Latin America in the United Nations - Vol. 8

Latin America in the United Nations - Vol. 8

Latin America in the United Nations - Vol. 8

Latin America in the United Nations - Vol. 8

Excerpt

Within the halls of the United Nations during the first dramatic decade of its existence, no group of states has been more prominent than the Latin Americans. Without their participation, the record would almost certainly have been markedly different, whether with reference to such developments as the strengthening of the role of the General Assembly in the area of collective security, the insistent demands of the under-developed regions, or the struggle of the non-self-governing peoples for a larger measure of independence, to cite only three examples. Although this is not to say that their influence has been significant in every case, certainly their contributions have been of sufficient magnitude to achieve distinction within the general pattern. Before examining the nature of these contributions, however, it seems in order to review briefly some of the factors which have conditioned the Latin American approach to international organization.

To begin with, the main current of Latin American intellectual and cultural development has derived predominantly from a Latin and Catholic inheritance. This has been as true in the international field as in any other. Latin American statesmen and publicists have been proud of their lineal descent from such great classicists as Vitoria and Suarez, whose writings have strongly influenced their world view and equipped them with a mature and well-developed body of doctrine to apply to the basic problems of international law and organization. This doctrine has consistently posed these problems in moral and spiritual terms, as compared with the more pragmatic approach of the Anglo-Saxons. It has also predisposed its advocates to assume almost axiomatically the need, grounded in natural law, for an orderly world community.

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