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Belize Assumes the Chair of the OAS Inter-American Council for Integral Development

  July 19, 2013

The Permanent Representative of Belize to the Organization of American States (OAS), Nestor Mendez, took over today as Chair of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), the main body of the hemispheric Organization with decision making power in matters of partnership for integral development.

The Chair of CIDI was held during the past semester by the Permanent Representative of Barbados, John Beale, who concluded his term emphasizing the central role played by development in the work of the OAS. Ambassador Beale highlighted education in particular, and cited as an example of its impact the experience of the Colombian city of Medellin that has achieved "a remarkable turnaround and is now recognized as a major center of entrepreneurship." "All this is due to education," said Ambassador Beale, adding that through better education the people of the Hemisphere can achieve a better quality of life distance themselves from the problems of violence, crime and drugs.

For his part, Ambassador Mendez presented a plaque of recognition to Ambassador Beale on behalf of the Council, for his work as CIDI Chair, and said he faces a difficult task to live up to the work of his predecessor.

The Belizean diplomat said that integral development is a fundamental element in fighting the ills that afflict our society such as violence, crime and insecurity. "Those things can best be combated by the creation of access for economic opportunities for our people," he said.

The OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin, the head of the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development, Sherry Tross, and several ambassadors from the member countries took part in the handover ceremony, which took place at the headquarters of the Organization in Washington DC.

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.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-275/13