“We seek peace—enduring peace. More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars—yes, an end to this brutal, inhumane, and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments.” “Today we are faced with the preeminent fact that, if civilisation is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships—the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together, in the same world, at peace.” American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Undelivered Address 13 April, 1945
In response to the geopolitical situation in Europe in 1941, American president Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met in August in Newfoundland (now part of Canada), and in drafting the Atlantic Charter, they set out a vision for a post WWII world, even though the United States had not entered the war at the time. Roosevelt truly believed in the possibility of a world governed by democratic processes, with an international organization serving as an arbiter of disputes and protector of the peace. The Atlantic Charter was the second attempt by the Allied Nations to draft an agreement to promote international cooperation for peace and security, after the Inter-Allied Declaration of June 1941.
Between 1941 and 1945, at a series of international meetings attended by a growing number of Allied Nations—in Teheran, Moscow, Bretton Woods, Dumbarton Oaks and Yalta , the principles of peace, security, international justice, self-determination and human rights were discussed, refined and developed; hereby laying the ground for – as the Atlantic Charter puts it, “the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security”: the United Nations.