One hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Amphictyonic Congress of Panama.

  • Author: UN General Assembly (31st sess. : 1976)
  • Document source:
  • Date:
    17 December 1976

142. One hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Amphietyonic Congress of Panama

The General Assembly, Having decided to hold a special commemorative plenary meeting to pay a tribute to Simón Bolívar, the Liberator, on the occasion of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Amphictyonic Congress of Panama, which met on 22 June 1826, Considering that the main objective of that Congress was to constitute an assembly of confederated countries which should establish the legal foundations for the relations between the American Republics and all the nations of the world, and should serve as "a council during periods of great conflicts, to be appealed to in the event of common danger, and to be a faithful interpreter of public treaties when difficulties arise, in brief, to conciliate all our differences",[1] concepts which form the basis of the international law of the American countries and are thus the direct predecessors of the Covenant of the League of Nations and the Charter of the United Nations, Bearing in mind that Bolívar envisaged a Latin American region of free and brotherly countries united by common ideals, a dream which makes him the precursor of the integration of that region, Recognizing that the Treaty of Perpetual Union, League and Confederation, signed in Panama on 15 July 1826, reflects a universalist spirit which is currently embodied by the United Nations, in that it reaffirms the sovereignty and independence of States and their intention "to secure to themselves from this time forward the enjoyment of unalterable peace, and to promote in this behalf better harmony and good understanding as well between the countries, citizens and subjects, respectively, as with the other Powers with which they should maintain or enter into friendly relations",[2] Recalling that Simón Bolívar referred on several occasions to the need for a possible opening of a canal in Panama,s which "will shorten distances throughout the world, strengthen commercial ties",[3] between the continents and promote the exchange of projects "from the four comers of the globe",

1. Pays a tribute to Simón Bolívar, the Liberator, as a promoter of Latin American integration and as a builder of constructive plans for international organization on a continental and world-wide scale and, in this connexion, decides to place a commemorative plaque in the United Nations Headquarters building as a permanent tribute to his memory;

2. Recognizes that the Amphictyonic Congress of Panama represents the most outstanding and audacious unionist experiment at the international level in the nineteenth century, with oecumenical featureshich anticipate and coincide with the objectives of the United Nations system;

3. Expresses the hope that the ideal of Bolívar will inspire the establishment of a more just international order of respect for law, devoted to the maintenance of peace, the preservation of democratic principles, the promotion of economic and social progress, and the freedom of all peoples;

4. Formulates the wish for a successful outcome of the negotiations for the conclusion of a new treaty on the Panama Canal, which will eliminate the causes of conflict between the Republic of Panama and the United States of America, in accordance with the Declaration of Principles, signed by the parties concerned on 7 February 1974, where it is stated that the Panamanian territory of which the Panama Canal is a part shall be returned promptly to the jurisdiction of the Republic of Panama and that the Republic of Panama "will assume total responsibility for the operation of the Canal upon the termination of the treaty";[4]

5. Requests the Secretary-General to arrange for the circulation to all Member States of a document reproducing the instrument of convocation and the agreements of the Amphictyonic Congress of 1826, the original texts of which, currently kept in Rio de Janeiro, will be deposited in Panama by decision of the Government of Brazil, at an appropriate time, to be preserved in the monument to be erected in that country as part of the Bolívar commemoration.

103rd plenary meeting
17 December 1976

[1] Simón Bolívar, Lima, 7 December 1824. For the text, see Selected Writings of Bolivar, vol. II, Vicente Lecuna, comp., Harold A. Bierck, Jr., ed. (New York, The Colonial Press Inc., 1951), p. 457. [2] Article 2 of the Treaty of Perpetual Union, League and Confederation, Panama, 15 July 1826. For the text, see International Conferences of American States, 1889-1928, James Brown, ed. (New York, Oxford University Press, 1931), p. xxv. [3] Simón Bolívar, "Reply of a South American to a gentleman of this Island [Jamaica]", Kingston, 6 September 1815. For the text, see Selected Writings of Bolivar, vol. I, Vicente Lecuna, comp., Harold A. Bierck, Jr., ed. (New York, The Colonial Press Inc., 1951), p. 119. [4] Eight-point agreement signed in Panama City on 7 February 1974 by Mr. Juan Antonio Tack, Minister for External Relations of the Republic of Panama, and by Mr. Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State of the United States of America. For the text, see United States Department of State Bulletin, vol. LXV, No. 1809, 25 February 1974, pp. 184 and 185.

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