Carlos Saavedra Lamas
Latin America's first Peace Prize Laureate
The first Peace Prize Laureate from a country outside Western Europe and the United States was the Argentine Carlos Saavedra Lamas. He came of landed gentry and got a PhD in law before becoming professor of constitutional law. At the age of thirty he was elected as a conservative representative to the legislative assembly, and after serving as both Minister of Justice and Minister of Education he took over the post of Foreign Minister in 1932.
When Argentina joined the League of Nations in 1932, Saavedra Lamas deserved much of the credit, and he played a leading role in the organization's condemnation of Italy's war on Ethiopia in 1936. He made important contributions to the peace negotiations between Paraguay and Bolivia after the so-called "Chaco war" in the 1930s. He also won praise for his work on South America's anti-war pact, which by 1936 had been signed by 31 states altogether. The pact promoted the principle under international law of condemning all wars of aggression.