Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Remarks at a Luncheon for Latin American Delegates to the U N. General Assembly, New York City

September 22, 1960

This is the time, I think, to re-affirm some of our convictions and our beliefs that are important to all of us. I have, someone told me today, 2 days less than 4 months still to serve in my present office, and possibly this is the last time I shall have an opportunity to tell you, as representatives of your several governments, something of my affection for the people of Latin America with whom I have worked, and the affection of my government for these governments, all of which have served and worked so closely with us.

I tried to tell you this morning something of the importance that we of America attach to the functioning and indeed the existence of the United Nations, and the possibility it has for furthering the aspirations of men. But I want to tell you in somewhat more intimate fashion how deeply I believe in the Organization of American States, organized within the limits prescribed by the charter of the United Nations.

Gentlemen, our nations are bound together not merely by inescapable ties of geography. We are strong, and we are worthwhile only because we are bound together by things of the spirit. The dedication we have to imperishable values, of human dignity and liberty, and the sovereignty of our respective nations--these are the things that are worthwhile.

But because we do believe in these values and have these same dedications, we must devote ourselves as a unit to the production of that kind of atmosphere, that kind of situation in the world that will let us progress, with the help of the God in which we all believe, toward a better life, not merely for such people as sit around this table, but for the lowliest peon, the lowliest farmer, the lowliest dweller in Harlem and the East Side toward a better life.

My friends, our neighboring Republic to the South and ourselves decided to build a dam, and it began by being called, according to the name of where it was situated, El Diablo. The President of Mexico and I decided to change that name, and it is now the Amistad Dam. This is the word that, it seems to me, all of us can well adopt as our motto, because we do have, as I said, the same dedications, the same devotions, and the same beliefs.

Now although I had already promised there would be no speech, I found I have already violated my promise, but I will ask you all to stand with me to drink a toast to Amistad.

Note: The President spoke at a luncheon which he gave in honor of the chiefs of the 18 Latin-American delegations to the United Nations at the headquarters of the United States delegation in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks at a Luncheon for Latin American Delegates to the U N. General Assembly, New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235376

Filed Under




New York

Simple Search of Our Archives