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Remarks at the Inter-American Dialogue Dinner

May 16, 1996

Please, sit down and relax. Thank you. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for the very warm welcome. To our distinguished head table guests, former Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, President Arias, Secretary Vance, Minister Lampreia, President Iglesias, Mr. Ambassador. To Peter Bell and Alejandro Foxley; my good friend and adviser on Latin America Mack McLarty; Peter Hakim; and of course, to our distinguished friend Mr. Linowitz.

For 14 years, the Inter-American Dialogue has played a leading role in framing the debate on issues that really matter to the peoples of our hemisphere. As we enter a period of even closer cooperation in the Americas, I'm delighted that the Inter-American Dialogue is also intensifying its work.

I'm especially pleased that you're carrying forward your efforts with the creation of the Inter-American Dialogue's Saul Linowitz Forum. By honoring Saul you have paid a fitting tribute to the extraordinary, extraordinary service that this great American and citizen of the world has rendered. In a lifetime devoted to the public, Ambassador Linowitz has helped to foster peace, cooperation, and partnership between the United States, the nations of the Americas, and other nations around the world.

Saul has led here at home as well, working to confront the problems of racism, urban decay, and poverty. And he's called his own profession of law to a higher sense of duty. As the chair emeritus to the Inter-American Dialogue, he continues to make a difference, to promote the exchange and understanding that we need to bring our hemisphere closer together so that all of our people are more prosperous and secure.

In 1967 Saul Linowitz organized the United States participation in the Punta del Este summit which became the model of the Summit of the Americas that we held in Miami in 1994 that Mr. McLarty and Hattie Babbitt and so many others in this room in our administration worked so very hard on. At the Miami summit, the nations of our hemisphere agreed on the challenges we must face together in opening our markets, strengthening our democracies, protecting our shared environment against pollution. And we developed a program to do all that and more so that our region can become more prosperous, more secure, and our freedom wider, broader, and deeper.

In an important way, the Inter-American Dialogue helped to define the goals we set at the Summit of the Americas. And as now we look toward the next century, I'm glad the Saul Linowitz Forum will help to focus our discussions and our actions.

I thank you all for all you have done to help define and shape the currents that flow deeper today in our hemisphere because of your work: democracy, market economics, justice, and growing partnership. I thank you all, and I especially thank Saul Linowitz.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

NOTE: The President spoke at 7:13 p.m. in the Hall of the Americas at the Organization of American States. In his remarks, he referred to Javier Perez de Cuellar, former U.N. Secretary-General; Oscar Arias, former President of Costa Rica; Cyrus Vance, former U.S. Secretary of State; Minister of Foreign Affairs Luiz Lampreia of Brazil; Enrique Iglesias, president, Inter-American Development Bank; Paulo Tarso Flecha de Lima, Ambassador to the U.S. from Brazil; Peter Bell and Alejandro Foxley, co-chairs, and Peter Hakim, president, Inter-American Dialogue; and Saul Linowitz, former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States.

William J. Clinton, Remarks at the Inter-American Dialogue Dinner Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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