Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Daniel L. Foote during the International Law Enforcement Academy Alumni Reception

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Daniel L. Foote
International Law Enforcement Academy Alumni Reception
Taj Pamodzi Hotel, Lusaka, Zambia
March 7, 2019

(as prepared for delivery)

Honorable Minister of Justice Given Lubinda
International Law Enforcement Academy Alumni
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen
All protocols observed

Good evening.  On behalf of the U.S. Embassy and my colleagues from the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) based in Gaborone, Botswana, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to everyone for attending this special event.  Tonight offers an opportunity to reflect on our partnership and the progress we have made together to address regional challenges and priorities.

In 2001, ILEA began as a mission to fortify a global network of partners to assess regional challenges and emergent threats with the goal of more effectively combating violent extremism and transnational organized crime.  As ILEA has become more robust over the years, lines of communication have become stronger, organizational agility has improved, and response times to dangers have decreased.  ILEA Gaborone has provided a strategic platform for nations collectively to share a vision, values, and priorities.

Today, ILEA boasts of highly accomplished alumni in more than 36 partner nations in Africa.  In Zambia, I am proud to recognize past participants, as well as partners and colleagues, from the Zambian government, most notably in the law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.

On the eve of International Women’s Day, I would like to extend a very special “welcome” and “thank you” to the Zambian women who are proud graduates of ILEA.  Would each lady please stand as we honor you?

Tonight’s event holds both personal and professional value to me.  As the former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, I am quite familiar with ILEA’s mission and the great work of the regional academies in Gaborone, San Salvador, Budapest, Bangkok, Accra, and the Executive Development mission in Roswell, New Mexico.  It is with great interest and appreciation I continue to play a role in the continuing development of the ILEA program and its impact regionally and globally.

In that context, I would like to single out some of ILEA’s most notable programs from my perspective:

  • The new Wildlife Border Inspections training program sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S Customs and Border Protection Service; and
  • The U.S. Forest Service’s and Department of Justice’s Illegal Logging and Timber Harvesting course that resulted from a collaborative effort on the part of U.S. Embassy Pretoria’s Regional Environmental Officer, local experts, and regional stakeholders.

This year, the U.S. government set out a goal to increase engagement with ILEA alumni to continue conversations and develop plans of action in response to evolving threats and priorities across the sub-Saharan region. I am sure this afternoon’s discussions provided a good opportunity for you all to offer feedback on the training in which you participated and how we might utilize future engagements to respond to these issues.  Tonight’s reception in Zambia is ILEA’s first alumni outreach event on this scale and is the first of three for the year.

We mark a wonderful start to a new chapter in ILEA’s history as all of us involved in facilitating greater cooperation and coordination on law enforcement issues contribute to better enabling ILEA itself to evolve to meet our collective mission, strengthen existing partnerships with ILEA family members through collaboration and communication, and constantly seek new opportunities to work together to make the region and the world safer and more secure.

At this point, I will conclude my formal remarks, but not before I invite the Honorable Minister of Justice, Given Lubinda, to come forward and offer his remarks.  Honorable Minister…