The following statement was issued at the
White House, 20 June 1972:
"I have just received a report on
the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment concluded last
Friday at Stockholm from Chairman Train who headed the large and
distinguished U.S. delegation.
"The United States has worked long and
hard over the past 18 months to help make the Conference a success.
Representatives of 113 nations met together for 2 weeks to produce an
impressive number of agreements on environmental principles and
recommendations for further national and international action in this
"The United States achieved practically
all of its objectives at Stockholm.
(1) The Conference approved
establishment of a new United Nations unit to provide continued leadership
and coordination of environmental action, an important step which had our
(2) The Conference approved
forming a $100 million United Nations
environmental fund which I personally proposed last February.
The Conference overwhelmingly approved the U.S. proposal for a moratorium
on commercial killing of whales.
The conference endorsed our proposal for an international convention to
regulate ocean dumping.
The Conference endorsed the U.S. proposal for the establishment of a World
Heritage Trust to help preserve wilderness areas and other scenic natural
even more than in the specific agreements reached, I believe that the
deepest significance of the Conference lies in the fact that for the first
time in history, the nations of the world sat down together to seek better
understanding of each other's environmental problems and to explore
opportunities for positive action, individually and collectively.
concern of the United States over the fate of our environment has also
been demonstrated in our direct dealings with individual nations.
The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement which I signed in Ottawa this
April with Prime Minister Trudeau was evidence of the high priority this
Administration places on protecting the environment. The
Environmental Agreement which I signed in Moscow on May 23 is proof of the
desire of our Nation to work together with the others on the common tasks
"I am proud
that the United States is taking a leading role in international
environmental cooperation, and I congratulate our U.S. delegation on its
success at Stockholm. The governments and people of the world must
now work together to make the objectives of the Stockholm Conference a
-Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)
37th President of the United States of America
The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held 5-16
1972, in Stockholm, Sweden. This meeting was the first major
international gathering of nations to address the world's environmental
problems. The American government of that time, led by
Richard Nixon, acknowledged the existence of environmental problems
and took a leading role in cooperating with other
nations to solve these problems.
Photograph: "Stealing" a traffic
sign at dawn in Stockholm. Photo by Johanna Snickars (Sweden).