Ambassadors, foreign dignitaries, business people, and others have continued to embrace President Barack Obama's initiative that focuses on global peace, health and unity.
"President Obama has a mission of global peace and unity and it is one we support and we hope to use this time to bring much needed attention to the pressing issues plaguing our world," said Neil Parsan, ambassador of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Obama is seeking to foster global cooperation on several fronts, including peace, unity and the fight against HIV/AIDS. During an address to the United Nations in September, Obama said there must be a focus on patients with the highest HIV disparities.
Specifically, the president said, focus must begin with African Americans, Latinos and gay men. "These actions are bringing us closer to an AIDS-free generation at home and abroad," Obama said. "While the goal is ambitious, it is within sight," he said.
Later, at former President Bill Clinton's annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, Obama said world leaders in government, business, philanthropy, and civil society must unite to help create solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.
"The initiative is an extraordinary concept and the ambassadors are the foot soldiers of this global work," said Treavion Davenport, communications director for the 2013 Ambassadors Inaugural Ball, where representatives of more than 40 nations celebrated Obama's second inauguration on Monday, Jan. 21.
"The ball is one of peace and unity and diplomacy and all of the countries are galvanized by the president's initiative and are uniting," Parsan said. "We are rallying around that initiative."
Ambassadors to Suriname, Gambia, Cameroon, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Kosovo, Morocco, Republic of Panama, Republic of Botswana, Republic of Slovenia, Bangladesh, Guyana, Oman, Bahrain, Congo, Macedonia, Albania, Cote d'Ivoire, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Liechtenstein all partnered to host the ball at the Carnegie Library in Northwest. Each country has expressed their cooperation and participation in Obama's initiative.
In keeping with the president's global plan, the ambassadors also are trying to raise money and awareness for causes such as AIDS, poverty, human trafficking, global warming, lack of medical care for many, and starvation.
"Obama has an inclusive approach to his initiative of solving the world's problems and many countries are looking for the president to help economically because if the economy in the United States is weak, the impact affects overall production around the world," Parsan said.
"We welcome the support of corporate and philanthropic interests willing to invest in these worthwhile causes," said Robert Shumake, the honorary Consul General of the Republic of Botswana.
America and Botswana share a tradition of democracy and the two nations have provided a foundation to solidify mutual desires to establish a closer relationship, Shumake said.
"And, because of the plethora of today's trans-Atlantic ties from trade and investment and groundbreaking scientific cooperation, to study abroad and tourism, we are constantly finding ways to share and learn from each other, and the relationship between us is continually being renewed," Shumake said.
The U.S. relationship with Botswana is similar to the one developing between America and Zambia, another byproduct of Obama's global initiative.
Earlier this month, the president pledged to expand economic ties with Zambia through increased bilateral trade and investment.
The United States is committed to assisting Zambia improve productivity in the agriculture sector and the administration is impressed with the African nation's dedication to democracy, peace, health and the welfare of its citizens and those around the world, Obama said on Jan. 15.
"We laud the Zambian government's growing leadership in addressing public health challenges and we pledge to continue our investment through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and other initiatives to combat infectious diseases and improve maternal and child health," Obama said.
Zambia benefits from the U.S. through Obama's initiative, which include a global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, said Palan Mulonda, Zambia's ambassador to the U.S.
"I shall seek to explore trade and investment opportunities between our two countries in order to enhance economic development," Mulonda said.
Also last week, Obama moved to strengthen ties with Liberia.
Following a U.S.-Liberia signing dialogue at the White House that included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Obama said the meeting was another important step in strengthening the partnership between the two nations and to support Liberia as it continues down the path of democratic and economic reform.
The nations have agreed to establish working groups in agriculture and food security, energy and power infrastructure, and human development with an emphasis on creating more economic opportunities for the people of Liberia to expand access to education and employment.
Liberian Ambassador Jeremiah Sulunteh said he was grateful to Obama for the Liberian-U.S. relationship. "The ambassador thanked and informed the distinguished gathering of (Liberia's) efforts to build a strong and united country, and his desire to further strengthen the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation between the United States and Liberia," said Gabriel I.H. Williams, minister counselor for press and public affairs for the Liberian Embassy in D.C.
Nana Meriwether, a two-time NCAA All-American who was crowned Miss USA last year, is also working with various ambassadors to help further Obama's initiative.
"As the newly crowned Miss USA, I hope to use my title to raise awareness for the Meriwether Foundation, which focuses on improving the health and well-being of people living in rural villages in five countries in South Africa," Meriwether said.
"Our mission is to build financial support and awareness for several deserving non-profit beneficiaries, with the Meriwether Foundation being central among them," said Tebelelo Seretse, ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the United States and Canada.