... 1956, leaders from across the Americas concluded a multilateral conference by signing the Declaration of the Presidents of the American Republics. The declaration's hemispheric vision:
An America united, strong and benevolent will not only promote the well-being of the Continent but contribute toward achieving for the whole world the benefits of a peace based on justice and freedom, in which all peoples, without distinction as to race or creed, can work with dignity and with confidence in the future.
The conference "helped lay the groundwork for the creation of the Inter-American Development Bank and elements for the Alliance for Progress." (credit for photo of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signing documents at the 1956 conference) It was held in Panama City in commemoration of the "first collective manifestation of Pan Americanism," an Assembly of Plenipotentiaries of the American States there, "convoked by the Liberator Simón Bolívar" in 1826. The 1956 effort has evolved into the Summit of the Americas process, which features meetings of governmental leaders that conclude with similar declarations. Most recent was the 5th summit, held in 2009 in Trinidad and Tobago; the 6th is set for 2012 in Colombia.