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The Committee was charged with the drafting of a convention for the protection and preservation in their natural habitat of the fauna and flora native to the various countries and for the establishment of national parks, national reserves, and nature monuments.
The Inter-American Committee of Experts on Nature Protection and Wild Life Preservation met at the Pan American Union from May 13 to May 16, 1940. At this meeting the Committee considered and revised a preliminary draft convention which had been drawn up by the Pan American Union. As a result of these deliberations a draft convention on nature protection and wildlife preservation in the Western Hemisphere was formulated and adopted by the Committee of Experts. This convention was opened for signature by the governments of the American republics on October 12, 1940. At the end of the fiscal year 1941, the following governments had signed the convention : Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, United States of America, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
INTER-AMERICAN FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC ADVISORY
(Resolution of the First Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the
American Republics, 1939 ®) Offices: Washington, D.C. Representative on the part of the United States: Sumner Welles,
LL.D., Under Secretary of State; Chairman of the Committee.
The Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee was created pursuant to a resolution of October 3, 1939 of the First Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics, held at Panamá from September 23 to October 3, 1939. The Committee was installed at the Pan American Union in Washington on November 15, 1939, and since that date has met at regular intervals. It is composed of one representative from each of the 21 American republics.
The Second Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics, Habana, 1940,66 resolved to strengthen and expand the activities of this Committee as the instrument for continuing consultation among the American republics with regard to economic and trade matters, particularly as affected by the curtailment
See Conference Series 49, * See ante, p. 1.
and changed character of important foreign markets. The Habana Meeting specifically instructed the Committee to proceed at once with the preparation of detailed plans for cooperative temporary handling and orderly marketing of existing and prospective surpluses of those commodities which are of primary importance to the economic life of the Americas; for the development, where feasible, of commodity production and marketing agreements and arrangements; and for the promotion among the American nations of mutually beneficial trade. The Committee was also instructed to devise methods of increasing consumption of surplus commodities in the American republics, through relief and in other ways, in order to aid in the disposal of such surpluses. Finally, the Committee was instructed to consider, while these measures and plans are being developed, the desirability of a broader system of inter-American cooperative organization in matters of trade, industry, money, foreign exchange, etc.
A project concerning insurance and re-insurance facilities was referred to the Advisory Committee by the Habana Meeting. It was also recommended that the Advisory Committee collaborate with the Pan American Highway Financial Committee 67 in its task of drafting the plans for financing the construction of the Pan American Highway.
To accomplish the varied tasks entrusted to it, the Committee has established four special subcommittees. These concern cotton, cacao, relief distribution of surplus commodities, and financing of the Pan American Highway. The first three are already taking active steps toward the formulation of international agreements on the respective subjects.
There are three subcommittees of the general Committee: subcommittee I which deals with problems on monetary and financial relationships; subcommittee II, problems of commerce, transportation, and communications; and subcommittee III, problems of an individual and urgent character, and maritime matters in general. Each of these subcommittees has various special subcommittees to explore the technical aspects of specific problems. For example, many subjects were referred to the Committee by the Inter-American Maritime Conference for further study, and, in several instances, it has been necessary to set up special subcommittees to insure adequate treatment. The same observation may be made relating to the topics assigned to the Committee by the Habana Conference.
Under the earlier directive from the Panama Conference, the Advisory Committee has studied and formulated resolutions on the following problems of importance in inter-American relations:
67 For an account of the origin and functions of the Pan American Highway Organizations, see ante, p. 50.
The Inter-American Bank.—The convention for the establishment of the bank was signed on May 10, 1940 on behalf of the Governments of Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republie, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and United States of America. The Government of Brazil indicated its adherence on May 13, 1940.
The convention is open to signature by other American governments. The charter and bylaws of the institution have likewise been drawn up and approved by the Committee.
Inter-American Development Commission.-A permanent five-man commission was established with the purpose of promoting the formation and financing of enterprises to undertake the development of new lines of production in the other American republics for which there might be new or complementary markets in the Americas.68
Inter-American Coffee Agreement.–Upon the closing of the Second Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics, in July 1940, a special subcommittee of the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee was charged with the study of means for improving the situation which had been caused by the curtailment of European markets for coffee. This work resulted in the inter-American coffee agreement, which was subscribed in behalf of the 15 interested governments on November 28, 1940. The main purpose of this agreement is to stabilize the coffee market, in a manner equitable both to consumers and producers, by quota limitations upon the exports of coffee from the 14 coffee-producing republics of the Americas to the United States as well as to other world markets. The administration of the agreement is entrusted to the Inter-American Coffee Board,69 set up in accordance with the agreement.
Inter-American Maritime Conference.-Subcommittee III of the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee recommended that a special meeting of experts in the field of shipping be held in order to consider urgent maritime problems. This suggestion having been approved, the Chairman of the Advisory Committee invited the ministers of foreign affairs of all the American republics to send expert representatives to an Inter-American Maritime Conference 70 in Washington, D.C.
Uniformity of Customs Procedures, Nomenclatures, and Statistics.—Pursuant to a resolution adopted at the First Meeting of Treas
ury Representatives of the American Republics," held in Guatemala City in November 1939, a special subcommittee was appointed to deal with this subject. Having already provided the governments of the American republics with material relating to this topic, it is now awaiting comments and suggestions in the hope of formulating a new draft convention on a series of recommendations that might be equally acceptable.
Facilities for Commercial Travelers and Commercial Samples.A draft convention on this topic was approved by the Committee on June 13, 1940 and was subsequently submitted to the governments of the American republics. Answers have been received from thirteen governments, seven of which approve unconditionally; two with observations; and four continue their studies of the convention.
Immobilized Ships.-On April 26, 1941 the Committee approved a resolution of far-reaching importance. By this resolution, the American republics adopted a formula for the utilization of immobilized foreign-flag vessels in the interest of inter-American commerce. The taking over of these vessels could be accomplished by negotiation with the owners or by virtue of the right of each of the republics to assume complete jurisdiction and control over such vessels. Just and adequate compensation for the vessels was provided for in accordance with the commonly accepted rules of international law and the national legislation of each of the American republics. Agreement upon the measures tending to facilitate the effective exercise of the right of each nation to free navigation of the vessels, once under the flag of any one of the American republics, was also foreseen.
INTER-AMERICAN NEUTRALITY COMMITTEE
(Resolution of the First Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the
American Republics, 1939")
Offices: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Afranio de Mello Franco, of Brazil; Chairman;
The First Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics, held at Panamá from September 23 to October 3, 1939, resolved that there should be established, for the duration of the European war, an Inter-American Neutrality Committee, composed of seven experts in international law, to be designated by the Governing Board of the Pan American Union, with a view to studying and formulating recommendations with respect to the problems of neutrality, in the light of experience and changing circumstances. The Neutrality Committee therefore represents the 21 American republics collectively and not the particular states of which its seven members are citizens.
In accordance with the resolution referred to above, the Governing Board of the Pan American Union requested the governments of the six countries which were at that time represented on the Committee of Experts on the Codification of International Law 73 to designate one member each to serve on the Inter-American Neutrality Committee. The Board also resolved to ask the Venezuelan Government, which had proposed the creation of the Neutrality Committee, to appoint the seventh member.
Resolution I of the Second Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics, Habana, 1940,74 urged the InterAmerican Neutrality Committee to draft a preliminary project of convention dealing with the juridical effects of the Security Zone and the measures of international cooperation which the American states are ready to adopt to obtain respect for the said zone. This resolution also entrusted to the Committee the drafting of a project of an inter-American convention to cover completely all the principles and rules generally recognized in international law in matters of neutrality, especially those contained in the resolutions of Panamá, in the legislation of the different states, and in the recommendations already presented by the Committee. It was further recommended that, pending the drafting and bringing into force of the project on neutrality, the American states adopt in their respective legislation the principles and rules contained in the declarations of Panamá and in the recommendations of the Neutrality Committee.76 The Habana
See ante, p. 58. " See ante, p. 1.
* During the period between the First Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Afairs of the American Republics at Panamá and the Second Meeting at Habana, the Committee submitted to the governments through the Pan American Union six resolutions on the following subjects: (1) Internment; (2) The entry of submarines into the ports and territorial waters of the American republics; (3) Vessels used as auxiliary transports of warships; (4) The Security Zone created by the Declaration of Panamá; (5) The inviolability of postal correspondence; and (6) Telecommunications.