Chapter Eighteen - The United Nations
THE GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC was admitted to the United Nations on the 18th September 1973. In a joint statement issued by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and by the Council of Ministers of the German Democratic Republic, to mark this event, the following pledge was given:
"The German Democratic Republic, which has strictly abided by the principles of the United Nations Charter and applied them in its foreign policy since it came into existence, will continue, as a member of the United Nations, to be conscientious in honouring its obligations and working actively for the attainment of the lofty aims of world organisation, for the safeguarding of peace and international security. It is willing to co-operate constructively with all member states of the United Nations to this end."
During its membership of the United Nations, the GDR has consistently supported all proposals for the renunciation of the use of force, arms limitation and disarmament. The GDR has been a co-sponsor of resolutions denouncing colonialism, neo-colonialism and racism. In May 1974, it hosted a meeting of the United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid which gave impetus to the world-wide struggle against racism.
The GDR has always pressed, in the United Nations General Assembly, for the dismantling of imperialist military bases, underlined the need for a political solution to the Middle East problem and supported full sovereignty and equal rights for the developing nations of the world.
Bodies of which the GDR is a member include the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Or- ganisation (UNESCO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Universal Postal Union (UFU), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA).
The admission of the GDR to the United Nations was primarily due to the persistent efforts made by the Soviet Union and by the unstinting support of the other socialist countries, and of progressive forces all over the world. On the 7th October 1975, a new Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance was concluded between the USSR and the GDR. This was based on aims shared by both countries in the construction of socialism and communism, on their common political and socio-economic foundations, and on an identical world outlook based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism.
In December 1976, Dr. Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said in an interview:
"The German Democratic Republic has played a positive and constructive role ever since it entered the United Nations. This is especially true of efforts towards disarmament and also of other aspects of our activities. I should like to place on record my gratitude for the positive and active role of your country."