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Remarks by the President at the Opening of the First Working Session

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Office of the Press Secretary
(Denver, Colorado)

For Immediate Release June
21, 1997


Denver Public Library
Denver, Colorado

9:10 A.M. MDT

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I'm very pleased to welcome my fellow leaders to Denver as we open this Summit of the 8. And I want to say a special welcome to our friend, President Yeltsin, who joins us for the first time from the beginning to the end of this meeting. Russia's growing role in the shared world of market democracies reflects the progress and the potential of this age.

We meet at a moment of remarkable possibility for our nations and for the world. Powerful forces are drawing our nations closer together, delivering the promise of prosperity and security to more people than ever. Changes that, like this, bring vast opportunities as we approach the new century, but we also know they bring new challenges. Our citizens must have the skills they need to succeed in a fast-changing economy. And as barriers fall, problems that start in one country can spread quickly to another, whether they are currency crises, organized crime, or outbreaks of deadly diseases.

Our challenge in this moment of peace and stability is to organize ourselves for the future; to make change work for us, not against us. We must seize the opportunities of the global economy to expand our own prosperity, bring in other nations that want to share in its benefits, and work together to meet the new threats. None of our nations can meet these challenges alone, and more than ever our summit process is an engine of common progress.

Over the next two days we'll discuss the best ways to deepen and extend the benefits of the 21st century marketplace, to help our societies thrive as our populations grow older, to strengthen further the stability of the world financial system, to generate economic growth throughout the world. We'll continue our efforts to bring new partners in Africa and elsewhere into the community of market democracies. And we'll strengthen our growing cooperation to meet threats to our common security, such as our rapid response network to fight nuclear smuggling, common endeavors to combat terrorism, and initiatives to stem infectious disease, including the search for an AIDS vaccine.

It is fitting that we meet in a public library, a place where people come together to learn and share ideas without regard to their own backgrounds. If we pool our strength, we can achieve great things for all our people and the world. I look forward to addressing those challenges with my fellow leaders, and again I welcome them to Denver.

Thank you very much.

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Press Conference of the President

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Remarks at the Opening of the First Working Session

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