Statement by the President Upon Signing Resolution Providing for U.S. Membership in the World Health Organization

June 14, 1948

I HAVE today signed a Joint Resolution providing for the U.S. membership and participation in the World Health Organization. I have at the same time signed the Instrument of Acceptance of the Constitution of the World Health Organization, which will immediately be sent to the United Nations for deposit.

In view of the long history of effective international cooperation in the field of health which spares us the haunting fear of devastating epidemics of cholera and plague, we can look to the World Health Organization with hope and expectation. While performing its humane service, it will at the same time contribute to general economic improvement through the progressive development of healthy, alert, productive manpower. The world economy is seriously burdened, and unnecessarily so, by malaria, tuberculosis, and other controllable diseases.

The World Health Organization can help contribute substantially to the attainment of the healthy, vigorous citizenry which the world needs so badly today and tomorrow.

I am proud to have signed this Joint Resolution which makes it possible for the United States to continue its leadership in this important work. In the technical field of health we hold today a preeminent position. We must and will give freely of our great knowledge to help liberate men everywhere from the overhanging dread of preventable disease. In doing so through the World Health Organization we once again testify to our faith in the United Nations as the great instrument for reaching those goals of common understanding and mutual helpfulness among nations which alone can lead to peace and security for all peoples.

NOTE: The joint resolution is Public Law 643, Both Congress (62 Stat. 441).