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Proclamation 5372—United Nations Day, 1985

October 01, 1985

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The founders of the United Nations, meeting in San Francisco 40 years ago, set forth in the U.N. Charter the fervent hope that humanity might experience peace and international cooperation in the era after the greatest and most costly war ever experienced. The ideals expressed in the Charter were that all member states would work together to maintain international peace and security, encourage human rights, and cooperate in dealing with the economic, social, humanitarian, and technical problems that afflict our planet.

The United Nations and its family of international organizations have sought, constructively, to improve the human condition. Many people today live under better conditions because of work done in the name of these organizations. That hope for international cooperation, expressed 40 years ago, has been achieved most often in the U.N.'s technical, development, and humanitarian agencies. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the World Food Program (WFP), for example, have made major contributions to the safety and welfare of people everywhere.

On this the United Nation's 40th Anniversary, it is appropriate that all member states reflect not only on the achievements of the organization, but also its shortcomings, its unfulfilled promise, and yes, even its failures. We do so in a positive spirit, seeking constructive solutions to those problems that prevent the U.N. from realizing its full potential and fully embodying the ideals of the Charter. We believe that by facing those problems realistically and working together, many can be solved. The tasks before us are not easy. It will require both patience and dedication to the ideals of the U.N. Charter. We owe it to ourselves, however, to our children, and to all future generations to make this effort.

To the American people and their elected representatives, the United Nations plays an important role in the search for peace with justice. It provides a forum where member states can discuss and try to resolve their differences peacefully, in the spirit of the Charter. We will continue to do all we can to support that process within the U.N., within recognized regional fora, and in direct bilateral dialogue. As we encourage more responsible international behavior, we strengthen the United Nations and the prospect for achieving the goals of its Charter. But much more can and must be done. We look to all member states to support the sound principles upon which the U.N. was founded. These include respect for the rights and views of states that may find themselves in the minority, and support for recognized regional associations as provided for in the Charter, as well as the wise use of its own resources and established procedures.

The people and the government of the United States take satisfaction in the very substantial moral, political, and financial support we have given to the United Nations since its founding. We remain firmly committed to the noble ideals set forth in the Charter; they are entirely consonant with the ideals embodied in our own political institutions. The United Nations continues to stand as the symbol of the hopes of all mankind for a more peaceful and productive world. We must not disappoint those hopes.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, October 24, 1985, as United Nations Day and urge all Americans to acquaint themselves with the activities of the United Nations, its accomplishments, and the challenges it faces. I have appointed Peter H. Dailey to serve as 1985 United States Chairman for United Nations Day and welcome the role of the United Nations Association of the United States of America in working with him to celebrate this special day.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5372—United Nations Day, 1985 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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