Ambassador Carlos Trujillo
Presentation of Credentials Ceremony
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Secretary General Almagro, Mr. Chair of the Permanent Council Ambassador Gonzalez, Assistant Secretary General Mendez, distinguished ambassadors and alternate representatives, members of the Secretariat —
I am honored and grateful to be here today with you and deeply humbled by the trust that President Trump has placed in me to serve as the Permanent Representative of the United States to the Organization of American States.
It is a profound honor to serve and represent my country at this vital institution. This is a critical time for our hemisphere and for the OAS as it reaffirms its regional leadership and relevance by standing up for the principles upon which it was founded.
We, as member states of this Organization, have a long tradition of working together to advance the freedom, democracy, prosperity and security for our peoples. I intend to honor that tradition, and pledge to work with you in doing so.
Mr. Secretary General, I appreciate the opportunity we had this morning to discuss the work of the OAS, and the many challenges that face us. I want to take this opportunity to commend you for the exceptional leadership that you have shown around the hemisphere, specifically with human rights and democracy, and in particular by standing up for the rights of the people of Venezuela and for the people of Cuba.
I believe we have a responsibility to make real for all the citizens of the Americas the promise of the OAS Charter, which this year marks its 70th anniversary. The American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man and the Inter-American Democratic Charter also show us the way of advancing human dignity and individual liberty in our Hemisphere.
Distinguished ambassadors, Mr. Secretary General, I want to say how much I look forward to working closely and collaboratively with you in the coming days to promote our countries’ common interests and continue our efforts to strengthen this great organization. The OAS has already accomplished so much, but like all international organizations, we must work hard to modernize it and streamline it. Together, I hope we can rededicate ourselves to the vision of a hemisphere united in peace, committed to democracy, respectful of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of our citizens, economic prosperity and secure in their way of life.
Much important and urgent work awaits as we prepare for the Eighth Summit of the Americas in Lima, under Peru’s able leadership, and beyond that for the OAS General Assembly here in Washington. The Summit will be President Trump’s first trip to the region, and I look forward to supporting him as he works with the leaders from throughout the hemisphere. We hope the Summit will also be an opportunity to address the growing humanitarian crisis that currently is facing Venezuela.
Although I have been anxious to begin my work here over the last several months, in many ways I feel I have arrived at the perfect time.
I want to thank Kevin Sullivan and the rest of the U.S. Mission here at the OAS. Their service to the United States and to the Organization of American States has been commendable, and, thankfully, I know I can continue to count on them as we move forward.
Finally, I want to recognize the presence of my family here today. In case you have not noticed, I have a few children that are here in the front row — Carlos, Isabella, Juan Pablo and Felipe. Carmen, my wife, and I are honored and excited to be here and to work with all of you. It is really a humbling experience to move with our family to our nation’s capital at the service of our great country and the American people. I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you in the upcoming days.
May God bless the Organization of American States and may God bless all of our countries.
Also See: OAS Photo Gallery