Richard Nixon photo

Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report on United States Participation in the United Nations.

September 08, 1972

To the Congress of the United States:

It is a pleasure to transmit to the Congress the 26th annual report on United States participation in the work of the United Nations. This report covers the calendar year 1971.

During the period under review there were many developments within the UN framework of importance to the United States and to other member states. Some of these events were favorable; others were not. Among the former:

--The General Assembly decided to seat the representatives of the People's Republic of China, and this was followed by corresponding action in the Security Council.

--The United Nations established a Fund for Drug Abuse Control that will finance a concerted worldwide action program to assist member states in reducing both the demand for and the supply of dangerous drugs.

--At a plenipotentiary conference in Vienna sponsored by the United Nations, a Convention on Psychotropic Substances was adopted, designed to curb the misuse of such substances as the hallucinogens, amphetamines, barbiturates, and tranquilizers.

--The 26th General Assembly endorsed two treaties, both sponsored by the United States, and expressed its hope for the widest possible adherence to them. The first was the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects; the second was the Convention on the Prohibition of Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction.

--In December the United Nations elected a new Secretary General, Ambassador Kurt Waldheim of Austria.

--At an international conference in Montreal sponsored by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation was adopted.

--The UN Economic and Social Council was strengthened by the Assembly's decision to adopt and submit to member states for ratification an amendment to the Charter that will double the Council's membership to 54, thereby making it a more representative body. In addition the Council created two new standing committees, one concerned with review and appraisal of the progress toward the goals of the Second UN Development Decade, and the other concerned with problems of science and technology.

--The United Nations created the position of Disaster Relief Coordinator within the UN Secretariat to assist countries stricken by disasters.

In addition to these favorable developments there were others that were disappointing.

--The Republic of China, a member in good standing for many years, was deprived of representation by the same resolution that gave representation to the People's Republic of China. This action was extremely regrettable and was strongly opposed by the United States.

--Despite determined efforts by the United States and others, the war between India and Pakistan demonstrated again the severe limitations on the organization's ability to carry out its primary function, the maintenance of international peace and security.

--No progress was made toward resolving the differences among UN members on the organization and conduct of peace-keeping missions.

--The General Assembly's effort to rationalize its organization and procedures fell far short of our hopes.

--The United Nations made no great progress toward resolving its difficult financial problems.

During 1971 the United States Government announced its intention to negotiate a reduction in the rate of its UN assessment to a level no higher than 25 percent. This decision is in line with a recommendation by the Commission for the Observance of the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations, chaired by Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, and is consonant with our belief that an organization of almost universal membership should not be overly dependent upon a single member for its financial support.

This proposed reduction in our rate of assessment does not affect our voluntary contributions to various UN programs. Indeed, the Lodge Commission recommended increases of at least corresponding size in voluntary contributions whose size depends on each nation's judgment of its own interests and capabilities.

These and many other topics are covered in the report. I commend to the Congress this record of our participation in the United Nations during 1971.



September 8, 1972.

Note: The message is printed in the report entitled "U.S. Participation in the UN, Report by the President to the Congress for the Year 1971" (Government Printing Office, 238 pp.).

Richard Nixon, Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report on United States Participation in the United Nations. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives