2002 was the 20th anniversary of the Inter-American Dialogue, which was founded in 1982 as a one-time conference on hemispheric affairs. Other highlights of this anniversary year were:
In May, the Dialogue held the 2002 meeting of the Sol M. Linowitz Forum. The Forum brings the Dialogue’s membership together in Washington once every two years for an extended discussion of the most important issues in hemispheric affairs. This was the 13th time that Dialogue members have met in plenary session since 1982.
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil accepted our invitation to become co-chair of the Dialogue on completion of his term in January 2003. President Cardoso was a founding member of the Inter-American Dialogue, participated in its first plenary meeting in 1982, and was elected to the Dialogue’s first executive committee in 1985. Succeeding him as president of Brazil was former Dialogue member Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Five Latin American presidents visited the Dialogue last year. Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe spoke at a September 24 discussion in Washington. On November 1, the Dialogue hosted a luncheon with Ecuadorian presidential candidate Lucio Gutiérrez, who went on to win the election. On June 13, President Jorge Quiroga of Bolivia addressed a day-long workshop. On November 12, his successor President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, spoke at the Dialogue. On February 11, we hosted a discussion with Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo.