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Wartime poster for the United Nations, created in 1943 by the U.S. Office of War Information.

The Declaration by United Nations was a World War II document agreed to on January 1, 1942 during the Arcadia Conference by 26 governments: the Allied "Big Four" (the USA, the UK, the USSR, and China), nine American allies in Central America and the Caribbean, the four British Dominions, British India, and eight Allied governments-in-exile, for a total of twenty-six nations.

During December 1941, Roosevelt devised the name "United Nations" for the Allies of World War II, and the Declaration by United Nations, on 1 January 1942, was the basis of the modern UN.[1] The term United Nations became synonymous during the war with the Allies and was considered to be the formal name that they were fighting under.[citation needed] The text of the declaration affirmed the signatories' perspective "that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world." The principle of "complete victory" established an early precedent for the Allied policy of obtaining the Axis' powers' "unconditional surrender." The defeat of "Hitlerism" constituted the overarching objective, and represented a common Allied perspective that the totalitarian militarist regimes ruling Germany, Italy, and Japan were indistinguishable.[2]The historian Thomas A. Bailey asserts that the declaration, furthermore, "upheld the Wilsonian principles of self determination," thus linking U.S. war aims in both world wars.[3]

By the end of the war, a number of other states had acceded to the declaration, including the Philippines, France, every Latin American state besides Argentina, and the various independent states of the Middle East and Africa. Although most of the minor Axis powers had switched sides and joined the United Nations as co-belligerents against Germany by the end of the war, they were not allowed to accede to the declaration.

The original signatories were
Big Four United States  • United Kingdom • Soviet Union • China 
British Commonwealth Australia • Canada • India • New Zealand • South Africa
Other powers Costa Rica • Cuba • Dominican Republic • El Salvador • Guatemala • Haiti • Honduras • Nicaragua • Panama
In exile Belgium • Czechoslovakia • Greece • Luxembourg • Netherlands • Norway • Poland • Yugoslavia
Later signatories were
1942 Mexico • Philippine Commonwealth • Ethiopia
1943 Iraq • Brazil • Bolivia • Iran • Colombia
1944 Liberia • France
1945 Ecuador • Peru • Chile • Paraguay • Venezuela • Uruguay • Turkey • Egypt • Saudi Arabia • Lebanon • Syria

The parties pledged to uphold the Atlantic Charter, to employ all their resources in the war against the Axis powers, and that none of the signatory nations would seek to negotiate a separate peace with Nazi Germany or Japan in the same manner that the nations of the Triple Entente had agreed not to negotiate a separate peace with any or all of the Central Powers in World War I under the Unity Pact.

See also


  1. ^ Hoopes, Townsend, and Douglas Brinkley. FDR and the Creation of the U.N. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997. ISBN 9780300069303.
  2. ^ Bevans, Charles I. Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949. Volume 3. Mulitlateral, 1931-1945. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1969, p. 697.
  3. ^ Bailey, Thomas A. The Marshall Plan Summer: An Eyewitness Report on Europe and the Russians in 1947. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1977, p. 227.




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