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cance of which gives every promise of becoming more apparent in the year ahead.

Important steps have been taken by the United Nations during the past year toward economic reconstruction and toward establishing the necessary basis for an expanding peace-time trade and employment.

A draft Trade Charter establishing principles and practices aimed at increasing the volume of world trade and employment by reducing or eliminating artificial trade barriers and restrictions has been proposed by the United States and is now being developed by a Preparatory Committee of 18 nations. One of the primary United Nations' tasks of the year ahead is the adoption of such a Charter and the creation of an International Trade Organization to carry it out.

The General Assembly has unanimously asked the Economic and Social Council to act on recommendations for the reconstruction and integration of the European economy and establishment of an Economic Commission for Europe. This Commission would unite all the interested countries, including the Soviet Union on the East and the United States on the West, in a common program. Steps toward economic reconstruction and development in the Far East will also be undertaken by the Economic and Social Council this year.

Progress has also been made by the Economic and Social Council and the specialized agencies during the past year in many other respects. It is not too much to say that the establishment and maintenance of lasting peace will depend in large part upon the ability of the United Nations to carry through to a successful conclusion the work it has begun toward world economic recovery and cooperation.

The promotion and protection of basic human rights for all peoples is a fundamental purpose of the United Nations. Active support for the wider realization of these rights and freedoms has been and should continue to be a primary objective of United States policy in the United Nations.

During the past year our representatives in the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council took the initiative in writing a charter for the International Refugee Organization under which the right to freedom and another chance for a decent life of a million victims of war and racial, political, or religious oppression would be preserved. I shall recommend to the Congress prompt acceptance of the constitution of the IRO and appropriation of our share of the expenses of its program.

The United States believes that freedom of information must be realized on a far wider basis than exists in the world today if the United Nations is to succeed. We have strongly supported the

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policy of public debate of all issues in the United Nations because this promotes public knowledge and understanding and gives the peoples of the world a more direct opportunity to influence the results. We have also asked for action to break down the barriers to a wider, freer flow of information in the world. Preparations are now going forward for a world conference on freedom of information before the end of this year as one step in this direction.

The provisions of the Charter relating to dependent peoples offer to those hundreds of millions who do not yet govern themselves their best hope for attainment of this and other basic human rights and freedoms. The United States Representatives took a leading part in the General Assembly in bringing about the establishment of the Trusteeship System in the face of sharp disagreements and other major difficulties that might have caused indefinite delay. The United States will support further steps during the coming year toward strengthening the Trusteeship System.

America has long been a symbol of freedom and democratic progress to peoples less favored than we have been. We must maintain their belief in us by our policies and our acts.

One of the important long-range achievements of the General Assembly's First Session was the adoption of resolutions introduced by the United States on the codification and development of international law.

The General Assembly unanimously directed its committee on codification to give first attention to the charter and the decision of the Nuremberg Tribunal, under which aggressive war is a crime against humanity for which individuals as well as states must be punished. The Assembly also agreed that genocide—the deliberate policy of extermination of a race or class or any other human groupwas a crime under international law. These developments toward the application of international law to individuals as well as to states are of profound significance to the state. We cannot have lasting peace unless a genuine rule of world law is established and enforced.

The justifiable hope and confidence to which the great progress of the United Nations in the past year has given rise can be betrayed and lost. The difficulties and dangers that lie before us are many and serious. They are strewn across the road that leads to the final peace settlements, to the establishment and maintenance of collective security, to the control of atomic energy and regulation and reduction of other arms, to the attainment of economic recovery and an expanding world economy, and to the wider realization of human rights.

Our policy of supporting the United Nations with all the resources that we possess” must be given effective practical application on a genuinely national, bipartisan basis in every activity of the United Nations. This is just as necessary in the economic and social field as it is in the political field. We must pursue without hesitation bipartisan policies of economic cooperation with the rest of the world in such matters as economic reconstruction and development and the expansion of world trade and employment. Because of the interdependence of the economy of nations, it will also be vital to world recovery as well as to our own prosperity that we maintain at home a stable economy of high employment.

The responsibility of the United States is a particularly heavy one because of the power and influence that our history and our material resources have placed in our hands. No nation has a higher stake in the outcome than our own.

HARRY S. TRUMAN THE WHITE HOUSE

February 5, 1947

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