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The original item was published from 5/16/2017 4:08:44 PM to 5/20/2017 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: May 16, 2017

[ARCHIVED] SWA Hosts Foreign Diplomats During Experience Florida Program

Visitors from all over the globe have come to tour the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County’s award-winning Palm Beach Renewable Energy Facility 2. Tomorrow, May 17, diplomats from 17 nations join the list of distinguished visitors to the state-of-the-art waste-to-energy plant that started commercial operation in 2015.

The SWA will be a Day 3 co-host of Experience Florida, where 21 foreign diplomats and the Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) and Bureau of Diplomatic Security will meet with representatives from a variety of local organizations. In all, 21 consulates of Bahamas, Canada, Ecuador, France, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Belgium, Nigeria, Germany, Monaco, Sweden, Angola and Pakistan are participating.

Experience Florida is a week-long event that provides foreign diplomats opportunities to develop economic, commercial, scientific and cultural relations between the countries they represent and the area in which they serve. The event is taking place from May 15-19, at various locations in Palm Beach County, Florida.

During the SWA part of the day, participants will tour Palm Beach Renewable Energy Facility 2 and the LEED Platinum Education center. Prior to coming to the REF 2, participants will be at the Port of Palm Beach. After they leave REF 2, the participants are headed to Lion Country Safari.

During the week, these participants will meet with the Mayor of Palm Beach, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach Regional Fusion Center, Florida Power and Light, West Palm Beach City Hall, Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, and end with a visit to the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

This is the second consecutive year that the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the Office of Foreign Missions and a participating Florida county have collaborated to provide a VIP tour for senior leadership of the Consular Corps and trade communities. The 2016 event took place in Indian River County.

About the Bureau of Diplomatic Security
As the Department of State’s security and law enforcement arm, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security does not formulate foreign policy.

The Diplomatic Security is responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. Every diplomatic mission in the world operates under a security program designed and maintained by Diplomatic Security. Not only is Diplomatic Security a unique organization in the foreign affairs community--it is the only law enforcement agency with representation in nearly every country in the world.

In the United States, Diplomatic Security personnel protect the Secretary of State and high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States, investigates passport and visa fraud, and conducts personnel security investigations.

Operating from a global platform in 30 U.S. cities and more than 160 foreign countries, Diplomatic Security ensures that America can conduct diplomacy safely and securely. Diplomatic Security plays a vital role in protecting 275 U.S. diplomatic missions and their personnel overseas, securing critical information systems, investigating passport and visa fraud, and fighting the war on terror.

About the Office of Foreign Missions
Congress mandated the creation of the Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) to serve the interests of the American public, the American diplomatic community abroad, and the foreign diplomatic community residing in the United States, ensuring that all diplomatic benefits, privileges, and immunities would be properly exercised in accordance with federal laws and international agreements.

As an advocate for reciprocity, OFM pursues fair treatment of U.S. personnel abroad while ensuring that foreign diplomats based in the United States receive reciprocal treatment. Additionally, OFM assists foreign missions in their interactions with local government offices in the United States.

OFM also provides a range of services to the foreign diplomatic community, including issuance of vehicle titles; vehicle registrations; driver’s licenses, and license plates; processing of tax exemption and duty-free customs requests; and facilitation of property acquisitions through local zoning law procedures.

Finally, OFM establishes and maintains relationships with U.S. law enforcement and security communities at the national, state, and local levels to educate them about diplomatic privilege and immunity issues.

For more information on the event, please contact Aaron M. Testa at or call 571-345-2504.

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