bound by the great forces of geography and history which are distinctive to the New World. But geography and history alone do not make a community. A true community must be a living entity in which the individuality of each member is a source of pride to all members, in which the unity of all is a source of strength to each. And the great community of the Arpericas cannot be complete without the participation of Canada. That is why we have been encouraged by the recent decisions of Canada to upgrade its participation as an observer in the Organization of American States to ambassadorial status and to apply for membership in the Inter-American Development Bank. For both of these institutions made the abstract concept of community within the Americas a living reality.
A sound concept of community is also important in another international area that we share, the Atlantic Alliance. Just one month after my inauguration as President of the United States, I observed that a new spirit of co-operation within that alliance was essential as we began a new search for co-operation between East and West. The recent agreements; concerning Berlin, and the fact, for example, that thousands of families were reunited this Easter for the first time in many years, are among the first fruits of a new era of East-West negotiation.
But, as we seek better relations with our adversaries, it becomes all the more important to strengthen the alliances with our friends. We must never forget that the strength and the unity of the West has been an indispensable element in helping to bring about the new era of negotiation with the East. That is why we began our round of summit talks last December by meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada, and then with the leaders of other close allies. This is why our East-West conversations will always be accompanied by full and genuine consultations within the Atlantic Alliance.
This alliance began as a way of pooling military resources. Today, it is a way of pooling our intellectual and our diplomatic resources as well. Like our federal approaches to nationhood, like our Canadian-American brotherhood, like our inter-American neighbourhood, the Atlantic Alliance has achieved a creative unity in which the individuality of its members is respected and advanced.
Let us now turn to the world as a whole, for this is where the challenge of building a true community will be most difficult and most important. We, in Canada and the United States, have always been proud to live in what is called the New World. Today there is a new world coming for everyone who lives on this globe. It is our responsibility to make this new world a better world than the world we have known. Canadians and Americans have fought and died together in two world wars in this century. We live now in what has been called a post-war era. But mankind has known a long succession of post-war eras. And each one of them has turned out to be a pre-war era as well. The challenge we face today is to build a permanent post-war era, an era of lasting peace.
My visit to Ottawa comes midway between my visits to Peking and Moscow. In many respects these journeys are very different. In the People's Republic of China, we opened a new dialogue after 22 years of virtually no
communication. In the Soviet Union, there is an opportunity to bring a continuing dialogue to productive conclusions. But in their central aim these journeys to Peking and Moscow are alike. Neither visit is directed against anyone, adversary or ally. Both are for the betterment of everyone, for the peace of all mankind. However, we must not allow the fact of summit meetings to create any unrealistic euphoria.
The responsibility for building peace rests with special weight upon the great powers. Whether the great powers fulfil that responsibility depends not on the atmospherics of their diplomacy but on the realities of their behavior. Great powers must not treat a period of detente as an interlude between periods of tension. Better relations among all nations require restraint by great nations, both in dealing with each other and in dealing with the rest of the world. We can agree to limit arms. We can declare our peaceful purposes. But neither the limitation of arms nor the declaration of peaceful purposes will bring peace if, directly or indirectly, the aggressive use of existing weapons is encouraged. The great powers have a responsibility for the aggressive actions of those to whom they give the means of embarking on such action. The great powers must use their influence to halt aggression, not to encourage it. The structure of world peace cannot be built unless the great powers join together to build it. Its strength will grow only as all nations, of all political and social systems, come to accept its validity and sustain its vitality. This does not mean the great powers must always agree.
We expect to continue to have profound philosophical and diplomatic differences with the Soviet Union and with the People's Republic of China in a number of areas. But, through opening new lines of communication, we hope to increase the chance that in the future we shall talk about our differences and not fight about them. As we have prepared for both these journeys the experience of Canada has been most helpful. I am grateful to both the Prime Minister and to the Opposition Leader, Mr. Stanfield, for sharing their insights with us as we embarked on these endeavours. As we continue together our common quest for a better world order, let us apply the lessons we have learned so well on this continent: that we can walk our own road in our own way without moving farther apart; that we can grow closer together without growing more alike; that peaceful competition can produce winners without producing losers; that success for some need not mean setbacks for the rest; that a rising tide will lift all of our boats; that to go forward at all is to go forward together; that the enemy of peace is not independence but isolation; that the way to peace is an open world.
And let us remember too, these truths that we have found together, that variety can mean vitality; that diversity can be a force for progress; and that our ultimate destiny is indivisible.
When I spoke at the St. Lawrence seaway ceremonies in 1969, I borrowed some words from the monument there which I had joined Queen Elizabeth in dedicating just ten years before. That monument, as its inscription puts it:
bears witness to the common purpose of two nations whose frontiers are the frontiers of friendship, whose ways are the ways of freedom, whose works are the works of peace.
April 14, 1972
The truth to which the inscription testifies is of profound importance to people everywhere in this world.
For the ability of our two nations, Canada and the United States, to preserve the frontiers of friendship, to walk in the ways of freedom, and to pursue the works of peace provides example and encouragement to all who seek these same objectives, wherever they may live.
There is nothing more exciting than a time of new beginnings. A member of this body caught that spirit when he spoke in Parliament about the beginnings of Canadian nationhood 100 years ago. Listen to him:
Blood pulsed in our veins, new hopes fired our hearts, new horizons lifted and widened, new visions came to us in the night watches.
May that same sense of excitement inspire our two nations as we help lead the world to new beginnings today.