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President Carter’s Legacy in the Americas Celebrated

  • Blinken views exhibit.

    At the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (foreground) and OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro admire an exhibit commemorating former President Jimmy Carter’s diplomatic work in the Americas. (Photos: The Carter Center/ M. Cartaya)

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s legacy in the Americas was commemorated at several venues across Washington, D.C., in June 2023. The celebration coincided with the Organization of American States’ 53rd General Assembly June 21-23.

OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro praised President Carter as “one of the greatest champions of democracy and human rights in the Americas.”

“For me, personally, he’s kind of a hero,” said Almagro, who is from Uruguay. “His photo is in my office, and my visit to Plains is maybe the highest moment of my tenure as secretary general.”

An exhibition at the OAS displayed official documents, photographs, and newspaper clippings highlighting President Carter’s commitment to democratic principles and protection of human rights in the region as well as his contributions to the organization.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the exhibition. He and others greeted family members of President Carter’s administration who were also in attendance. Blinken praised President Carter for supporting democracy and human rights “not just in words but in deeds.”

"It's a good bit of inspiration to be here and see this," Blinken added.

  • A typed letter to President Carter.

    A letter from President Laurentino Cortizo lets President Carter know that he is “very much loved and remembered” in Panama.

During the opening day of the General Assembly, the delegations of Chile, Dominican Republic, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, and others honored President Carter’s work in the Americas.

"President Carter placed human rights and democracy at the top of his agenda for the region," said Ambassador Francisco Mora, U.S. permanent representative to the OAS.

Janaina Tewaney Mencomo, Panama's minister of foreign affairs, read a letter Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo wrote to President Carter.

"Dear Jimmy, we are proud of you and wish to thank you again for your determination to make our continent and the world a better place to live," the letter read in part. "… In Panama, we learned from you that true friendship can exist among individuals and nations of very different backgrounds and between a very small country and a superpower, based on our shared human essence."

The letter was presented to Jennie Lincoln, the Carter Center’s senior advisor on Latin America and the Caribbean, who worked alongside President Carter on several election observation missions in the region, including Panama in 1989 and Nicaragua in 1990.

A special exhibition honoring President Carter was also on display at the National Museum of American Diplomacy.

To close the week, the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted the Inter-American Dialogue, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the OAS, and The Carter Center for remarks and panel discussions in honor of President Carter’s contributions to the region.

Related Resources

Virtual Event | Commemorating Jimmy Carter’s Legacy in the Americas (June 23, 2023)


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