Organization of American States ..............................News Release


February 4, 1998

The Organization of American States (OAS) could benefit a great deal from closer partnership with other agencies. This could be a creative way around difficulties arising from financial or other constraints the organizations faces, Ambassador Michael Arneaud, the new permanent representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the OAS suggests.

In his first presentation to the Permanent Council on Wednesday, Ambassador Arneaud also called on the OAS to bring more ingenuity to its handling of budgetary matters.

Reiterating Trinidad and Tobago's commitment to continued active involvement in the Washington-based organization, Mr. Arneaud, a former business executive, said his government appreciated the important work the OAS was doing in such areas as participatory democracy, the trade, education and training, social development, tourism and fighting the drug scourge.

Continued and increased benefit from participation in the OAS was also underscored by Arneaud, who praised the OAS for helping guide the Caribbean countries towards what he called "their American destiny." While speaking of benefits, he emphasized the contribution Caribbean countries have brought to the organization, citing the "long tradition of developed democratic institutions and processes" among what those countries had to offer the organization.

Turning to preparations for the upcoming second Summit of the Americas, to be held in Chile in April, Ambassador Arneaud commended the OAS role, expressing optimism that consensus would be arrived at in preparing for the meeting of the hemisphere's heads of state and government.

Ambassador Arneaud and new permanent representatives for St. Lucia, Bolivia and Guatemala were given a hearty welcome by the Permanent Council chairman, Ambassador Albert Ramdin of Suriname.

At today's Council meeting also, the hemisphere's diplomats paid tribute to the outgoing permanent representative of Mexico, Ambassador Carmen Moreno de Del Cueto, who will be returning to Mexico soon as a deputy secretary of foreign affairs.

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