|Roosevelt's enunciation of the Good Neighbor Policy had two immediate effects. The first was the abrogation of the Platt Amendment, which had granted a unilaterial right for the US to intervene in Cuba. The second was the signing of the Montevideo Accords at the 1933 Pan-American Conference. Articles 1-9, plus the US reservations, are the key: how significantly did this document differ from past US practices? And did the reservations nullify the US assent?|
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WHEREAS a convention on rights and duties of States was adopted by the Seventh International Conference of American States at Montevideo, Uruguay, and signed on December 26, 1933, by plenipotentiaries of the United States of America with a reservation which the delegation of the United States of America had presented to the plenary session of the conference on December 22, 1933, and by plenipotentiaries of Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Brazil with a reservation, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Colombia, Chile; Peru with a reservation, and Cuba, the English and Spanish texts of which convention are word for word as follows:
CONVENTION ON RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF STATES
The Governments represented in the Seventh International Conference of American States:
Wishing to conclude a Convention on Rights and Duties of States, have appointed the following Plenipotentiaries:
[Here follow the names of plenipotentiaries.]
Who, after having exhibited their Full Powers, which were found
to be in good and due order, have agreed upon the following:
The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a) a permanent population; b) a defined territory; c) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.
The federal state shall constitute a sole person in the eyes of international law.
The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states. Even before recognition the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts.
The exercise of these rights has no other limitation than the
exercise of the rights of other states according to international law.
States are juridically equal, enjoy the same rights, and have equal capacity in their exercise. The rights of each one do not depend upon the power which it possesses to assure its exercise, but upon the simple fact of its existence as a person under international law.
The fundamental rights of states are not susceptible of being affected in any manner whatsoever.
The recognition of a state merely signifies that the state which recognizes it accepts the personality of the other with all the rights and duties determined by international law. Recognition is unconditional and irrevocable.
The recognition of a state may be express or tacit. The latter results from any act which implies the intention of recognizing the new state.
No state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another.
The jurisdiction of states within the limits of national territory applies to all the inhabitants.
Nationals and foreigners are under the same protection of the
law and the national authorities and the foreigners may not claim rights other
or more extensive than those of the nationals.
The primary interest of states is the conservation of peace. Differences of any nature which arise between them should be settled by recognized pacific methods.
The contracting states definitely establish as the rule of their conduct the precise obligation not to recognize territorial acquisitions or special advantages which have been obtained by force whether this consists in the employment of arms, in threatening diplomatic representations, or in any other effective coercive measure. The territory of a state is inviolable and may not be the object of military occupation nor of other measures of force imposed by another state directly or indirectly or for any motive whatever even temporarily.
The present Convention shall not affect obligations previously entered into by the High Contracting Parties by virtue of international agreements.
The present Convention shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties in conformity with their respective constitutional procedures. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uruguay shall transmit authentic certified copies to the governments for the afore-mentioned purpose of ratification. The instrument of ratification shall be deposited in the archives of the Pan American Union in Washington, which shall notify the signatory governments of said deposit. Such notification shall be considered as an exchange of ratifications.
The present Convention will enter into force between the High Contracting Parties in the order in which they deposit their respective ratifications.
The present Convention shall remain in force indefinitely but may be denounced by means of one year's notice given to the Pan American Union, which shall transmit it to the other signatory governments. After the expiration of this period the Convention shall cease in its effects as regards the party which denounces but shall remain in effect for the remaining High Contracting Parties.
The present Convention shall be open for the adherence and accession of the States which are not signatories. The corresponding instruments shall be deposited in the archives of the Pan American Union which shall communicate them to the other High Contracting Parties.
In witness whereof, the following Plenipotentiaries have signed this
Convention in Spanish, English, Portuguese and French and hereunto affix their
respective seals in the city of Montevideo, Republic of Uruguay, this 26th day
of December, 1933.
The Delegation of the United States of America, in signing the Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, does so with the express reservation presented to the Plenary Session of the Conference on December 22, 1933, which reservation reads as follows:
The Delegation of the United States, in voting "yes" on the final vote on this committee recommendation and proposal, makes the same reservation to the eleven articles of the project or proposal that the United States Delegation made to the first ten articles during the final vote in the full Commission, which reservation is in words as follows:
"The policy and attitude of the United States Government toward every important phase of international relationships in this hemisphere could scarcely be made more clear and definite than they have been made by both word and action especially since March 4. I have no disposition therefore to indulge in any repetition or rehearsal of these acts and utterances and shall not do so. Every observing person must by this time thoroughly understand that under the Roosevelt Administration the United States Government is as much opposed as any other government to interference with the freedom, the sovereignty, or other internal affairs or processes of the governments of other nations.
"In addition to numerous acts and utterances in connection with the carrying out of these doctrines and policies, President Roosevelt, during recent weeks, gave out a public statement expressing his disposition to open negotiations with the Cuban Government for the purpose of dealing with the treaty which has existed since 1903. I feel safe in undertaking to say that under our support of the general principle of non-intervention as has been suggested, no government need fear any intervention on the part of the United States under the Roosevelt Administration. I think it unfortunate that during the brief period of this Conference there is apparently not time within which to prepare interpretations and definitions of these fundamental terms that are embraced in the report.
Such definitions and interpretations would enable every government to proceed
in a uniform way without any difference of opinion or of interpretations. I hope
that at the earliest possible date such very important work will be done. In the
meantime in case of differences of interpretations and also until they (the
proposed doctrines and principles) can be worked out and codified for the common
use of every government, I desire to say that the United States Government in
all of its international associations and relationships and conduct will follow
scrupulously the doctrines and policies which it has pursued since March 4 which
are embodied in the different addresses of President Roosevelt since that time
and in the recent peace address of myself on the 15th day of December before
this Conference and in the law of nations as generally recognized and
The delegates of Brazil and Peru recorded the following private vote with regard to article 11: "That they accept the doctrine in principle but that they do not consider it codifiable because there are some countries which have not yet signed the Anti-War Pact of Rio de Janeiro of which this doctrine is a part and therefore it does not yet constitute positive international law suitable for codification".
[Here follow signatures.]
AND WHEREAS the said convention, as signed, was duly ratified by the United States of America, and the instrument of ratification of the United States of America embracing the aforesaid reservation made by its delegation at the conference, as follows:
[Here follows text of the reservation made by the delegation of the United States of America, printed above.]
was deposited with the Pan American Union on July 13, 1934,
AND WHEREAS, the said convention has been duly ratified also by the Dominican Republic, whose ratification thereof was deposited with the Pan American Union on December 26, 1934, on which day the convention, pursuant to a provision in Article 14 thereof, entered into force between the United States of America and the Dominican Republic;
Now, THEREFORE, be it known that I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, have caused the said convention to be made public to the end that the same and every article and clause thereof may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United States of America and the citizens thereof subject to the reservation aforesaid.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the city of Washington this eighteenth day of January, in the year of
our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirty five and of the Independence
[SEAL] of the United States of America the one hundred and fifty-ninth.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
By the President:
Secretary of State.
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. 198-203.
on to next, and final, document