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Meeting With Secretary General Kurt Waldheim of the United Nations Remarks of the President and the Secretary General.

February 25, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. I would like to say that I am very deeply grateful that Secretary General Waldheim and his wife Elizabeth and his beautiful daughter Christa have come to be with us at noon today.

This is not an official meeting but is one of great importance. It is going to be a working luncheon.

We have been greatly impressed at the ability of the Secretary General in his travels around the world to the trouble spots that concern us all to search out common ground on which future peaceful agreements might be reached. His recent reelection as the first leader of the world is an indication of his stature among all those who participate in the United Nations deliberations.

This is a year, I believe, when he and I will be drawn much closer together than perhaps has been often the case in the past. And I think it is accurate to say that my appointment of Ambassador Andrew Young to the United Nations and the close relationship that Ambassador Young and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and I have with each other will provide a common base on which we can demonstrate to other nations of the world our deep commitment to the United Nations and what it stands for--peace in the world and a commitment to human rights, which has been the characteristic of Secretary General Kurt Waldheim in his long experience and service as one of the world's foremost diplomats.

So, we welcome you here, and your family, Kurt Waldheim. And I look forward to a long and continuing and, hopefully, mutually successful effort between our country and the United Nations to bring about peace in the world and to protect human rights and to meet those needs that are so vivid in our world today.

Welcome to the White House.

THE SECRETARY GENERAL. Mr. President, Mrs. Carter:

Mr. President, I thank you very much for this kind invitation and also for the warm welcome you just extended to us.

We are deeply grateful to you for having invited us so soon after taking over your office as President. And I consider this a good omen for the future cooperation between the United States of America and the United Nations. After all, the United States was the birthplace of the United Nations, and it is the host country of our great organization. And, if I may, it is also one of the strongest supporters of the United Nations.

So, I am indeed very happy to be here in Washington for this official visit which will give me an excellent opportunity to exchange views with you, Mr. President, and with the Secretary of State and members of the Cabinet.

At a time when the world is faced with many old problems, but also with many new ones like human environment, like energy, population explosion, and the relationship between the industrialized world and the developing countries, we need the support of all nations and especially the strong ones.

So, I am most grateful to you, Mr. President, for the great interest you have shown right from the beginning in all of these problems. And I am confident that you will give us the support we need in order to solve these many problems.

Before concluding, I wish to extend to you personally, Mr. President, to Mrs. Carter, to your family, as well as to the people of the United States of America, my very best wishes for a happy and prosperous future.

Note: The President spoke at 11:17 a.m. on the North Portico at the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Meeting With Secretary General Kurt Waldheim of the United Nations Remarks of the President and the Secretary General. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243071

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