Jimmy Carter photo

United States Foreign Policy Remarks to People of Other Nations on Assuming Office.

January 20, 1977

I have chosen the occasion of my inauguration as President to speak not only to my own countrymen--which is traditional--but also to you, citizens of the world who did not participate in our election but who will nevertheless be affected by my decisions.

I also believe that as friends you are entitled to know how the power and influence of the United States will be exercised by its new Government.

I want to assure you that the relations of the United States with the other countries and peoples of the world will be guided during my own administration by our desire to shape a world order that is more responsive to human aspirations. The United States will meet its obligation to help create a stable, just, and peaceful world order.

We will not seek to dominate nor dictate to others. As we Americans have concluded one chapter in our Nation's history and are beginning to work on another, we have, I believe, acquired a more mature perspective on the problems of the world. It is a perspective which recognizes the fact that we alone do not have all the answers to the world's problems.

The United States alone cannot lift from the world the terrifying specter of nuclear destruction. We can and will work with others to do so.

The United States alone cannot guarantee the basic right of every human being to be free of poverty and hunger and disease and political repression. We can and will cooperate with others in combating these enemies of mankind.

The United States alone cannot ensure an equitable development of the world resources or the proper safeguarding of the world's environment. But we can and will join with others in this work.

The United States can and will take the lead in such efforts.

In these endeavors we need your help, and we offer ours. We need your experience; we need your wisdom.

We need your active participation in a joint effort to move the reality of the world closer to the ideals of human freedom and dignity.

As friends, you can depend on the United States to be in the forefront of the search for world peace. You can depend on the United States to remain steadfast in its commitment to human freedom and liberty. And you can also depend on the United States to be sensitive to your own concerns and aspirations, to welcome your advice, to do its utmost to resolve international differences in a spirit of cooperation.

The problems of the world will not be easily resolved. Yet the well-being of each and every one of us--indeed our mutual survival--depends on their resolution. As President of the United States I can assure you that we intend to do our part. I ask you to join us in a common effort based on mutual trust and mutual respect.

Thank you.

Note: The President's remarks were videotaped by the United States Information Agency for broadcast to 26 nations on January 20.

Jimmy Carter, United States Foreign Policy Remarks to People of Other Nations on Assuming Office. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242950

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