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New York City, January 19, 1999 - The Council on Foreign Relations celebrated tonight the opening of the Peter G. Peterson Center for International Studies and rededicated itself to keeping alive debate on U.S. foreign policy in America. Council members in New York were joined in the gala opening by members in Washington, D.C., Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong by means of the Council’s powerful new videoconferencing capability.
"We celebrate tonight Pete Peterson’s vision to bring together Americans of diverse backgrounds and regional perspectives into a national dialogue on America’s role in the post-Cold War world," said Council President Leslie H. Gelb. "Never in the past 50 years has the United States been more broadly involved in the world, and never has public debate about what we should be doing been so lacking. And that is what makes the Peterson Center so critical," Gelb said. Peter G. Peterson is Chairman of the Council’s Board of Directors.
Council Honorary Chairman David Rockefeller, Mr. Peterson, and Mr. Gelb presided over presentations in New York and around the country by dignitaries including: President William Jefferson Clinton, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III, Warren Christopher, Henry A. Kissinger, William P. Rogers, George P. Shultz, Cyrus R. Vance, as well as Maurice R. Greenberg, Alan Greenspan, Richard C. Holbrooke, Diane Sawyer, Theodore C. Sorensen , and others.
The Council on Foreign Relations is a national nonpartisan organization of about 3,400 members and a foreign policy think tank with about 65 experts and researchers.