Media Center

Press Release


  September 11, 2003

Ambassador John F. Maisto today presented credentials as the new Permanent Representative of the United States to the Organization of American States (OAS), reiterating to Secretary General César Gaviria his government’s support for the Organization.

“The United States is deeply committed to the success of the OAS in advancing our shared democratic values, growth and people-focused social development agenda,” the Ambassador stressed, after presenting credentials to the Secretary General. He pledged his delegation’s commitment to work with fellow delegates, the Secretary General and the Secretariat on the important mandates from the hemisphere’s leaders and said, “The political will of the United States will be manifested both in process and in substance.”

Ambassador Maisto also outlined President Bush’s Western Hemisphere policies as “grounded in basic American ideals and values.” He said the policy agenda “places emphasis on promoting democracy and human rights, strengthening democratic institutions, advancing trade and investment as engines for economic growth and job creation, on reducing poverty through strengthening education, health and other basic services; on fighting corruption; on protecting citizens from international and home-grown terrorists, from drug traffickers and money launderers.”

Commenting on today’s remembrances surrounding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Ambassador Maisto paid tribute to the immediate solidarity of the hemisphere and its commitment to “continue to protect the freedoms of our people through such instruments as the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism.”

For his part, Secretary General Gaviria expressed appreciation for the renewed U.S. commitment to the expanded OAS agenda and for the U.S. role in helping the Organization remain a relevant hemispheric forum for collective action on critical concerns such as the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

Among his career highlights, Maisto has served as Ambassador to Venezuela and to Nicaragua and as Special Assistant to President Bush and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council. He has served previously as Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the OAS, from 1989 to 1992. He holds degrees from Georgetown University and Guatemala’s University of San Carlos.

Reference: E-174/03