MAY 26, 1950
BOSTON, Thursday—Wednesday I spent in Washington attending a meeting of the United Nations Day Committee. The Secretary of State has asked me to accept the chairmanship for that day. I hope it can be a day of very wide celebration throughout this country, since it is through the work of the United Nations that we hope to maintain peace.
The committee met. I also saw the press. In the evening I attended a dinner for those of us who are forming committees and seeking to obtain cooperation throughout our nation. I, myself, can do very little work but I am greatly encouraged by the interest and enthusiasm shown throughout the country, and that we have already started to organize these committees.
The United Nations Association will carry on programs lasting over a longer period than usual. It is not possible, in one day, to acquaint people with the variety of work that is now undertaken through the various organs of the United Nations. This particular day can, however, bring together and emphasize the fact that people are jointly supporting these programs—programs which touch almost every phase of our national life, and probably the national life of every other country in the world. We look forward to the day when every nation will join the United Nations, but even before that day of universal membership, the programs carried out will affect the well-being of all peoples.
I also reported to the State Department on the Human Rights Commission. Representatives of non-governmental organizations are discontented that this first Covenant does not refer to all the rights and freedoms mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Personally, I feel that it is as well for the first Covenant to cover only a limited number of these rights. Wide ratification is needed to make any right legally effective, and this has to be achieved step by step.
As far as our own country is concerned I'm sure that there is nothing in this first Covenant which is not entirely constitutional and which our representatives in Congress need hesitate to accept. This is based, of course, on the fact that a Federal-State clause will, I hope, be included in the Covenant by the time it has passed the General Assembly of the United Nations. This article and the colonial article were inavoidably postponed, so they were passed to the Economic and Social Council for action.