Joint Meeting & Joint Session Addresses Before Congress by Foreign Leaders & Dignitaries

The purpose of a Joint Meeting has usually been for Congress to hear an address from an important figure—generally a visiting foreign leader. This practice became a standard part of foreign leaders’ state visits to the United States after 1945. In the early Congresses, a Joint Session or a House Reception was often used for the address.

There are four known instances of informal addresses by foreign leaders to the House and Senate: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine on March 16, 2022; Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom on December 26, 1941; President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica on September 22, 1987; and President José Napoleón Duarte of El Salvador on October 15, 1987.

DateAddresses by Foreign Heads-of-State and Dignitaries1
December 18, 1874Kalakaua, King of Hawaii, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 20, 1934Andre' de Laboulaye, Ambassador of France, addressed a Joint Session of Congress held to memorialize the centennial anniversary of the death of Lafayette.
December 26, 1941Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, addressed an informal meeting of Congress.
May 19, 1943Winston Churchill, Prime Minster of the United Kingdom, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
November 13, 1945Clement R. Attlee, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 1, 1947Miguel Aleman, President of Mexico, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 19, 1948Guillermo Belt, Ambassador of Cuba, addressed a Joint Session of Congress held to memorialize the 50th anniversary of Cuban independence.
May 19, 1949Gaspar Dutra, President of Brazil, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 2, 1951Vincent Auriol, President of France, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 21, 1951Galo Plaza, President of Ecuador, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 24, 1951Alcide de Gasperi, Prime Minister of Italy, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
January 17, 1952Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 3, 1952Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
January 29, 1954 Celal Bayar, President of Turkey, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 4, 1954Vincent Massey, Governor General of Canada, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 28, 1954Haile Selassie l, Emperor of Ethiopia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 28, 1954Syngman Rhee, President of South Korea, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
January 27, 1955Paul E. Magloire, President of Haiti, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 29, 1956Giovanni Gronchi, President of Italy, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 17, 1956Sukarno, President of Indonesia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 9, 1957Ngo Dinh Diem, President of Vietnam, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 5, 1958 Theodor Heuss, President of West Germany, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 18, 1958Carlos F. Garcia, President of the Philippines, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
January 21, 1959Arturo Frondizi, President of Argentina, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 11, 1959Jose Maria Lemus, President of El Salvador, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 18, 1959Sean T. O'Kelly, President of Ireland, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 12, 1959Baudouin, King of the Belgians, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 6, 1960Alberto Lleras-Camargo, President of Columbia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 25, 1960Charles de Gaulle, President of France, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 28, 1960Mahendra, King of Nepal, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 29, 1960Bhumidol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 4, 1961Habib Bourguiba, President of Tunisia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 12, 1961Mohammad Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 21, 1961Manuel Prado, President of Peru, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 4, 1962Joao Goulart, President of Brazil, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 12, 1962Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Shahanshah of Iran, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
January 15, 1964Antonio Segni, President of Italy, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 28, 1964Eamon de Valera, President of Ireland, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 15, 1966Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Philippines, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 27, 1967Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, President of Mexico, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 25, 1970Georges Pompidou, President of France, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 3, 1970Rafael Caldera, President of Venezuela, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 15, 1972Luis Echeverria Alvarez, President of Mexico, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 17, 1975Walter Scheel, President of West Germany, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
November 5, 1975Anwar El Sadat, Prime Minister of Egypt, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
January 28, 1976Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister, of Israel addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 17, 1976Liam Cosgrave, Prime Minister of Ireland, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 18, 1976Valery Giscard d'Estaing, President of France, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 2, 1976Juan Carlos l, King of Spain, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 23, 1976William R. Tolbert, Jr., President of Liberia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 22, 1977Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 21, 1982Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 5, 1983Karl Carstens, President of West Germany, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 15, 1984Dr. Garrett FitzGerald, Prime Minister of Ireland, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 22, 1984François Mitterand, President of France, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 16, 1984Miguel de la Madrid, President of Mexico, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 20, 1985Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 6, 1985Bettino Craxi, President of the Council of Ministers of Italy, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 20, 1985Raul Alfonsin, President of Argentina, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 13, 1985 Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 9, 1985Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 11, 1986Jose Sarney, President of Brazil, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 18, 1986Corazon C. Aquino, President of the Philippines, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 22, 1987President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica addressed an informal meeting of Congress.
October 15, 1987President José Napoleón Duarte of El Salvador addressed an informal meeting of Congress.
November 10, 1987Chaim Herzog, President of Israel, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 27, 1988Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 23, 1988Robert Hawke, Prime Minister of Australia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 7, 1989Benazir Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 4, 1989Carlos Salinas de Gortari, President of Mexico, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 18, 1989Roh Tae Woo, President of South Korea, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
November 15, 1989Lech Walesa, chairman of SolidarnoϾ labor union, Poland, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 21, 1990Vaclav Hável, President of Czechoslovakia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 7, 1990Giulio Andreotti, President of the Council of Ministers of Italy, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 26, 1990Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress, South Africa, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 16, 1991Violeta B. de Chamorro, President of Nicaragua, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 16, 1991Elizabeth ll, Queen of the United Kingdom, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.      
November 14, 1991Carlos Saul Menem, President of Argentina, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 30, 1992Richard von Weizsäcker, President of Germany, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 17, 1992Boris Yeltsin, President of Russia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 18, 1994Narasimha Rao, Prime Minister of India, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 26, 1994Hussein l, King of Jordan, and Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 6, 1994Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 26, 1995Kim Yong-sam, President of South Korea, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.        
December 12, 1995Shimon Peres, Prime Minister of Israel, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 1, 1996Jacque Chirac, President of France, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 10, 1996Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 11, 1996John Bruton, Prime Minister of Ireland, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 27, 1997Eduardo Frei, President of Chile, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 10, 1998Kim Dae-jung, President of South Korea, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 15, 1998Emil Constantinescu, President of Romania, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 14, 2000Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.  
September 6, 2001Vincente Fox, President of Mexico, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 12, 2002John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. The scheduled address by Prime Minister John Howard of Australia to a Joint Meeting of Congress on September 12, 2001, was cancelled.
July 17, 2003Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 4, 2004Jose Maria Aznar, President of the Government of Spain, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 15, 2004Hamid Karzai, Prime Minister of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 23, 2004Ayad Allawi, Interim Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 6, 2005Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 19, 2005Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 1, 2006Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Italy, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 15, 2006Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 24, 2006Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 7, 2006Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 26, 2006Dr. Nouri Al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress
March 7, 2007King Abdullah ll Bin Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
November 7, 2007Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 30, 2008Bertie Ahern, Prime Minister of Ireland, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 4, 2009Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
November 3, 2009Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 20, 2010Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 9, 2011Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 24, 2011Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 13, 2011Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 8, 2013Park Geun Hye, President of the Republic of Korea, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 18, 2014Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 3, 2015Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 25, 2015Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress
April 29, 2015Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 24, 2015His Holiness Pope Francis of the Holy See addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 8, 2016Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 25, 2018Emmanuel Macron, President of France, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 3, 2019Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 16, 2022Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, addressed an informal meeting of Congress.
May 17, 2022Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Greece, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.

Footnotes

1Joint Meetings and Joint Sessions recorded in Congressional Directory and Congressional Record.