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Statement by the President on the International Atomic Energy Agency.

December 08, 1963

TEN YEARS AGO today, President Eisenhower appeared before the General Assembly of the United Nations and made the following pledge:

"The coming months will be fraught with fateful decisions .... To the making of these fateful decisions the United States pledges before you--and therefore before the world--its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma--to devote its entire heart and mind to find the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life."

In his address, President Eisenhower also proposed the establishment of an International Atomic Energy Agency which would help channel into peaceful pursuits the scientific and material resources which had been created primarily for military purposes, and noting that such an Agency could serve as a vehicle to advance the use of the atom for the peaceful pursuits of mankind.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has assumed an essential and natural role in the international development of atomic energy. In each year of his administration, President Kennedy supported the International Atomic Energy Agency and on three separate occasions sent AEC Chairman Glenn T. Seaborg to the General Conferences in Vienna, Austria, as his personal representative.

In the past 10 years, the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes throughout the world has grown steadily. The United States has led the efforts to bring the benefits of atomic energy to the world--shared its knowledge, its skills, and its materials with other nations in every continent.

Today, I reassert our continued belief in the importance of cooperation among nations in the peaceful uses of atomic energy and our belief in the International Atomic Energy Agency as an important instrument in carrying out this cooperation. I can think of no more appropriate way in which to convey to free men everywhere our intention to bring the benefits of the peaceful atom to mankind than in the words of President Kennedy in his message to the President of the Fifth General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, on September 27, 1961:

"The General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency is a welcome event to all peoples who value peace. Your meeting accentuates the enormous potential of the atom for improving man's well-being. We already know the atom can help place more food on our tables, provide more light in our homes, fight disease and better our health, and give us new technical and scientific tools. The exploitation of this force for human welfare is just beginning. The International Atomic Energy Agency can assume a position of leadership in bringing the peaceful uses of atomic energy to the people of the world.

"Moreover, the intangible benefits of your work are no less than the material rewards. When people from different countries work together in a common cause, they help to maintain a bridge of understanding between nations during times of tension and build firmer foundations for a more stable and peaceful world of the future. I applaud your efforts and assure you that they have the full support of the United States."

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President on the International Atomic Energy Agency. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/239128

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