The United States and Paraguay: Focused on the Future – Remarks by Leslie A. Bassett at UNA Law School, (May 18th 2016)

President Cartes

Other dignitaries TBD

Thank you very much for this honor.  Paraguay is a country of great promise working hard to provide for the welfare of its citizens, and to ensure all of them have access to government services.  On behalf of the United States government, and as a symbol of our continuing friendship and support for Paraguay, I am proud today to share two programs that support the government’s goals.

The first is a donation of 59 radiation detection devices that will be used by the Autoridad Reguladora Radiológica y Nuclear (ARRN) to help ensure that medical and other professional devices that use radiation are working properly, so that neither patients nor medical personnel are exposed to any risks.  The detectors can also be used to ensure that commercial and other goods entering the country do not carry unsafe levels of radiation.  This donation is part of an ongoing 10 -year collaboration between our two countries to ensure the safe handling of radioactive materials.

The second program is to help ensure members of the indigenous communities of Paraguay have full access to government services and benefits.  The first step is to make sure they are all issued cedulas.  Working with FECOPROD we hope in the next months to help 15,000 members of indigenous communities in six departments obtain legal documentation.   The second phase will be led by INDI and other government agencies, and we will work together to help members of the indigenous communities register for government programs and benefits like Tekopora.   I just spent a week in Alto Paraguay, and I know how hard it is to reach some of these communities.  We are very grateful to be able to partner with the government and civil society to better service the indigenous community.

This is an opportunity for me to stress the close partnership  between the United States and Paraguay on a broad range of issues important to us both.  The programs we are celebrating today are a small sample of the excellent cooperation between our two governments.  Today we are also welcoming a trade delegation from the United States, and this is another promising step forward in building our economic ties.  We continue to applaud the advances Paraguay is making on transparency and Open Government, and the important regional role Paraguay is playing.

Thank you.