1942: Declaration of The United Nations

Representatives of 26 countries fighting the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis, decide to affirm their support by Signing the Declaration of the United Nations. This important document pledged the signatory governments to the maximum war effort and bound them against making a separate peace.

UN Photo/Historical Photo
Declaration by the United Nations pledging "to employ its full resources, military or economic" in "the struggle for victory over Hitlerism".

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. 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.

United Nations Declaration

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.

Original UN Declaration Signatories

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, China, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakiam, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, Union of South Africa, Yugoslavia

Subsequent Signatories

Subsequent adherents to the Declaration were (in order of signature): Mexico, Philippines, Ethiopia, Iraq, Brazil, Bolivia, Iran, Colombia, Liberia, France, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, Uruguay, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon.

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