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Statement About the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden

June 20, 1972

I HAVE just received a report on the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment concluded last Friday at Stockholm from Chairman Train who headed the large and distinguished U.S. delegation.

The United States has worked long and hard over the past 18 months to help make the Conference a success. Representatives of 113 nations met together for 2 weeks to produce an impressive number of agreements on environmental principles and recommendations for further national and international action in this important field.

The United States achieved practically all of its objectives at Stockholm.

(1) The Conference approved establishment of a new United Nations unit to provide continued leadership and coordination of environmental action, an important step which had our full support.

(2) The Conference approved forming a $100 million United Nations environmental fund which I personally proposed last February.

(3) The Conference overwhelmingly approved the U.S. proposal for a moratorium on commercial killing of whales.

(4) The Conference endorsed our proposal for an international convention to regulate ocean dumping.

(5) The Conference endorsed the U.S. proposal for the establishment of a World Heritage Trust to help preserve wilderness areas and other scenic natural landmarks.

However, even more than in the specific agreements reached, I believe that the deepest significance of the Conference lies in the fact that for the first time in history, the nations of the world sat down together to seek better understanding of each other's environmental problems and to explore opportunities for positive action, individually and collectively,

The strong concern of the United States over the fate of our environment has also been demonstrated in our direct dealings with individual nations. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement which I signed in Ottawa this April with Prime Minister Trudeau was evidence of the high priority this Administration places on protecting the environment. The Environmental Agreement which I signed in Moscow on May 23 is proof of the desire of our Nation to work together with the others on the common tasks of peace.

I am proud that the United States is taking a leading role in international environmental cooperation, and I congratulate our U.S. delegation on its success at Stockholm. The governments and people of the world must now work together to make the objectives of the Stockholm Conference a reality.

Note: The Conference was held June 5-16, 1972, in Stockholm.

On June 20, the White House released a fact sheet and the transcript of a news briefing on the Conference. Participants in the news briefing were Russell E. Train, Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality, and Chairman, U.S. delegation to the Conference; Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr., Chairman, Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment; and Robert M. White, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce.

Richard Nixon, Statement About the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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