T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E

September 21, 1999

Help Site Map Text Only


"Let us resolve in the bright dawn of this new millennium to bring an era in which our desire to create will overwhelm our capacity to destroy. If we do that, then through the United Nations and far-sighted leaders, humanity finally can live up to its name."

President Bill Clinton
Tuesday, September 21, 1999

Today, in New York City, President Clinton addressed the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly The President spoke on the challenges facing the international community in the next century, including fighting poverty and disease, combating regional and ethnic violence, and thwarting the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The President announced a number of new and ongoing health initiatives designed to prevent diseases that disproportionately affect developing areas of the world.

Waging a War Against Poverty and Disease. President Clinton urged prosperous countries to do more to fight poverty, hunger, and health care crises by:

  • opening world markets for global competition;
  • coming to the aid of struggling countries burdened with debt;
  • taking action to halt global climate change; and
  • improving access to health care for the poor

    The President announced the following commitments in the fight against global diseases:

    • a request to Congress for a substantial increase of $108 million to fight polio;
    • a proposed $100 million in additional funds to combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic; and
    • a White House meeting with public health experts, pharmaceutical company leaders, and others to discuss ways to accelerate the development and delivery of vaccines for malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, and other diseases affecting developing nations

Combating Ethnic and Regional Violence Around the World. The President called on the UN to strengthen its role in preventing and stopping outbreaks of ethnic and regional violence, including:

  • establishing an international coalition against genocide to stop the flow of money and arms to those who commit crimes against humanity;
  • creating police institutions, accountable to citizens and the law, in countries emerging from conflict; and
  • training and rapid deployment of international peacekeeping forces

Fighting the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction. President Clinton urged the international community to combat the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Specifically, the President called for:

  • a renewed commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty;
  • a strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention;
  • more rapid progress on a treaty to ban production of fissile materials used to make nuclear weapons;
  • support for the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials; and
  • Senate advice and consent to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House
White House for Kids | White House History
White House Tours | Help | Text Only

Privacy Statement

September 1999

September 21, 1999

September 8, 1999

September 22, 1999

September 9, 1999

September 24, 1999

September 16, 1999

September 27, 1999

September 30, 1999: Public Education

September 30, 1999: Progress for Income and Poverty