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Honoring Our Presidents’ Words

In remembrance of President’s Day on Monday (Feb 20), let’s see what our past and present president(s) have to say about the United States. Below are the words of 12 twelve extremely influential men, 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans all agreed of the significant role the UN continues to play within the government.  (Special thanks to UNA-OKC for compiling this list!)
“I can assure you that the Government and the people of the United States are deeply proud and grateful that the United Nations has chosen our country for its headquarters. We will extend the fullest measure of cooperation in making a home for the United Nations in this country. The American people welcome the delegates and the Secretariat of the United Nations as good neighbors and warm friends….

“The overwhelming majority of the American people, regardless of party, support the United Nations. They are resolved that the United States, to the full limit of its strength, shall contribute to the establishment and maintenance of a just and lasting peace among the nations of the world.”

–Harry S Truman

October 23, 1946

“Never before in history has so much hope for so many people been gathered together in a single organization…. But the great tests and the great accomplishments still lie ahead. And in the confident expectation of those accomplishments, I would use the office which, for the time being, I hold, to assure you that the Government of the United States will remain steadfast in its support of this body. This we shall do in the conviction that you will provide a great share of the wisdom, of the courage and of the faith which can bring to this world lasting peace for all nations, and happiness and well-being for all men.”

–Dwight D. Eisenhower

December 8, 1953


“Disarmament without checks is but a shadow, and a community without law is but a shell. Already the United Nations has become both the measure and the vehicle of man’s most generous impulses. Already it has provided… a means of holding man’s violence within bounds.”

–John F. Kennedy

September 25, 1961



“We are more than ever opposed to the doctrines of hate and violence, in our own land and around the world. We are more than ever committed to the rule of law, in our own land and around the world. We believe more than ever in the rights of man, all men of every color, in our own land and around the world. And more than ever we support the United Nations as the best instrument yet devised to promote the peace of the world and to promote the well-being of mankind….

“The United States wants to cooperate with all the members of this Organization to conquer everywhere the ancient enemies of mankind — hunger, and disease and ignorance….”

–Lyndon B. Johnson

December 17, 1963


“The changes in the world since World War II have made more compelling than ever the central idea behind the United Nations: that individual nations must be ready at last to take a farsighted and a generous view. The profoundest national interest of our time –for every nation — is not immediate gain, but the preservation of peace.”

–Richard M. Nixon

October 23, 1970


“There is no limit… to our determination to act in concert with other nations to fulfill the vision of the United Nations Charter, to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, and to promote social progress and better standards, better standards of life in a larger freedom.”

–Gerald R. Ford

September 18, 1974



“The United States is committed to the peaceful settlement of differences. We are committed to the strengthening of the peacemaking capabilities of the United Nations….”

–Jimmy Carter

October 4, 1977




“The United Nations is dedicated to world peace, and its charter clearly prohibits the international use of force. Yet the tide of belligerence continues to rise…. We must not only condemn aggression; we must enforce the dictates of our charter and resume the struggle for peace….

“I have come to this hall to call for international recommitment to the basic tenet of the

United Nations Charter — that all members practice tolerance and live together in peace as good neighbors under the rule of law, forsaking armed force as a means of settling disputes between nations….

“We, who have signed the U.N. Charter, have pledged to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territory or independence of any state. In these times when more and more lawless acts are going unpunished — as some members of this very body show a growing disregard for the U.N. Charter — the peace-loving nations of the world must condemn aggression and pledge again to act in a way that is worthy of the ideals that we have endorsed. Let us finally make the charter live.”

–Ronald Reagan

June 17, 1982


“The United States is committed to playing its part, helping to maintain global security, promoting democracy and prosperity. And my administration is fully committed to supporting the United Nations and to paying what we are obliged to pay by our commitment to the Charter. International peace and security, and international freedom and prosperity, require no less.”

–George H.W. Bush

October 1, 1990


“Fifty years ago, as the conference that gave birth to the United Nations got underway in San Francisco, a young American war hero recorded his impressions of that event for a newspaper. ‘The average G.I. in the street doesn’t seem to have a very clear-cut conception of what this meeting’s about,’wrote the young John F. Kennedy. But one bemedaled Marine sergeant gave the general reaction when he said, ‘I don’t know much about what’s going on, but if they just fix it so we don’t have to fight anymore, they can count me in.’

“Well, the United Nations has not ended war, but it has made it less likely, and helped many nations to turn from war to peace. The United Nations has not stopped human suffering, but it has healed the wounds and lengthened the lives of millions of human beings. The United Nations has not banished repression or poverty from the Earth, but it has advanced the cause of freedom and prosperity on every continent. The United Nations has not been all that we wished it would be, but it has been a force for good and a bulwark against evil.

“So at the dawn of a new century so full of promise, yet plagued by peril, we still need the United Nations. And so, for another 50 years and beyond, you can count the United States in.”

–Bill Clinton

October 22, 1995


“Every civilized nation here today is resolved to keep the most basic commitment of civilization. We will defend ourselves and our future against terror and lawless violence. The United Nations was founded in this cause.”

–George W. Bush

November 10, 2001

“The American people respect the idealism that gave life to this organization.

And we respect the men and women of the U.N., who stand for peace and human rights in every part of the world….

“History will honor the high ideals of this organization. The Charter states them with clarity: to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, to promote social progress and better standards of life and larger freedom. Let history also record that our generation of leaders followed through on these ideals, even in adversity. Let history show that in a decisive decade, members of the United Nations did not grow weary in our duties or waver in meeting them.”

–George W. Bush

September 21, 2004


“In the 21st century, the world needs a confident and effective United Nations….  With determination and clear purpose, the United Nations can be a powerful force for good as we head into the 21st century. It can affirm the great promise of its founding.”

–George W. Bush

September 22, 2008


“The United Nations was built by men and women… from every corner of the world — from Africa and Asia, from Europe to the Americas.  These architects of international cooperation had an idealism that was anything but naïve — it was rooted in the hard-earned lessons of war; rooted in the wisdom that nations could advance their interests by acting together instead of splitting apart.

“Now it falls to us — for this institution will be what we make of it. The United Nations does extraordinary good around the world — feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, mending places that have been broken.  But it also struggles to enforce its will, and to live up to the ideals of its founding.

“I believe that those imperfections are not a reason to walk away from this institution — they are a calling to redouble our efforts.

“…We call on all nations to join us in building the future that our people so richly deserve.”

–Barack Obama

September 23, 2009


“…This future will not be easy to reach. It will not come without setbacks, nor will it be quickly claimed. But the founding of the United Nations itself is a testament to human progress. In times that were far more trying than our own, our predecessors chose the hope of unity over the ease of division, and made a promise to future generations that the dignity and equality of human beings would be our common cause.

“It falls to us to fulfill that promise. And though we will be met by dark forces that will test our resolve, Americans have always had cause to believe that we can choose a better history. In fact, we need only look outside the walls around us. For through the citizens of every conceivable ancestry who make this city their own, we see living proof that opportunity can be accessed by all; that what unites us as human beings is far greater than what divides us; and that people from every part of this world can live together in peace.”

–Barack Obama

September 23, 2010


It’s clear that the UN is an important and necessary tool for global diplomacy and peace!  You can honor the words and belief of all the past (and current) Presidents above by taking action today!  Let our current President and Congress know that the UN matters to you too!

Here’s how to help:
By scheduling face-to-face meetings with your members of Congress to discuss the importance of full funding to the UN. These in-person meetings will be the most effective form of citizen advocacy and we have everything from resources, talking points, and meeting materials you possibly could need right here!

Interested in learning more about UNA-GB’s Advocacy Committee? Read our blog post here and contact us at for more information on how to get involved!

 UNA-GB’s Advocacy Committee is specifically looking for volunteers who are interested in becoming District Chairs, or liaisons for UNA-GB’s members and friends in each district in Massachusetts with their local representatives! For more information, email us at

Join Truman, Kennedy, Nixon, Clinton and the rest of the 12 above in taking a stand and supporting the UN today!

-Alyson R.