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THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Press Secretary
                          (New York, New York)
________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                     March 30, 2000

WHITE HOUSE SPECIAL ENVOY FOR THE AMERICAS, BUDDY MACKAY TO ATTEND

            INTER-AMERICAN DIALOGUE CONFERENCE IN COSTA RICA
                        MARCH 31 THROUGH APRIL 3

President Clinton's Special Envoy for the Americas, Kenneth H. "Buddy" MacKay Jr. will travel to San Jose, Costa Rica on March 31st to participate in the "Meeting of the Network of Legislative Leaders of the Americas," sponsored by the Inter-American Dialogue.

The meeting provides a forum for the assembled legislators to review common challenges and opportunities in parliaments throughout the hemisphere. The Dialogue has commissioned legislators from eight countries of the Americas to present papers that will address issues such as legislative leadership, ways to evaluate the general effectiveness of legislatures, and efforts to develop common legislative guidelines and a multilateral framework for dealing with illegal drug trafficking and consumption.

"Among the many tasks that lie before us as we strive to promote free trade, regional integration, democratic governance and broad based economic development, is to enhance the role of national legislatures in this process," Envoy MacKay responded when asked recently about the conference. "This conference will be an excellent opportunity for us to make progress toward that end."

While in Costa Rica, Envoy MacKay will meet with national government leaders, representatives of the legislative and judicial branches of the Costa Rica government, civil society, heads of non-governmental organizations, as well as with Costa Rican and American business leaders of the Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce. He will have interviews with media representatives to discuss the opportunities and challenges for the Americas in the realm of trade and economic development.

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