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Proclamation 6198—United Nations Day, 1990

October 10, 1990

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

This year, as we commemorate the founding of the United Nations nearly half a century ago, we also celebrate recent progress toward the noble goals set forth in both its Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 10, 1948. Those goals are based on principles that have been cherished and defended by the American people for more than 2 centuries.

Noting that "recognition of the dignity of the equal and unalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world," the United Nations General Assembly provided in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights a resounding affirmation of the timeless ideals enshrined in our Constitution. This historic Declaration established a common standard of conduct for all peoples and all governments. Its signatories agreed to respect freedom of thought and freedom of conscience, as well as freedom of religion and belief. They also recognized an individual's right to freedom of movement and assembly, as well as his right to participate in the government of his country and to own property, either alone or in association with others.

During the past several years, efforts to implement internal reforms at the United Nations have helped to bring this body closer to the ideals envisioned by its founders when they adopted the U.N. Charter and "reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, [and] in the dignity and worth of the human person." The United States has welcomed these reforms, as well as the recent decline in ideological confrontation among U.N. members, and we have applauded moves toward consensus and cooperation, in the search for practical solutions to serious global problems.

During the past year alone, prospects for international peace, understanding, and cooperation have improved greatly in regions where they once seemed remote. A significant portion of the credit for these positive developments must be given to the United Nations. Indeed, the United Nations has proved to be helpful in achieving regional peace and stability by promoting constructive dialogue between nations and the nonviolent resolution of conflicts. Through its peacekeeping efforts and monitoring of the electoral process, the United Nations has helped the people of countries such as Namibia and Nicaragua to chart their own course in a genuine exercise of self-determination. The United Nations has also helped to promote the social and economic development of countries beset by strife and poverty. Nevertheless, great challenges lie ahead in places as far-flung as Cambodia, El Salvador, and the Western Sahara.

Many of the challenges faced by the United States and other U.N. members transcend national and even regional boundaries. Most recently, for example, the United Nations has played a central role in international efforts to meet the grave threat posed by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The United Nations has spoken firmly and without hesitation through eight Security Council Resolutions condemning the invasion, demanding Iraq's immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait, and mandating economic sanctions against the government of Saddam Hussein.

In addition to efforts designed to help restore peace and stability to the Persian Gulf region, the United Nations agenda includes plans to protect the global environment and to combat the scourge of drug trafficking. We look to the United Nations as a valuable forum for the discussion of such issues, and we welcome the aid of its specialized agencies in developing and implementing specific programs to enhance international cooperation in these and other areas.

The United Nations is also helping to lead a new campaign for the eradication of illiteracy. The U.N. General Assembly has proclaimed 1990 as the "International Year of Literacy," and the United States has enthusiastically joined other member-states in a concerted effort to promote education and learning.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 24, 1990, as United Nations Day. I invite all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

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

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6198—United Nations Day, 1990 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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