interest of the Security Council in the peace of Southeast Asia and asserted that "The United States stands ready, as it has in the past, to collaborate unconditionally with members of the Security Council in the search for an acceptable formula to restore peace and security to that area of the world."

Unfortunately, these initiatives produced no affirmative response from those supporting the aggression against South Vietnam. Two suspensions of the bombing of North Vietnam during the year were no more successful in opening the path to honorable negotiations. The tragic conflict continues unabated in Vietnam. But we are continuing our efforts untiringly to seek a peaceful settlement of this issue through the United Nations and all other channels. This was the key issue dealt with in Ambassador Goldberg's statement to the twenty-first General Assembly in the general debate in September 1966.

The year 1965 marked the mid-point of the United Nations Development Decade. It was a year of sober assessment. Despite substantial progress in some areas, it was clear that in most of the more than one hundred countries with per capita incomes of less than $200, economic growth had been largely swallowed up by the mounting tide of population growth. Multilateral programs of aid, trade, and investment, although substantial in absolute terms, are not sufficient--even when combined with all the other large programs, public and private--to narrow the "development gap."

This discouraging assessment stimulated new efforts to cope with development problems:

--The newly created U.N. Conference on Trade and Development began its search for new trade patterns and practices which would benefit the developing countries.

--The establishment of a new U.N. Organization for Industrial Development was approved by the General Assembly.

--The U.N. Development Program was established by merger of the U.N. Expanded Program of Technical Assistance and the Special Fund. The United States had worked long and hard for the integration of these two major U.N. operational programs in order to permit better planning and more effective use of resources.

--Foundations were laid for the new Asian Development Bank with a capitalization of $1 billion, including a $200 million subscription by the United States. It promises to be one of the most effective agencies for the financing of economic and social development in Asia.

--A new African Development Bank, designed to play a similar role in Africa, opened for business.

Through these and other instrumentalities, our delegations in U.N. agencies have given leadership and positive support to major goals in the struggle for a better life: more food production; assistance in voluntary family planning; the training of skilled manpower; development of transport and communications; fuller utilization of natural resources; and increased application of science and technology.

The year 1965 had been designated International Cooperation Year (ICY) by the U.N. General Assembly, and U.N. members were urged to commemorate it in appropriate ways. The culmination of the American celebration was a White House Conference attended by more than 5,000 distinguished Americans--leaders in their communities, in business and industry, in educational and labor organizations, in the arts and sciences, and in the professions. The Conference discussed reports on international cooperation in agriculture, atomic energy, disarmament, health, the welfare of women and youth, and many other fields. Many of its recommendations have already been put into effect. Others are being thoroughly evaluated by a special White House Committee which will shortly submit its report to me.

Public support for the United Nations continued at a high level as the Organization approached its twenty-first anniversary. Most thoughtful people know that the United Nations is a far from perfect organization, in a far from perfect world. Yet they also recognize that it and its specialized agencies are the best system yet devised for sovereign nations to work together with equality and self-respect.

Our investment in the United Nations, and its various agencies and special programs, supplements other activities undertaken to preserve, protect, or promote a wide range of national interests. Above all, our commitment to the United Nations is an expression of faith which has illuminated the entire history of our country: a faith that the creative powers of democracy and human reason can overcome the evils of tyranny and violence.

The White House
March 9, 1967

Note: The report is entitled "U.S. Participation in the U.N., Report by the President to the Congress for the Year 1965" (Government Printing Office, 415 pp.).
Citation: Lyndon B. Johnson: "Message to the Congress Transmitting 20th Annual Report on U.S. Participation in the United Nations.," March 9, 1967. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=28118.
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