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Secretary General Almagro Reaffirms in Jamaica OAS Support to the Caribbean

  November 6, 2015

The role of the Organization of American States (OAS) and how it can support the needs of Caribbean countries were at the center of Secretary General Luis Almagro’s agenda during his visit to Jamaica this week.

Secretary General Almagro Reaffirms in Jamaica OAS Support to the Caribbean

In Kingston, Secretary General Almagro visited the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson, to whom he reaffirmed the keen interest of the Organization to increase efforts in education, infrastructure, democracy, and security, with particular emphasis on issues related to climate change and cybercrime.

Aside from carrying out a cooperation initiative on civic education with the University of the West Indies (UWI), Almagro had the opportunity to meet with officials and to make a presentation at UWI on “The Role of the OAS in a Changing Hemisphere,” a lecture to students at the School of Law.

On that occasion, he recalled the priorities that govern the Organization under his leadership:

  • Our slogan, “More rights for more people,” means that our work must level the playing field for everyone in the Americas, and create more opportunities for all.
  • A principled defense of democracy and human rights.
  • Zero tolerance for corruption, while promoting accountability and transparency.
  • Putting the OAS at the service of the people, working as a problem-solver.
  • Cultivating and engaging in relationships with all political actors, inclusive of but not limited to governments.

The Secretary General’s agenda focused on civic education, international cooperation with the Caribbean, the Jamaican model for political campaign financing, and particularly on the strengthening of ties between the OAS and the subregion.

Secretary General Almagro Reaffirms in Jamaica OAS Support to the Caribbean

During his presentation at UWI, the head of the OAS reviewed the pillars of the Organization’s work—democracy, human rights, sustainable development, and security—emphasizing in particular the role the OAS plays in conflict resolution and international relations approach.  “Diplomacy and dialogue among our member states identify areas of cooperation, conflicts for eventual resolution, and issues on which member countries agree to disagree,” he noted while recalling the leading role the OAS played in the definition of hemispheric policies.

As an example, Almagro recalled that the Organization published in 2013 the report on “The Drug Problem in the Americas,” which “reflected and promoted a new way of viewing the drug problem in the region.” 

He underscored that “this is just one example of the ways in which the OAS gives member states a multilateral option for promoting international cooperation and for raising concern of common interest or conflicts.” He further noted that “changes in the globalized world are inevitable and the speed of change is impressive in the 21st century. However, the OAS stands ready to meet and to adapt to these changes, while guided by our fundamental goal, and the task we have set for ourselves in the Caribbean, in Latin and North America, which is to deliver more rights for more people in this hemisphere.”

Reference: E-333/15