Proclamation 5629 -- Pan American Day and Pan American Week, 1987

April 9, 1987

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

The nations of the Americas enjoy a rich cultural and historical diversity, yet are bound together by a common dedication to the principles of democracy; to respect for the rights of the individual; and to the opportunity to enjoy creative, productive, and prosperous lives. Pan American Day each year has served to remind us of these mutual goals.

The Organization of American States is the forum in which our governments labor to make these ideals and aspirations a reality in our daily lives. For decades, the Inter-American System has been utilized across a broad range of common concerns: to maintain the peace throughout this Hemisphere; to encourage both political and economic freedom for every citizen; to promote development and provide opportunity for both men and women, of all races and all creeds; and to defend the human rights of all against repression and threats to their dignity.

The Organization has a truly remarkable record as a defender, and a beacon, for all peoples whose rights have been trampled upon and denied, especially for the peoples of this Hemisphere. It has now taken up the challenge against yet another menace -- drug abuse and trafficking -- that threatens the future of our children, the well-being of our peoples, and even the stability of our governments. The newly created Drug Abuse Control Commission offers a common meeting place where all of us can join forces to defeat this latest enemy to freedom and democracy.

On September 2 of this year, the nations of the Americas will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the signing of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, in which they pledged to preserve their security. This Rio Treaty, born of the totalitarian threat to the region before and during World War II, has been strengthened ever since by resolute defense, against repeated attacks, of our common determination that this Hemisphere shall be a land of liberty.

This is a time when the vision of democracy and freedom in all our countries, to which we are committed in the Charter of our Organization, shines forth as never before. So Pan American Day of 1987 is an especially welcome occasion for the people of the United States of America to extend a warm and fraternal hand to our neighbors in the Americas. We renew our commitment to the spirit of hemispheric solidarity, to the purposes of the Inter-American System, and to the Organization of American States as the embodiment of our high aspirations for this Hemisphere.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, April 14, 1987, as Pan American Day, and the week of April 12 through April 18, 1987, as Pan American Week. I urge the Governors of the fifty States, and the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and officials of 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 ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:17 a.m., April 13, 1987]

Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on April 10.