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 You are in: Bureaus/Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary > Deputy Secretary of State > Former Deputy Secretaries of State > Former Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick > Travels With the Deputy Secretary > 2006

Deputy Secretary Zoellick: Travel to the Dominican Republic to Attend the OAS General Assembly

Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, June 4 - 5, 2006 where he heads the U.S. delegation to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS).

Deputy Secretary Zoellick meets with President Leonel Fernandez at the Presidential Palace in Santo Domingo, June 4, 2006. State Department photo
Deputy Secretary Zoellick meets with President Leonel Fernandez at the Presidential Palace.
While in the Dominican Republic the Deputy Secretary met with the President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez, and with other senior officials from the region. The Deputy Secretary  participated in a dialogue of the heads of delegation, attend the inaugural ceremony and deliver U.S. remarks to the First Plenary Session of the OAS General Assembly.

"Boosting development, strengthening democracy, expanding freedom, and opening markets in the Western Hemisphere to promote hope, opportunity and prosperity go hand in hand with encouraging the free flow of information and ideas. Today’s information and communication technologies can be powerful catalysts for good governance, increased development and the fostering of democratic, prosperous and inclusive societies," said Zoellick. "I’m pleased to see that Secretary General Insulza and the OAS recognize the important link that exists between modern information-based societies and economic and political advancement."

"From Chile to Colombia, from Peru to Mexico, from Central America to the Caribbean, the United States is committed to continuing to foster a Western Hemisphere in which well governed and transparent democracies, elected freely and fairly, are able to focus on peaceful development and prosperity for their people," added Zoellick, who noted that total U.S. government assistance to the region has doubled during President Bush’s Administration to over $1.6 billion annually. President Bush has traveled through the region ten times and has welcomed leaders from all Western Hemisphere countries to the United States. Secretary of State Rice has visited eight countries in the hemisphere, from Ottawa to Mar del Plata and Santiago.

Deputy Secretary Zoellick underscored the importance of inclusive democracy, which offers the best hope to fight poverty, and corruption and to promote development. He also reiterated U.S. commitment to work with the Secretary General and other member states to make the OAS more effective in addressing the challenges to democracy and fulfilling the promise of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which states that the peoples of the Americas have a right to democracy and that OAS members are obligated to promote and defend democracy.

At the General Assembly meeting on "Good Governance and Development in the Knowledge-Based Society," the United States will highlight use of information and communication technologies to strengthen democratic governance, and promote economic and social development, particularly education and health, job-creation and the reduction of poverty and social exclusion. The U.S. will stress the important role of Internet access in fostering freedom of expression, and advancing the goals of e-government, transparency and the fight against corruption, trade and commerce, innovation and a vibrant civil society.

Deputy Secretary Zoellick is well known throughout the region. During his tenure as Deputy Secretary of State, and in his previous capacity as the United States Trade Representative, Zoellick has played a prominent U.S. policy making role in the Western Hemisphere. Zoellick negotiated historic free trade agreements with seven Western Hemisphere countries (Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua), and he launched negotiations with Colombia, Peru, Panama and Ecuador. In 2005 he worked with the U.S. Congress to win support for the CAFTA-DR victory. U.S. Free Trade Agreements contain world-class, cutting edge provisions that protect ideas and the flow of information, and help foster more competitive, knowledge based societies.

Zoellick also played a key leadership role in the 2002 extension of the special duty free access to the U.S. market for the Andean countries (the Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act). Recently, Zoellick has worked with Nicaraguan political movements and non-governmental organizations to help ensure free and fair elections in Nicaragua and to help that country reject the criminal influence of corrupt politicians that threaten Nicaraguan democracy. As a co-Chair (with Brazil) of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), Zoellick organized the FTAA meeting in Miami in 2003. During the Presidency of George H.W. Bush, Zoellick played a key role in the negotiation of NAFTA and in ending the civil wars in Central America. [photo gallery]

Remarks by Deputy Secretary Zoellick
--06/05/06  Press Availability at the General Assembly of the Organization of American States
--06/05/06  Remarks to General Assembly of the Organization of American States
--06/04/06  Press Availability in the Dominican Republic

Related Information
Organization of American States
Free Trade Area of the Americas

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