Carlos Saavedra Lamas, Noble Peace Prize Winner

Carlos Saavedra Lamas, an Argentine diplomat, scholar, and Noble Peace Prize winner, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 1, 1878. During the Great Depression and the regional conflicts within South America, he worked as a peacemaker.  He served as Argentina’s Foreign Minister, as President of the Assembly of the League of Nations, and as Mediator in a conflict between Paraguay and Bolivia.  His relationship with the US was turbulent, as are many government-to-government relations between the US and South American nations. However, he was able to work with the US in resolving the Gran Chaco War (1932-1935) and was supported by the US Secretary of State for the Nobel Peace Prize of 1936.  Saavedra was a pioneer of labor law, and he devoted some of his Nobel acceptance speech to labor issues, “Unemployment is a great tragedy. The man who goes about hopelessly seeking work in order to earn bread for his children is a living reproach to civilization. Economic conditions, however, arise out of facts, and the dislocation of interchange, national selfishness, the barriers and obstacles which the blindness of man places in the path of international commerce are contrary to nature, which, recognizing the unequal distribution of wealth and the diversity of its regional distribution, has sought to establish a means for the interchange of products.”

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