Yalta Conference

Prime Minister Churchill, President Roosevelt, and Marshal Stalin met at Yalta in the Crimea. In discussions regarding the future of the United Nations, all parties agreed to an American plan concerning voting procedures in the Security Council, which had been expanded to five permanent members following the inclusion of France. Each of these permanent members was to hold a veto on decisions before the Security Council.  A report was issued after the conference

Dumbarton Oaks

The first concrete step toward the creation of a general international organization was taken in the late summer of 1944, when the Dumbarton Oaks Conversations took place. The first phase of the conversations was between the representatives of the U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom, and the United States from August 21 to September 28. The second phase between the representatives of China, the United Kingdom, and the United States took place from September 29 to October 7. As a result of these conversations, the four powers reached a number of agreements which were embodied in the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals.

Further Reading: Robert C. Hildebrand, Dumbarton Oaks: The Origins of the United Nations and the Search for Postwar Security (1990)

Conferences on Economic and Social Matters

Before the establishment of a general international organization, as contemplated in the Moscow Declaration, a number of United Nations conferences were held to discuss certain special issues. These conferences led to the establishment of a number of specialized agencies.

Moscow Declaration on General Security

The Declaration of Four Nations on General Security, signed by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China, contemplated the establishment of a general international organization, based upon the principle of sovereign equality of all peace-loving States and open to membership by such States, large and small, for the maintenance of international peace and security.  This was one of four declarations signed at the Conference of Foreign Secretaries which took place in Moscow from October 19-30, 1943.  The first of the four declarations – The Declaration of Four Nations on General Security – is Annex 1 of the Secret Protocol of the meeting.  The fourth declaration – The Declaration of German Atrocities – signed by Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Stalin, is Annex 10 of the Secret Protocol.

Atlantic Charter and Declaration by United Nations

President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, meeting on a ship off the coast of Newfoundland on 14 Aug 1941, signed what has become known as the Atlantic Charter, setting forth a vision of the post-WWII world after defeat of the Nazis.  This program of purposes and principles formed the basis of the subsequent Declaration by United Nations, signed on 1 Jan 1942, by the representatives of 26 countries.  The latter document made the first use of the term “United Nations”, a term suggested by Roosevelt.


Atlantic Charter — English    French         Declaration by United Nations