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ance of certain fundamental principles for which the American nations fought in their struggles for independence. When, as today in other parts of the world, these fundamental principles are being subordinated to other philosophies or purposes, the American nations understand anew their precious and life-giving quality. For the American peoples have chosen representative government as the basis of their political philosophy and practice. They hold that the maintenance and respect of human rights and individual liberties are essential to the progress of mankind and to worthy civilization. They have developed the inner spirit of tolerance, individual toward individual and group toward group, and know that that spirit gives quality to their life and society. They are keenly aware of the threat to these principles and institutions which has arisen elsewhere in nations holding alien ideas which they seek to impose by force or extend by deception. Unless I mistake the prevailing attitude here, the American nations are determined to defend these institutions and principles of their own choice.
I am absolutely convinced that every one of the American republics desires to live in peace and to work in friendly cooperation with every other nation in the world. We do not seek to impose our form of government or our institutions upon other peoples. We do believe that international relations can be conducted on a basis of peace, international law and order, an appreciation of each other's problems, and a recognition that the welfare of peoples is the primary concern of governments. In these beliefs and efforts we remain conscious of the ever-increasing interdependence of all nations. Hence we do not seek merely a regional solution alone but one broad enough to take full account of those world conditions and problems which materially affect the regional welfare. We are establishing among ourselves a system of relationships which is in accord with our institutions and principles. We believe that the principal bases of this system are applicable to the relationships among all nations, and we eagerly welcome cooperation of each and every country of the world in their support.
At later opportunities we shall report in clearer detail on the specific matters under discussion in our meetings. For tonight let me conclude simply by expressing again my confidence that here at Lima we shall
further forward the work of the past. To that end we must have the continued and increasing support of all our peoples, for it is only with that support that our freedom, our individual liberty, and the security of our countries and our institutions can be safeguarded against the possible threat of armed force, anarchy, and intolerance.
Address to the Conference, December 24, 1938
R. PRESIDENT, FELLOW DELEGATES
FERENCE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: In rising to comment on some of the important achievements of this Conference, let me first acknowledge a debt of gratitude to one of our number who has labored tirelessly, day and night, with unfailing courtesy, courage, and wisdom. His work has guided all of us, his admirers and his friends, and I pay
tribute, both for myself personally and on behalf of the delegation of the United States, to Dr. Carlos Concha, President of the Conference, a worthy representative of the continents of America. We have also had the inestimable privilege of sharing the mature experience and high qualities of a great American statesman, Dr. Afranio de Mello Franco, President of the First Commission, whose fine judgment and skill have been of immense value in guiding the proceedings. With the statesmanlike cooperation of these and other delegates we have taken in this conference important steps; their significance will appear even larger as the years go by.
No one familiar with the history of the continents can fail to measure the steady progress which has been made through the years. More than a century ago the watchword of the continents was “independence”. A dream, which had grown for a generation, flowered at last and gave birth to the twenty-one nations here represented, pledged to liberty for the individual and to popular government.
These American republics emerged as the great triumph of human rights, a conquest by idealists of this hemisphere. But the task was not finished. In a second stage there was forged the conception of equality of American states, their absolute right as independent nations, irrespective of military strength, territorial extent, or of number of population, to speak with equal voice.