Proclamation 5171 -- Pan American Day and Pan American Week, 1984

April 2, 1984

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

The nations of the Western Hemisphere have been blessed with a common heritage that has bound them together in the pursuit of peace and harmony within the framework of democratic institutions. The annual proclamation of Pan American Day and Pan American Week has for 53 years stressed our unity of purpose and drawn the attention of the world to the significant achievements of the Inter-American system and the Organization of American States.

Through the OAS, the nations of the Americas have worked to fulfill their shared aspirations for peace, prosperity, and freedom. These goals form the cornerstone of the OAS and find eloquent expression in the OAS Charter. While other areas of the world have been fraught with strife, the OAS has been instrumental in maintaining the peace in this hemisphere. The peacekeeping mechanisms available to OAS member nations have proved responsive in a multitude of tests in the past, including those posed by the subversion and indirect aggression of Cuba and its partners. The continued strength and resilience of these peacekeeping mechanisms should be of primary importance to all the nations of the Americas as we deal with the current challenges to peace, prosperity and freedom, especially in Central America.

Because in this century our hemisphere has been spared the violence other regions have had to endure, we have been fortunate to be able to dedicate our energies to the important tasks of economic, social, scientific, educational, and cultural development of our nations. In this effort to better the lives of our people, the OAS, through its technical councils and specialized Inter-American agencies, has served as a model for others.

Consistent with the spirit of the Inter-American system as expressed in the OAS Charter, the peoples of this hemisphere are turning more and more to democratic institutions as a means of solving the difficult problems we face. This is a vote of confidence in democracy as an effective means of governing -- a practical problem-solving mechanism -- not just an abstract political ideal. The trend reinforces the bonds which unite us and strengthens our capacity for cooperation.

During the bicentennial year of the birth of the great Liberator, Simon Bolivar, it is appropriate that we rededicate ourselves to the spirit of hemispheric solidarity that he symbolized. His example serves as an inspiration for all Americans to face the difficult challenges of our time. Bolivar believed that diversity does not preclude unity. The kind of cooperation the Pan American nations enjoy today is based on mutual respect for the individual characteristics that distinguish us, as well as the long-standing ties that unite us. Pan American Day is a welcome opportunity to recognize this cooperation and the impressive progress we have made together.

On this Pan American Day of 1984, the people of the United States extend warm greetings to all of their neighbors in the Americas, and reaffirm their active support for the Organization of American States and the principles for which it stands.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Saturday, April 14, 1984, as Pan American Day, and the week beginning April 8, 1984, as Pan American Week. I urge the Governors of the fifty States, and the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and officials of the other areas under the flag of the United States of America to honor these observances with appropriate activities and ceremonies.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 2nd day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:37 a.m., April 3, 1984]