Declaration of American Principles by the Eighth International Conference of American States, December 24, 1938

Declaration of American Principles:


The need for keeping alive the fundamental principles of relations among nations was never greater than today; and

Each state is interested in the preservation of world order under law, in peace with justice, and in the social and economic welfare of mankind.

The Governments of the American Republics resolve

To proclaim, support and recommend, once again, the following principles, as essential to the achievement of the aforesaid objectives:

1. The intervention of any state in the internal or external affairs of another is inadmissible;

2. All differences of international character should be settled by peaceful means;

3. The use of force as an instrument of national or international policy is proscribed;

4. Relations between states should be governed by the precepts of international law;

5. Respect for and the faithful observance of treaties constitute the indispensable rule for the development of peaceful relations between, states, and treaties can only be revised by agreement of the contracting parties;

6. Peaceful collaboration between representatives of the various states and the development of intellectual interchange among their peoples is conducive to an understanding by each of the problems of the other as well as of problems common to all, and makes more readily possible the peaceful adjustment of international controversies;

7. Economic reconstruction contributes to national and international well-being, as well as to peace among nations; and

8. International cooperation is a necessary condition to the maintenance of the aforementioned principles.

LIMA, December 21, 1938.

[Here follow signatures.]

Source: U.S., Department of State, Publication 1983, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941 (Washington, D.C.: U.S., Government Printing Office, 1943, pp. 439-40

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