The Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) of the Organization of American States (OAS) today held its first meeting of the year with the beginning of the new chairmanship of the Permanent Representative of Barbados, John E. Beale, and the appointment of Vaughna Sherry Tross as Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the Organization.
The OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, who appointed Tross to the post, recalled that the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development is the largest unit of the OAS, and “which has been transformed repeatedly to keep up with the many changes that the region is undergoing in its development, including the progress achieved in many of our countries, economic expansion, and the enormous challenges that we still must face as a region.”
The head of the hemispheric organization added that "while the strengthening of democracies has given rise to great expectations, their benefits still elude important portions of the population. This requires us to think differently about the development agenda, to cultivate an approach grounded in the realities of the 21st century that recognizes our strengths and weaknesses."
The leader of the hemispheric organization introduced Tross, highlighting her experience and knowledge and noting that “she is known by friends and colleague as an outstanding professional who has devoted an important part of her career to the OAS. She is a dedicated woman who has shown true leadership and commitment” to the work of the organization, he said, referring to the official from Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The appointment of Secretary Tross was confirmed by acclamation by the delegates of the CIDI, who stressed that she is the first woman to hold that position and praised the work she has done in at the head of the Summits of the Americas Secretariat, supporting the negotiation process and organization of the Sixth Summit of the Americas held in April 2012 in Colombia. They also recalled to the leadership demonstrated by Tross as Chief of Staff of the Assistant Secretary General from 2006 to 2010.
In her speech, Secretary Tross affirmed that “today, as countries grapple with issues of economic growth, the challenges of inequality, and climate change, among others, the development pillar is as important as ever. OAS-SEDI has a specific niche that delivers value to governments and citizens throughout this hemisphere. The architecture of the OAS which emphasizes linkages between policy dialogue and experiential learning, and between political decision making and action, gives this organization a unique ability to craft a holistic approach to development programming that is driven not solely by a technical agenda but by Member States’ needs.”
The CIDI meeting also included a dialogue on advancing the development agenda within the OAS and the strengthening of the Council, which started with a proposal from the Chair and Permanent Representative of Barbados, Ambassador Beale, based on four points: to complete the prioritization of mandates currently debated at the OAS, that will focus efforts on those mandates that reflect the strengths of the organization; to prevent adding new mandates; to prioritize the Social Charter and move cautiously in its Plan of Action; and to redefine and outline and the development program of the organization, so it can properly address issues of social inclusion, human development and climate change.
The representatives of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Venezuela, Peru, Barbados, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Belize, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, United States and Canada took the floor and agreed on the need to prioritize the mandates; capitalize on the comparative advantages of the organization; generate synergies with other organizations of the Inter-American system and multilateral organizations, especially those that provide financing for development in the hemisphere, and advance the Plan of Action of the Social Charter of the Americas.
The CIDI reports directly to the General Assembly and is intended to promote cooperation among Member States for the furtherance of their integral development and, in particular, to help eliminate extreme poverty. The Council is composed of all Member States who meet in regular, extraordinary, specialized and/or sectoral meetings.
A gallery of photos of the event is available here.
The audio of the event is available here.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.