The Nature of Our Participation

We intend to view the U.N. realistically, to face clearly what it can and cannot do and to encourage its fullest employment on those problems of the world to which it can effectively contribute. It would be unrealistic to ignore the fact that the United Nations is not functioning as effectively as it might. But it would be equally unrealistic to view that situation as acceptable. For the United States has a transcendent interest in a more effective United Nations.

Success breeds success. If international cooperation succeeds in producing creative solutions to some of the world's pressing needs, the fabric of that cooperation will itself be greatly strengthened. This could have long term effects beyond the solution of individual problems. For it could bring closer that lasting and general peace which has so far eluded our grasp.

We recognize that the nature of our own participation in the United Nations and its family of organizations is a central element in their health and effectiveness. In the past, particularly in the specialized agencies, our financial contributions have been too large a part of our total contribution. We intend to participate more fully in the future. We will urge that the utility of international activities be judged by the good that comes out of them rather than the good intentions that go into them.

We look forward to the report of the President's Commission for the Observance of the Twenty fifth Anniversary of the U.N. This group of distinguished American citizens has, since last July, been studying means to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations and to improve U.S. participation therein. The fruit of their deliberations will receive the most serious study by my administration.