By the President of the United States of America
Thirty years ago in Washington on April 4, 1949 the North Atlantic Treaty was signed. From that act grew the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, an alliance welded together by a common dedication to perpetuating democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.
For three decades, NATO has successfully deterred war and maintained stability in Western Europe and North America, thus securing the well-being and prosperity of its fifteen member states: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
Though collective defense against possible aggression was the most urgent requirement at its founding, NATO has always been much more than just a military pact. The spontaneous political development of the Alliance demonstrates that true security is far more than a matter of weaponry and armed battalions. In the final analysis, true security flows from the freely-given support of the people and their willingness to participate in the defense of common ideals.
Since NATO's inception, the international situation has evolved in many respects and NATO has adapted to these changes-militarily, politically and economically. Today the Alliance remains as relevant and centrally important to our security and way of life and to the independence of the United States as it was 'in 1949. Then as now, the firm support of Congress and the American people for NATO reflects their deep conviction that NATO is the cornerstone of United States foreign policy.
As NATO moves forward into another decade of achievement, we look toward the future with confidence, aware that continuing Allied cooperation will provide the international stability and security upon which our ideals, our civilization, and our well-being depend. As NATO begins this new chapter in its distinguished history, I am proud to rededicate the United States to the NATO objectives which have served the cause of peace so well.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby direct the attention of the Nation to this thirtieth anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty; and I call upon the Governors of the States, and upon the officers of local governments, to facilitate the suitable observance of this notable event throughout this anniversary year with particular attention to April, the month which marks the historic signing ceremony.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day
of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and third.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:18 a.m., March 23, 1979]