Proclamation 5884 -- United Nations Day, 1988


October 19, 1988


By the President of the United States of America


A Proclamation


In 1945, the United Nations was founded to provide a framework for international cooperation. The U.N. Charter expressed the ideal that all member states would work together to maintain international peace and security, foster respect for human rights, and promote economic and social progress. Three years later, the U.N. adopted the Universal Charter of Human Rights; and it is most fitting that on United Nations Day, 1988, we should commemorate the 40th anniversary of that document, whose preamble reminds us so eloquently that ``recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.''


As we examine the international situation today, we find a world with greater prospects for freedom, justice, and peace than even a year ago. Share in the credit surely goes to the United Nations for its work as a facilitator in resolving regional conflicts.


We can all be grateful for the progress being made on U.N. reform. A more efficient and streamlined organization can better focus on the real problems that shatter the peace and cause human suffering in too many regions. We can be grateful as well for the service and sacrifices of the members of the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces, and we join in saluting them on their new and well-deserved honor, the Nobel Peace Prize.


Tribute is also in order to the life-saving mission of the World Health Organization (WHO), which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. In the past 4 decades, the WHO has led the fight to eradicate smallpox, fostered vital work toward a vaccine against malaria, and worked to reduce the tragedy of preventable childhood deaths through universal immunization, oral rehydration therapy, and other activities. The WHO is now battling the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) around the globe. In these ways, the WHO exemplifies the finest traditions of United Nations specialized agencies. Despite differences in language, training, cultural background, and politics, people from many nations are cooperating to bring the blessings of health and safety to everyone -- proof of the difference the U.N. can make for all.


The many other technical and specialized agencies of the United Nations achieve much as well. The International Labor Organization, the U.N. Industrial Development Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Food and Agriculture Organization are some of the agencies that seek to serve humanity's needs.


These accomplishments remind us on United Nations Day and throughout the year to reflect with appreciation on the purpose and promise of the ideals upon which the U.N. was founded.


Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Monday, October 24, 1988, as United Nations Day. I urge all Americans to acquaint themselves with the activities and accomplishments of the United Nations. I have appointed Stanley C. Pace to serve as United States National Chairman for the 1988 United Nations Day, and I welcome the role of the United Nations Association of the United States of America in working with him to celebrate this special day.


In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.


Ronald Reagan


[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:35 a.m., October 20, 1988]


Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 20.