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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 12, 2000


I am pleased today to sign the instrument of ratification for the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles. This treaty is the first international agreement dedicated solely to raising standards for the protection of sea turtles.

All six species of sea turtle found in the Western Hemisphere are threatened or endangered, some critically so. The extensive migration patterns of these majestic creatures span thousands of miles in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Consequently, effective conservation measures depend on close international cooperation. This treaty fosters that cooperation and serves as a model for others focused on conserving the world's most endangered species.

This Convention also demonstrates that countries can work together to protect marine life, and that our trade and environment policies can be mutually supportive. I commend the Senate for giving its advice and consent to ratification of this important agreement.