- The Washington Times - Monday, April 10, 2000

Women's work

A professor at Washington's Howard University is determined to make the world realize that women's work includes diplomacy.
Marilyn Sephocle founded the Women's Ambassadors Program with that goal five years ago.
Her work has now attracted the attention of the world's top female diplomat, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.
Ms. Sephocle recently held her first Conference of Women Ambassadors to Washington and bestowed the group's Ambassador of the Year award on Macedonian Ambassador Lubica Acevska.
Miss Acevska, one of 12 women among the 172 ambassadors in Washington, received the award for her work with Howard University students involved in the Women's Ambassadors Program.
"She has been very supportive of our program, especially in mentoring our students," Ms. Sephocle said. "Our goal is to encourage young women to pursue a career in diplomacy."
With Howard University drawing students from 118 countries, Ms. Sephocle is confident that there is a budding female ambassador somewhere in the lot.
Mrs. Albright, in a letter, congratulated Ms. Sephocle for organizing the first female ambassadors' conference.
"It is very significant that this event is taking place on the campus of Howard University, and I commend Dr. Sephocle … for honoring these ambassadors," said Mrs. Albright, herself a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
"These women of state demonstrate a unique approach to diplomacy, and as one of the largest delegations of women ambassadors ever to be posted in Washington at the same time, they are indeed pioneers."
In addition to Mis Acevska, the other female ambassadors are Ivonne A-Baki of Ecuador, Chan Heng-chee of Singapore, Arlette Conzemius of Luxembourg, Marlene Fernandez of Bolivia, Sonia Merlyn Johnny of Saint Lucia, Mary Kanya of Swaziland, Maleeha Lodhi of Pakistan, Erato Kozakou Marcoullis of Cyprus, Faida Mitifu of Congo, Makate Sheila Sisulu of South Africa and Edith Grace Ssempala of Uganda.

Expanding the drug war

The United States is praising Honduras for agreeing to allow U.S. agents to pursue suspected drug smugglers in Honduran waters.
"Cooperation is necessary to combat the plague of drug trafficking, and this agreement manifests the willingness of Honduras and the United States to fight it," U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Frank Almaguer said after he and Honduran Foreign Minister Roberto Flores signed a cooperation agreement last month.
The compact will allow the U.S. Coast Guard to pursue boats suspected of smuggling drugs in Honduran territorial waters.
It will also permit U.S. authorities to board suspicious boats flying the Honduran flag in international waters.
The United States has similar agreements with Costa Rica, Belize, the Dominican Republic and other nations.
Washington is negotiating agreements with with Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti and Ecuador.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
A delegation from Venezuela, including Vice President Isaias Rodriguez, Foreign Minister Jose Vicente Randel and Attorney General Javier Elechiguerra. They will participate in a forum on democracy in the Western Hemisphere at the Organization of American States.
Venezuelan Vice President Isias Rodriguez and Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Vincente Rangel, who attend a seminar for analysis and reflection on participatory democracy at the Organization of American States.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who will discuss the peace process with President Clinton.
Colombian President Andres Pastrana.
A delegation from Brazil, including Congressmen Eduardo Jorge, Francisco Graziano, Walfrido Mares Guia and Nelson Marchezan; Vilmar Faria, senior advisor to President Fernando Henrique Cardoso; Vincius Carvalho Pinheiro, secretary of social security; Raul Jungmann, minister for rural land policy; Maria Helena Guimaraes de Castro of the Education Ministry; and Health Minister Jose Serra. They will participate in a forum on Brazil at the InterAmerican Development Bank.

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