Saavedra Lamas Pact of 1933

Saavedra Lamas Pact of 1933


an antiwar pact for nonaggression and reconciliation, signed in December by the majority of Latin American countries and the USA; it was named for its author, Argentine foreign minister Saavedra Lamas. The pact was put forth in conditions of intensifying rivalry between the USA and Great Britain, which was exercising its influence over Argentina.

The pact condemned wars of aggression and established the principle of settling disputes and disagreements between the participants “only by peaceful means” (art. 1). According to article 2, “the occupation or seizure of territories by means of armed force” was not to be acknowledged as valid. Article 3, the most important of the 17 articles, prohibited armed or diplomatic interference in the affairs of other states.

With the aid of the pact, Argentine diplomats hoped to create a bloc of Latin American countries to counteract the expansion of the USA in the western hemisphere. The USA, however, by joining the pact, succeeded in preventing the formation of a bloc of opposing Latin American states. The pact was ratified by the USA (1934) and all the Latin American republics (by 1936); it was also signed and ratified by many European countries. However, the pact was repeatedly violated; for example, fascist Italy, the first European power to ratify the pact, attacked Ethiopia in 1935. The USA continued to interfere in the affairs of Latin American countries.


League of Nations: Treaty Series, vol. 181. [Lausanne] 1937–38, p. 443.