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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks at Roundtable Discussion with Civil Society Organizations, Ambassador's Residence
Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 16, 2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
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[Text as prepared for delivery]

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you Mrs. Martini and buenos dias everyone -- thank you for coming. Meeting with community leaders and activists has been one of the great pleasures of my travel the past three and a half years. Through these conversations around the world and my own experiences, especially in Eastern Europe, I have a very strong appreciation of the role that NGOs play in building strong democratic societies.

Civil society movements are thriving throughout the world because courageous organizations, such as those represented here, have taken a stand against past injustices and social and economic inequalities. You have not only inspired human rights defenders but you have been on the vanguard of a civil society movement which has transformed Latin America and the world over the last decade.

And your work is not just about accountability for abuses of the past. It embodies the responsibility that all citizens must share in a democracy to build accountable and responsive government every day.

I am pleased to see that your NGOs are dealing with a full range of issues including human rights, education, the environment, political corruption, and, of course, economic empowerment. That's why I am here today.

I want to use this opportunity to exchange ideas arising from the work that you do and to share what I have learned from similar meetings in other parts of the world. I also want to exchange candid views on the challenges you face and the future of your movement here in Argentina.

[End of Document]
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