SOAS University of London

The UN at War: FDR'S Global UN Day 1942

11 June 2010

The SOAS Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy is joining with the United Nations Association UK (Westminster) to commemorate the first ever "United Nations Day" of 1942. 

The assumption that the United Nations was established at the end of the World War II is wrong. Its formal birth was the adoption in Washington D.C. on 1 January, 1942 of the Declaration by United Nations. From that day, twenty-six nations committed themselves to victory in war and cooperation in the ensuing peace. Recent research has uncovered thousands of wartime references to the UN , from official surrender documents to Dimitri Shostakovich's United Nations March used in the 1943 Gene Kelly movie When Thousands Cheer. As the war was being fought, plans for a new world were being hammered out, transforming the United Nations from a war-fighting machine to a platform for peace.

Dr Dan Plesch will speak in the House of Lords (room 4A) at 6.30pm on 30 June 2010 with respondents Professor Chris Bellamy (Cranfield University) and Paul Lay (editor of History Today). His article 'The Free World's Great Parade' is published in the June issue of History Today and his book America, Hitler and the UN will be published in November 2010 by IB Tauris. Dan Plesch is Director of the Centre for International Studies & Diplomacy at SOAS. He is the leading authority on the UN's earliest years.

'Dan Plesch's book is the most original and ground breaking reappraisal of the conduct of the Second World War in  65 years. His thesis that the 'United Nations' (which included Soviet Russia) won the war against Nazi Germany, and that subsequent Cold War politics obscured this truth, is meticulously documented and supported. This is a 'must read' for every student of modern and contemporary history, international politics and international relations, and modern international policy makers. An outstanding correction to history which has been manipulated over two - close to three - generations. And let no US politician ever again slag off the United Nations. Dan Plesch proves that the US created the United Nations, and that Alliance, primarily created by the brilliant vision of Franklyn Roosevelt,  won the war.'

Professor Chris Bellamy, Defence and Security Institute, Cranfield University 

To guarantee your seat at the event, please e-mail your request to Remember to allow time to negotiate the rigorous security procedures upon entry to the Houses of Parliament.

For further information, contact:

Dr Dan Plesch,