History of Human Rights 1/

Atlantic Charter

1941 – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (US), together with Prime Minister Winston Churchill (UK) adopted the Atlantic Charter on the vessel, HMS Prince of Wales. This document set the goals for the post-war world and it was the inspiration of many international agreements that followed the war. It was an affirmation

“of certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they based their hopes for a better future for the world.”

The eight principal points of the Charter were:

  1. Their countries seek no aggrandisement, territorial or other;
  2. They desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned;
  3. They respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them;
  4. They will endeavour, with due respect for their existing obligations, to further the enjoyment by all states, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic prosperity;
  5. They desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing, for all, improved labour standards, economic advancement, and social security;
  6. After the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want;
  7. Such a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance;
  8. They believe that all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons, must come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no future peace can be maintained if land, sea, or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measures which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armaments. (x)

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