The new Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the Organization of American States (OAS), Pedro Vergés, today presented his credentials to the Secretary General of the hemispheric institution, José Miguel Insulza, during a ceremony at the headquarters of the Organization in Washington, DC.
During the ceremony, Ambassador Vergés talked about the political process in his country during the past half century, a period in which democracy and its institutions were strengthened and consolidated, he said. “During those 50 years the Dominican Republic has maintained a permanent democratic exercise, in which we have endeavored to handle all our problems in a way quite consistent with democratic standards. I do not mean that it was a perfect democracy, by contrast, has been at times a deeply flawed democracy, but it has never ceased to be a democracy," said the diplomat.
The Dominican representative said his country, "following the indication of our Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, we have solved our problems with greater democracy." Continuing this line of reasoning, Ambassador Vergés added that the political process his country has experienced in recent decades "has resulted in a strengthening of its institutions." In this regard, he added, "the Dominican Republic has made progress along all institutional lines, our justice system is better, our health system is better, our education system is better."
The Dominican diplomat said the government of his country is "committed to ensuring that all inhabitants, whether nationals or foreigners, are better served not necessarily in material terms, but also in institutional terms." "This means that we are able to ensure that democracy will not perish in our country, and we can say that the institutional process will be increased among us," he added.
Secretary General Insulza expressed gratitude to the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, for appointing Ambassador Vergés to head the country’s Mission to the OAS. "The Ambassador has had an important career, both in diplomatic and cultural terms; he is a writer and diplomat by profession, and has had a distinguished participation in the political and cultural center of the country," he said.
The OAS Secretary General highlighted the speech of Ambassador Vergés on democracy, and recalled that "it is said that the OAS has to do with four pillars - democracy, human rights, security and development - but we articulate our work around the great concept of democracy." Insulza recalled that the OAS Charter states that there is no democracy without development or without peace and security.
Moreover, the leader of the hemispheric Organization asserted that democracy has been strengthened in the region in recent decades, and recalled that governments are generated by democratic mechanisms. "Compared to the last 20-25 years, it is clear that the region has made great progress in this area, and also in their stability. Today many fewer governments end prematurely compared with just half a decade ago," he said.
The OAS Secretary General held that, despite the progress, there is still much work to do. "We want the OAS to be an Organization in which all the independent states of the Americas participate, and secondly we want all of them basically adhere to the rules of the democratic game," he said. The Secretary General warned that "we do not always agree, but nevertheless we are able to move forward with an open and vigorous dialogue. I hope this also continues to be a contribution from the Dominican Republic to our work.”
A gallery of photos of the event is available here.
The B-roll of the event is available here.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.