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Spotlight Argentina: Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy

photo of Iguazu Falls, Argentina from CIA World Factbook

In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. It is located in Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay.

The U.S. Embassy in Argentina seeks to protect the interests and safety of U.S. citizens in Argentina, promotes and strengthens mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and Argentina, and communicates U.S. foreign policy objectives to the Government and people of Argentina.

Bilateral cooperation between the United States and Argentina includes science and technology, environment, political, economic, commercial, agriculture, education, culture and exchange activities.

On January 20, 2017, Mr. Tom Cooney assumed the position of Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina. As CDA, Mr. Cooney is in charge of all Embassy operations in the absence of a presidentially-appointed Ambassador.

Mr. Cooney arrived in Buenos Aires as the Deputy Chief of Mission in July 2016. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, Mr. Cooney served most recently as the Deputy Consul General of the U.S. Consulate General for Hong Kong and Macau (2013-16). Prior to Hong Kong, he served as the State Department’s Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commanding General of U.S. Army, Pacific Command in Hawaii, where he earned the State Department’s award for Foreign Policy Advisor of the Year as well as the U.S. Army’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

Mr. Cooney also has completed diplomatic postings in Santiago, Shanghai, Beijing, and Washington. While in Washington during 2002-2004, he worked closely on counterterrorism issues in Latin America including increased U.S. cooperation with Argentina. He has been honored with several State Department Superior Honor awards as well as the Public Diplomacy Alumni Association’s Global Achievement Award for his contributions as the Deputy Commissioner General of the USA Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, the largest world’s fair in history.

Mr. Cooney speaks Spanish and Mandarin Chinese and hails from Detroit, Michigan. An avid fan and former player of U.S. football, he graduated from Cornell University (B.S., Communications) and the University of South Carolina (Master, International Business). Mr. Cooney is married with three children.

50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco

Fifty years ago, on February 14, 1967, the Treaty of Tlatelolco opened for signature. This landmark Treaty led to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean, the first agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons in a populated area. It paved the way for other similar zones that now cover 114 countries in four other regions of the globe, as well as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. All of these nuclear-weapon-free zones were negotiated on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States within the region concerned, a principle affirmed by the 1999 United Nations Disarmament Commission guidelines on nuclear-weapon-free zone. This practical and realistic approach has enhanced global and regional peace and security and strengthened the global nuclear nonproliferation regime.

The United States has been a strong supporter of the Treaty of Tlatelolco from its inception. The United States is a Party to both of the Treaty’s Protocols. As such, the United States has committed not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the Treaty Parties or contribute to the violation of the Treaty’s obligations, and not to test, manufacture, store or deploy nuclear weapons in US territories within the zone’s territorial limits.

The Treaty of Tlatelolco also recognizes the importance of the International Atomic Energy Agency in applying safeguards to verify that states are abiding by their commitments to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and we urge all States in the region and elsewhere to adopt the highest level of standards for International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

By keeping Latin America and the Caribbean free of nuclear weapons and establishing a model for other regions to follow, the Treaty of Tlatelolco serves as the international model for limiting the risks of nuclear war and strengthening regional nuclear nonproliferation. We celebrate the wisdom of its drafters fifty years ago, and rededicate ourselves to work together to build on its promise.

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