The United Nations Declaration
On New Year’s Day 1942, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, Maxim Litvinov, of the USSR,
and T. V. Soong, of China, signed a short document which later came to be known as the United Nations
Declaration and the next day the representatives of twenty-two other nations added their signatures.
This important document pledged the signatory governments to the maximum war effort and bound them
against making a separate peace.
The complete alliance thus effected was in the light of the principles of the Atlantic Charter, and the first clause of the United Nations Declaration reads that the signatory nations had “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 the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dated August 14, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter.”
Three years later, when preparations were being made for the San Francisco Conference, only those states which had, by March 1945, declared war on Germany and Japan and subscribed to the United Nations Declaration, were invited to take part.
The original twenty-six signatories were:
- The United States of America
- The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- New Zealand
- Union of South Africa
Subsequent adherents to the Declaration were (in order of signature):
- Saudi Arabia