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Stockholm 1972

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 important field.

"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 full support.

(2)  The Conference approved forming a $100 million United Nations environmental fund which I personally proposed last February.

(3)  The Conference overwhelmingly approved the U.S. proposal for a moratorium on commercial killing of whales.

(4)  The conference endorsed our proposal for an international convention to regulate ocean dumping.

(5)  The Conference endorsed the U.S. proposal for the establishment of a World Heritage Trust to help preserve wilderness areas and other scenic natural landmarks.

"However, 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.

"The strong 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 of peace.

"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 reality."

-Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)
37th President of the United States of America

Editor's Note

The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held  5-16 June 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).

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