Minister Pintér, Ambassadors, distinguished guests, ILEA Directors and staff and ILEA Session 100 graduates; I am so pleased to be here with you tonight to celebrate both the ILEA 20 year anniversary and the graduation of ILEA Session 100.
It was an honor to be with Session 100 this afternoon as they became proud ILEA Alumni. Congratulations again to you, graduates.
On October 22, 1995 speaking in front of the UN General Assembly, President Bill Clinton called for the establishment of a network of international law enforcement academies around the world to combat transnational threats and strengthen international cooperation. President Clinton understood then, as we know today, that supporting high standards of professional skills and ethics for law enforcement is a critical responsibility of all governments around the world.
ILEA Budapest opened its doors that same year to help the region’s emerging democracies build effective law enforcement capabilities and to promote the rule of law for enhanced security that is essential for prosperity.
ILEA Budapest became the model for four other ILEAs now operating around the world – and remains the flagship ILEA. We are very proud of that status, at the U.S. Embassy here in Budapest.
For twenty years now, the ILEA Program has been providing high-quality law enforcement training and technical capacity–building assistance to over 50 countries. That means over 21,000 law enforcement officers have passed through the gates of ILEA for training.
The ILEA concept and philosophy are a united effort by everyone who takes part in its work — agencies and ministries, trainers and teachers, managers and students alike — to achieve our common goals of meeting the highest standards for international law enforcement. It is an ideal blend of professionals who are working together to promote our shared goals to build rule of law, to support human dignity, to ensure individual safety, and to contribute to global security.
On its 20th anniversary, ILEA stands as a living monument to the principles of cooperation and partnership. And when we come together again, to celebrate ILEA’s 50th or its 100th anniversary, I am confident that we will hear even more success stories then–stories of courage, dedication, and cooperation that allowed freedom to flourish. That’s what makes me proudest of ILEA – proud of the role it plays in the United States’ relationship with Hungary, and proud of the role ILEA will play in the decades to come.
Well done and congratulations ILEA.