Organization of American States ..............................News Release


January 12, 1998

The new United States permanent representative presented credentials at the Organization of American States (OAS) on Monday, reiterating the call for the grouping of Western Hemisphere nations to be "the most effective instrument of hemispheric cooperation possible."

Ambassador Victor Marrero met with the assistant secretary general, Ambassador Christopher R. Thomas, and in his remarks after presenting the credentials, voiced some of the priorities the United States sees in its relations with the OAS: the consolidation of democracy, human rights, educational reform, drug trafficking economic integration and the environment.

These, he said, were pressing issues to which "we must offer practical solutions."

And, elaborating on his country's priorities, Ambassador Marrero asserted: "...the United States is especially dedicated to working together closely with our neighbors to forge such a future for our children and our children's children," a reiteration of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's assertion about the unprecedented opportunity now being offered to bring the world together around basic principles such as democracy, open markets, law and a common commitment to peace.

Offering a warm welcome, the assistant secretary general said the new U.S. envoy was coming to the organization at an important time of review. He also expressed confidence that Ambassador Marrero's vast experience would enhance the process of reflection and renewal in the OAS.

"Your own delegation has been most active and has been particularly influential in the formation of the agenda for the hemispheric meeting," Ambassador Thomas told the envoy, referring to the preparations for the upcoming Summit of the Americas slated for Chile in April, in which the organization has a lead role.

Prior to his OAS assignment, Ambassador Marrero was the U.S. representative on the United Nations Economic and Social Council. With a background in law and business, the new envoy has served in state, federal and city levels of government, holding several senior positions.

A New Yorker, Mr. Marrero is a Yale law graduate, among other things.

He succeeds Harriet Babbitt who served at the OAS until late last year.

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