Andrew Young, ambassador-designate to the United Nations, told an audience at Walter Reed Army Hospital yesterday that Jimmy Carter's election signals the start of the fulfillment of Martin Luther King Jr.'s goal of racial equality in America.

"I think of the Carter administration as the beginning of partial fulfillment of Rev. King's fream," Young told more than 700 persons gathered to commemorate King's birthday.

The civil rights leader, who was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tenn., would have been 48 on Saturday, Jan. 15.

"The election of Jimmy Carter is the continuation of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., young said. He said Carter's victory was achieved with the help of black voters who gained voting rights through King's efforts.

Young added that Carter has sent a letter to all his Cabinet officers urging them to appoint minority members and women as their assistants.

Young said he believed that the "troublesome period" the United States has experienced in the last eight years would not have occurred if Robert F. Kennedy and King had not been assassinated in 1968.

He said Kennedy would have to be elected President and King would have been named representative to the U.N. in that administration.