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December 8, 2000




The United States government announced at the Organization of American States in Washington today that it was making a $4 million payment, part of its quota to the hemispheric Organization.

The announcement by Ambassador Luis Lauredo, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the OAS, came as the Permanent Council met in special session to consider the serious financial situation facing the Organization. Lauredo said the payment by his government "should allow the OAS to cover some of its essential needs until the end of the year."

Stressing the seriousness of the problem, Ambassador Lauredo noted that the Organization's expenditures needed examining--to determine how priority programs can continue while deferring the administrative costs until financing can be definitively identified.

OAS Secretary General CÚsar Gaviria welcomed the payment announcement. He also renewed the General Secretariat's appeal to member states to redouble their efforts on their quota payments. While agreeing that a more systematic approach was needed to reduce expenditures, Mr. Gaviria explained the difficulties involved when an organization's fixed expenditures are so high and variable expenditures so low.

Member state representatives at the meeting also expressed their views on proposals submitted by the Permanent Council Chairman, Canada's Ambassador Peter M. Boehm, on mechanisms for measuring progress in OAS priority areas. The discussion centered on a resolution that the 27th special session of the OAS General Assembly passed in October, containing measures for improving the administration, structure, budgetary process and financial management of the Organization.