United States Policy

In my address to the Inter-American Press Association on October 31, 1969, 1 outlined a new concept of hemisphere partnership: "expe rience ... has taught us that economic and social development is not an achievement of one nation's foreign policy but something deeply rooted in each nation's own traditions." I sought to define a sustained role for the United States, one t , hat would avoid our previous fluctua tions between arousing unrealistic expectations and taking our neigh bors for granted. We cannot remake continents by ourselves. Such a venture would stifle the initiative and responsibility of other nations and thus their progress and their dignity.

The immediate focus of hemispheric cooperation will be on economic and social imperatives. But these issues, while critical, are elements of a broader relationship between sovereign states. The nations of this region must improve political forms of cooperation as well. We must find ways to settle disputes that bring common danger and to work together for common benefit.

Together with our partners, we can strengthen the political bonds of the inter-American system to create an environment truly conducive to economic and social development. Our similar cultural traditions, the shared aspirations of our peoples, a lengthy history of common enterprises-there is much to draw upon. If we cannot build partnerships in the relationship with developing nations in this hemisphere, then this task will indeed be formidable elsewhere in the world.

The value of a constructive partnership is nowhere better illustrated than with our neighbor, Mexico. In 1970 we jointly traced the final lines of our common border. The comprehensive agreement which President Diaz Ordaz and I reached in Puerto Vallarta in August will, when ratified, resolve all existing border problems and establish procedures for treating future ones. Our countries' relations have never been closer. They were further cemented by my two meetings with Mexico's President and one with her then President-elect. They reflect a mutual respect and cooperation that is'our object throughout the hemisphere.

In moving toward this goal, we seek to develop positive collaboration suited to the realities of this decade. It is a change in concept and style, not in commitment. We will offer ideas and leadership, but our common programs will need the ideas and leadership of our partners as well. Working with our friends on a joint agenda, our new approach will stress sharing responsibility within the inter-American community; positive U.S. support of development efforts; respect for national dignity and accommodation to diversity; humanitarian concern.