Am 6. Januar 1941 hielt Franklin Delano Roosevelt vor dem 77. Congress der USA eine Rede, in der er die vier essentiellen Freiheitsrechte der Menschen aufzählte:
“In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression –everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way– everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants –everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor –anywhere in the world.”