Declaration by United Nations

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Declaration by United Nations
"The United Nations Fight for Freedom" — Office of War Information poster, 1943
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese聯合國共同宣言
Simplified Chinese联合国共同宣言
Russian name
RussianДекларация Объединённых Наций
RomanizationDeklaratsiya Ob"yedinonnykh Natsiy

The Declaration by United Nations was the main treaty that formalized the Allies of World War II and was signed by 47 national governments between 1942 and 1945. On 1 January 1942, during the Arcadia Conference, the Allied "Big Four"—the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China—signed a short document which later came to be known as the United Nations Declaration, and the next day the representatives of 22 other nations added their signatures.

The other original signatories on the next day (2 January 1942) were the four dominions of the British Commonwealth (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa); eight European governments-in-exile (Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Yugoslavia); nine countries in the Americas (Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama); and one non-independent government, the British-appointed Government of India.

The Declaration by United Nations became the basis of the United Nations (UN), which was formalized in the UN Charter, signed by 50 countries on 26 June 1945.

Background[edit]

The Allies of World War II first expressed their principles and vision for the post-World War II world in the Declaration of St. James's Palace agreed at the First Inter-Allied Conference in June 1941.[1][2] The Anglo-Soviet Agreement was signed in July 1941 forming a military alliance between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.[3][4] The two main principles of these agreements, a commitment to the war and renunciation of a separate peace, formed the basis for the later Declaration by United Nations.[5]

The Atlantic Charter was agreed a month later between Britain and the United States, to which the other Allies, now including the Soviet Union, agreed to adhere at the Second Inter-Allied Conference in September.[6][7]

Drafting[edit]

Representatives of 26 Allied nations fighting against the Axis Powers met in Washington, D.C., to pledge their support for the Atlantic Charter by signing the Declaration by United Nations on January 1, 1942. The document contained the first official use of the term "United Nations", which was suggested by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (seated, second from left).

The Declaration by United Nations was drafted during the Arcadia Conference at the White House on December 29, 1941, by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Roosevelt's aide Harry Hopkins. It incorporated Soviet suggestions but left no role for France.

Roosevelt coined the term "United Nations" to describe the Allied countries and suggested it as an alternative to the name "Associated Powers" (the U.S. was never formally a member of the Allies of World War I but entered the war in 1917 as a self-styled "Associated Power"). Churchill accepted it and noted that the phrase was used by Lord Byron in the poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (Stanza 35).[8][9][10]

The parties pledged to uphold the Atlantic Charter, to employ all their resources in the war against the Axis powers, and that none of the signatory nations would seek to negotiate a separate peace with Germany or Japan in the same manner that the nations of the Triple Entente had agreed not to negotiate a separate peace with any or all of the Central Powers in World War I.

One major change from the Atlantic Charter was the addition of a provision for religious freedom, which Stalin approved after Roosevelt insisted.[11][12]

The text of the declaration affirmed the signatories' perspective "that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world". The principle of "complete victory" established an early precedent for the Allied policy of obtaining the Axis' powers' "unconditional surrender". The defeat of "Hitlerism" constituted the overarching objective, and represented a common Allied perspective that the totalitarian militarist regimes ruling Germany, Italy, and Japan were indistinguishable.[13]

The declaration, furthermore, was consistent with the Wilsonian principles of self determination, thus linking U.S. war aims in both world wars.[14]

Adoption[edit]

The Declaration was officially signed on 1 January 1942 by the Big Four —the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China—followed the next day by representatives of 22 other governments. The term "United Nations" became synonymous during the war with the Allies and was considered to be the formal name that they were fighting under.[15][16][17]

The Declaration by United Nations became the basis of the modern United Nations.[18] By the end of the war, 21 other states had acceded to the declaration, including the Philippines (a non-independent, US commonwealth at the time), France, every Latin American state except Argentina,[19] and the various independent states of the Middle East and Africa. Although most of the minor Axis powers had switched sides and joined the United Nations as co-belligerents against Germany by the end of the war, they were not allowed to accede to the declaration. Occupied Denmark did not sign the declaration, but because of the vigorous resistance after 1943, and because the Danish ambassador Henrik Kauffmann had expressed the adherence to the declaration of all free Danes, Denmark was nonetheless invited among the allies in the San Francisco Conference in March 1945.[5][20]

Text[edit]

Declaration by United Nations

A JOINT DECLARATION BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND, THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS, CHINA, AUSTRALIA, BELGIUM, CANADA, COSTA RICA, CUBA, CZECHOSLOVAKIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EL SALVADOR, GREECE, GUATEMALA, HAITI, HONDURAS, INDIA, LUXEMBOURG, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NORWAY, PANAMA, POLAND, SOUTH AFRICA, YUGOSLAVIA

The Governments signatory hereto,

Having subscribed to a common program of purposes and principles embodied in the Joint Declaration of the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of Great Britain dated August 14, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter,

Being convinced that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world,

Declare:

(1) Each Government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherents with which such government is at war.

(2) Each Government pledges itself to cooperate with the Governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.

The foregoing declaration may be adhered to by other nations which are, or which may be, rendering material assistance and contributions in the struggle for victory over Hitlerism.[21]

Signatories[edit]

Wartime poster for the United Nations, created by the US Office of War Information.
Wartime poster for the Allies of World War II, created in 1942 by the US Office of War Information, showing the 26 members of the alliance.
Original signatories[22]
Big Four[17][23]
Dominions of the British Commonwealth
Independent countries in the Americas
European governments-in-exile
Non-independent subjects of the British Empire India
Later signatories[22]
1942
1943
1944
1945

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "1941: The Declaration of St. James' Palace". United Nations. 2015-08-25. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  2. ^ Lauren, Paul Gordon (2011). The Evolution of International Human Rights: Visions Seen. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 140–41. ISBN 978-0-8122-2138-1.
  3. ^ Weinberg, Gerhard L. (2005). A World at Arms, a global history of World War II (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 284–5. ISBN 9780521853163.
  4. ^ Woodward, Llewellyn (1962). British Foreign Policy in the Second World War. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. pp. 162–3.
  5. ^ a b United Nations Department of Public Information (1986). Everyone's United Nations. Vol. 10. p. 7. ISBN 9789211002737 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "The Inter-Allied Council Meeting in London." Bulletin of International News 18, no. 20 (1941): 1275-280. Accessed April 5, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/25643120.
  7. ^ "Inter-Allied Council Statement on the Principles of the Atlantic Charter : September 24, 1941". Avalon Project. Yale Law School. 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  8. ^ The name "United Nations" for the World War II allies was suggested by President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States as an alternative to the name "Associated Powers". British Prime Minister Winston Churchill accepted it, noting that the phrase was used by Lord Byron in the poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (Stanza 35). Manchester, William; Reid, Paul (2012). The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill. Vol. 3. New York: Little Brown and Company. p. 461. ISBN 978-0-316-54770-3.
  9. ^ "United Nations". Wordorigins.org. 3 February 2007. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  10. ^ Ward, Geoffrey C.; Burns, Ken (2014). "Nothing to Conceal". The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 397. ISBN 978-0385353069.
  11. ^ David Roll, The Hopkins Touch: Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance to Defeat Hitler (2013) pp 172–175
  12. ^ Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, An Intimate History (1948) pp 447–453
  13. ^ Bevans, Charles I. Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776–1949. Volume 3. "Multilateral, 1931–1945". Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1969, p. 697.
  14. ^ Thomas A. Bailey The Marshall Plan Summer: An Eyewitness Report on Europe and the Russians in 1947. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1977, p. 227.
  15. ^ "1942: The Declaration by United Nations". United Nations. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  16. ^ Ma, Xiaohua (2003). "The Sino-American alliance during World War II and the lifting of the Chinese exclusion acts". American Studies International. New York: Routledge. 38 (2): 203–204. ISBN 0-415-94028-1. JSTOR 41279769.
  17. ^ a b "The Moscow Declaration on general security". Yearbook of the United Nations 1946-1947. Lake Success, NY: United Nations. 1947. p. 3. OCLC 243471225. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  18. ^ Townsend Hoopes; Douglas Brinkley (1997). FDR and the Creation of the U.N. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-06930-3. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Act of Chapultepec". The Oxford Companion to World War II, I. C. B. Dear and M. R. D. Foot (2001)
  20. ^ Drakidis, Philippe (1995). The Atlantic and United Nations Charters: common law prevailing for world peace and security. Centre de recherche et d'information politique et sociale. p. 131 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ Text from "The Washington Conference 1941-1942"
  22. ^ a b "The Declaration by United Nations". Yearbook of the United Nations 1946-1947. Lake Success, NY: United Nations. 1947. pp. 1–2. OCLC 243471225. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  23. ^ Ma, Xiaohua (2003). The Sino-American alliance during World War II and the lifting of the Chinese exclusion acts. Vol. 38. New York: Routledge. pp. 203–204. ISBN 0-415-94028-1. JSTOR 41279769. {{cite book}}: |journal= ignored (help)

References[edit]