Jimmy Carter photo

New Delhi, India Remarks on Signing the Delhi Declaration.

January 03, 1978

Prime Minister Desai has read a joint declaration which he and I drafted together. At the heart of the friendship between India and the United States is our determination that the moral values of our people must also guide the actions of the states, the governments.

Both our nations were the conscious creation of men and women who believed that spiritual principles could find political expression. Gandhi and Nehru, Washington and Jefferson, the thousands—and actually millions—who worked with them, those whom they led, were all determined to present a shining new example to the world.

The United States gave the world an illustration of a new form of government, with a new relation between the citizen and the state—a relation in which the state exists to serve the citizen, and not the citizen to serve the state.

India experimented with creating political unity from overwhelming human diversity, enabling people of different cultures and languages and religions to work together, both in independence and also in freedom. Yours is an experiment whose success the world is celebrating anew.

The declaration that we have just signed, or will sign, commits to paper what has long been written in our hearts. It proclaims our belief that each individual has inalienable rights, our commitment to justice among nations and within societies, and our determination that disputes must be resolved without violence, especially in this age when nuclear weapons threaten the total destruction of humankind. Above all else, we affirm that states, like individuals, bear moral responsibilities for their acts.

Yesterday, before your Parliament, I said that whatever the differences between our nations, we are moving along the path toward a common goal of human development and human rights.

As I prepare to leave India, reluctantly, today, I'm thankful to know that with this declaration we have taken another step toward that path of friendship and mutual commitment.

Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.

Note: The President spoke at 10:43 a.m. in Ashoka Hall at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Earlier in the morning, President and Mrs. Carter visited the farming village of Daulatabad Nasirabad, which was officially renamed Carterpuri (Carter Place) in honor of their visit.

Jimmy Carter, New Delhi, India Remarks on Signing the Delhi Declaration. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244971

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