Secretary-General Calls for Realization of United Nations Full Potential at 40th Anniversary Celebration

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Secretary-General calls for realization of United Nations full potential at 40th anniversary celebration

"The vision of peace shared by the signers of the Charter was based on an understanding of reality--the reality that the risk of widespread war was no longer tolerable."

During special observances in San Francisco on 26 june 1985--the 40th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter--Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar called on all Governments and peoples to affirm their determination to "build on the achievements of the United Nations and to overcome such weaknesses as has been evident", so that the Organization's full potential for the maintenance of peace would be realized.

Mr. Perez de Cuellar outlined the Organization's contributions to and successes in such fields as human rights, peace-keeping, disarmament and social justice, as well as his concern with multilateralism and an interdependent world.

His major address was at a civic luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel sponsored by the United Nations Association of San Francisco, the San Francisco Chambers of Commerce and the World Affairs Council of Northern California.

"On this 40th anniversary day", he told assembled dignitaries, "when negative perceptions of the capacity of the United Nations are too often voiced, I have given a relatively optimistic evaluation of the benefit which the United Nations has brought and can bring in the future". Much would depend, he said, on the "steadfastness" with which the vision is maintained that was defined 40 years ago in San Francisco in the United Nations Charter.

In sketching a scenario for a world without the United Nations system (see box), the Secretary-General said that today's major issues--such as terrorism, pollution, hunger and drug traffic--required co-operative global action for their resolution. "Multilateralism, as represented by the United Nations, is the necessary response to this interdependence of countries and peoples", he affirmed.

There was no doubt, according to the Secretary-General, that over the past 40 years the United Nations had validated the multilateral enterprise. But those years also bore deep scars of armed conflict and violence, economic inequity and social injustice--questions which must be resolved.

How could there be collective security, the Secretary-General wondered, with no multilateral means of enforcement? The answer, he said, lay in the establishment of a "constructive working relationship between the major Powers, who have a unique responsibility for the security of the world as a whole."

Security Council members--particularly the Soviet Union and the United States--must be motivated less by bilateral differences and more by the objective of resolving disputes for which their common support is needed. …