IT IS with unusual satisfaction that I avail myself of this opportunity to review briefly the results and the significance of the Buenos Aires meeting. I welcome the opportunity especially, because to those who, like myself, were privileged to take an active part in the work of the Conference, the experience remains a vivid and inspiring memory.
The work of the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace touched the very heart of the tangled complex of problems which today plague the responsible statesmen of the world and upon the solution of which depends so greatly the future welfare of the nations. The twenty-one American Republics have forged among themselves new ties of friendship and peace. More than that, they have, in my opinion, made a genuine contribution not only to the safeguarding of peace, but to the strengthening of democracy and of international order as well. While dealing with regional problems, the Conference pointed straight at the frightful deterioration of many essential international relationships everywhere and vigorously proclaimed a basic program for their restoration.
The Buenos Aires meeting was one of a succession of inter-American Conferences which have been, for nearly fifty years, a factor of ever-growing importance in the international life of the Western Hemisphere. There were, however, two features of out-standing importance which distinguished it from its predecessors and invested it with the character of a really extraordinary occasion. The first of these was the subject-matter of the Conference itself, its all-embracing concentration upon the problem of safeguarding the maintenance of peace. The second was the dismal world setting in which the representatives of the American Republics assembled for their arduous and momentous labors.
The problem of peace was never absent from the thoughts of those statesmen who had in the past gathered together in major inter-American conferences. Step by step, foundations were laid for the organization of pacific relations.
A feeling of mutual trust, an attitude of the good neighbor, for some years has been steadily
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