February 22, 2018
Good morning and welcome to the United States Embassy’s beautiful new facility in Chad. I am pleased you are able to join us today as we formally launch a Chad Country Council as part of our government’s worldwide Overseas Security Advisory Country (OSAC).
OSAC is particularly import to me as Ambassador. My top priorities are protection of American citizens and promotion of American interests. Founded in 1985, OSAC was created to promote security cooperation between the U.S. Government through the Department of State and American private sector interests overseas.
Globally, OSAC has over 16,000 members of over 3,500 U.S. companies, educational institutions, faith-based institutions, and non-governmental organizations.
OSAC provides a forum for sharing best practices and provides the tools needed to cope with today’s ever-changing challenges and security-related issues abroad. In my experience, this sharing of information has been critical in environments where there is anti-Americanism or where anti-government sentiments devolved into economic violence. American businesses are symbols of America itself and targets just as much as USG facilities. Timely sharing of security information can help protect our people and our facilities.
You might be wondering how OSAC members receive this information. OSAC’s Research and Information Support Center (RISC) is dedicated to meeting the needs of the U.S. private sector by gauging threats to U.S. business investment, personnel, facilities, and intellectual property abroad. These assessments are provided to OSAC members worldwide free of charge via the OSAC website as well as country and event-specific email distribution lists.
Our goal in Chad is that the Country Councils encourage security managers to organize themselves to cope with security-related problems, develop working relationships to create an exchange of pertinent security information in a timely fashion, and to break down barriers between and within the public and private spheres.
In a country like Chad, where access to reliable and timely information is difficult, this public private partnership is essential.
OSAC mandate has grown from fostering security cooperation between American public and private organizations to be much more inclusive. As a result, we have invited representatives from non-American affiliated international enterprises, embassies, non-governmental organizations and other partners to join us as affiliated members.
Ultimately, the success of the Chad Country Council depends on the participation of its members. I hope you will find OSAC’s resources and information sharing network useful for your organizations, and that you will use the forum as a method to share security-related information to everyone’s collective benefit. I would also encourage you to think of others that might benefit by joining us in the future.
I thank you again for coming. I would like to turn the floor over to our Regional Security Officer and Chad Country Council Chair James Falgoust.