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April 5, 2006 - Washington, DC

I am pleased to call to order this regular meeting of the Permanent Council, that has been convened to consider the items in the Draft Order of Business, document CP/OD. 1542/06. I wish to inform delegations that an additional report has been included under the item referral of documents to Committees. I am referring to the annual report on CPRs.

The Draft Order of Business, with the amendment to item is submitted for approval.

If there are no observations, the Draft Order of Business is approved. The General Secretariat will issue a revised version of the Order of Business to include this addition.

Congratulations to Jamaica

Before we proceed, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the People and Government of Jamaica on the swearing in of Mrs. Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s first female Primer Minister. She succeeded the Most Honorable P.J. Patterson, who stepped into retirement last week as Jamaica’s longest-serving Prime Minister. We wish Mrs. Simpson Miller well in her new functions as Prime Minister.
On Monday, I dispatched on behalf of the Permanent Council, a letter of sincere congratulations to Mrs Simpson Miller, her family and the people of Jamaica.

Presentation of the Gavel to the outgoing Chair

I now have the honor to present the commemorative gavel to our esteemed colleague and dear friend, Ambassador Sonia Johnny, Permanent Representative of Saint Lucia, who chaired the Permanent Council the past three months

I am sure that I speak for all the members of this body in recognizing Ambassador Johnny’s excellent work and in commending her on her efficient leadership of the Permanent Council.

It is my pleasure and honor to invite you, Ambassador Johnny, to approach the head table so that I may present you this gavel as a token of our recognition for your outstanding job as chairwoman of the Permanent Council.

Remarks by the Chair being this the first regular meeting

Before we enter into the consideration of the items in the order of business, I just want to say a few introductory remarks on assuming the Chairmanship of the Council.

When the OAS was created 57 years ago, it was crafted with a vision for the betterment the Americas. Hammered out on an anvil of cooperation, the Organisation was wrought into a bastion which promotes and defends democratic, governance, and human rights. On account of its commitment to democracy, the OAS has on many occasions come to the assistance of various Member Status, when the democratic fabric of its society has been threatened, undermined or shattered. As a further demonstration of its commitment to democracy, the OAS reached its high watermark when it adopted the OAS democratic charter-- ironically on September 11th 2001-- a day which is etched on our minds in infamy.

Charting the course of the Americas has not been an easy task. Times change. Countries and their situations evolve. And so, the OAS has had to be on the alert to adapt and respond to the needs of its Member States. It is precisely against this backdrop, that there is the need to address the changing conditions and to meet certain goals and objectives that the countries of the OAS held the first Summit of the Americas in Miami in 1994.

We came away from that Summit with a broad mandate for development: economic, political and social. Successive Summits have borne similar fruit, and the time is ripe for a greater focus on delivering development dividends to the Membership of the OAS. It will be nothing short of an exercise in futility to deliver democracy to the peoples of the Americas without empowering them with the basic tools for development such as education, health and access to capital.

The OAS is the only regional institution which maintains offices in all the Member States which have been identified as being in need of cooperation for development assistance. This makes the OAS the best-positioned body to coordinate the implementation of development assistance for the region. Let us not be hesitant in exploring our full potential and take up the mantle of leadership in this area.

Next week, the OAS will host the Inter-American Forum on Development with participation from all the regional development banks in this hemisphere. This forum will have a narrow focus of looking at the strategic plans of those institutions and their ability to contribute to the development of institutional and human capacity in our Member States. It is my hope that before the General Assembly in June, we will be able to engage meaningfully with the various development agencies in the Member States, again with the same narrow focus.

Despite the obvious short-comings so far in delivering effective partnership for development, I firmly believe that together as Member States, along with input from Permanent Observers, Foundations, inter-American funding institutions and development agencies, we can make a meaningful contribution to fulfilling one of our primary mandates enshrined in the OAS Charter, the elimination of poverty.

I am an eternal optimist.

Ambassadors and Alternate Representatives,

We have a busy time in front of us, in particular the coming two months that will be marked by the preparations of the thirty-sixth regular session of the General Assembly. I am going to be counting on all of you, on all delegations, in particular the Chairs of the Committees and Working Groups to get our work done in a timely manner. I would like us to go to General Assembly in the Dominican Republic with all draft resolutions closed and ready for adoption.

In this regard I wish to inform the Council that I had a first meeting with the Chairs of the various Committees and Working Group on Monday. It was a very useful meeting and I will continue with such practice.

However, I also wish to emphasize that there is a limited amount of time and resources at our disposal. I will be sending a note to the Delegations reminding them that, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly, the Preparatory Committee is to prepare the draft agenda for the thirty-sixth regular session of the General Assembly and to transmit it to the governments at least 45 days prior to the opening date of the Assembly session. The Chair would therefore ask any delegations that are considering the inclusion of new topics on the agenda to do so in light of that deadline and, when doing so, to present the corresponding draft resolution.

To conclude this opening remarks, I just want to let you know that in the case of the Permanent Council, I am planning to start the meetings on time; I therefore make an appeal to all, to please come on time so that we make better use of the Organizations resources.

Thank You


Let’s now move to the first item on the Order of Business which refers to the appointment of a member of the Leo S. Rowe Pan-American Fund Committee. The Committee consists of the Secretary General and representatives of four member states. The term of one of them, Paraguay, ended in February of this year, and in compliance with Article 4 of the Statutes of the Leo Rowe Committee, the Permanent Council must appoint a new member to fill that position.

With this brief introduction I now offer the floor for the nomination of candidates.

The distinguished Ambassador of ……… has asked for the floor.
(The delegation of………….will ask for the floor and nominate Peru)

I offer the floor to delegations. As there are no further nominations, I am pleased to say that Peru has been appointed as a member of the Committee of the Leo S. Rowe Pan-American Fund. I take this opportunity to first express appreciation to Paraguay for their contribution in as a member of the Committee and secondly to congratulate Peru on its appointment to the Committee. Now I give the floor to the Permanent Representative of Peru, Ambassador de la Flor you have the floor Sir.
(The Ambassador of Peru makes his intervention)

Thank you very much indeed, Ambassador.


We now move to the next item on the order of business that refers to the Report of the Chair of the Committee on Inter-American Summits Management and Civil Society Participation in OAS Activities transmitting the recommendations of the Committee on Applications by Civil Society Organizations under Article 6 of the Guidelines, resolution CP/RES. 759 (1217/99), document CISC 230. I offer the floor to Ambassador Rodolfo Gil, Permanent Representative of Argentina. You have the floor Ambassador.
(Intervention by Ambassador Gil)

Thank you very much Ambassador.

If there are no objections to the recommendations presented by the Chair of the Committee in his report, the Chair suggests that the Council approve the requests of those civil society organizations that the Chair just mentioned; and, I also instruct the Secretariat to incorporate these organizations in the corresponding Register of the Organization of American States. There being no objections, it is so agreed.


Let us now move to the next item that refers to the Oral report by the Chair of the Working Group to Prepare for the Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons on its Conclusions and Recommendations contained in document RA/doc.16/06 rev. 1.

It is my pleasure to offer the floor to the Chair of the Working Group, Ambassador Nelson Pineda, Alternate Representative of Venezuela. You have the floor Sir.
(Intervention by Ambassador Pineda)

Thank you very much.

I offer the floor for comments.
(Possible interventions)

There being no (further) requests for the floor, the Chair wishes to congratulate the People and Government of Venezuela on the success of the meeting and also wishes to thank them for their hospitality.

The Chair suggests that we take note of the report and agree that the recommendations be forwarded to the Meeting of REMJA (Meeting of Ministers of Justice and/or Attorney Generals), that will be held in the Dominican Republic from April 24 to 26.

There being no objections it is so agreed.


Under the next item we have the Draft resolution: Adjustment to the 2006 Approved Program-Budget.

As delegations know, the 2006 program-budget that was adopted last year by the General Assembly is not sufficient to accommodate all the financial and human resources needs of the General Secretariat. Since last December the Secretary General informed the Council and CAAP on the deficiencies and shortfalls of the 2006 budget. Moreover, the Secretary General, within the powers assigned to him by the Charter, has restructured the Secretariat to enable him to carry out his functions within the priorities established by delegations. These actions as the Assistant Secretary for Management has informed the CAAP on several occasions, created the need for additional funds on different areas.

The CAAP has been considering this matter for a few months now and in its last meeting agreed to allow for the use of resources from the reserve sub-fund to cover these shortfalls.

Against this background, it is my pleasure to offer the floor to the Chair of the Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs, Ambassador Manuel Maria Caceres, Permanent Representative of Paraguay. You have the floor Ambassador.

(Ambassador Maria Caceres makes his presentation)

Thank you Ambassador.

The Chair suggests that the Council takes note of the report and proceed with the consideration of the draft resolution that was introduced by the Chair of CAAP, contained in document CAAP-2826/06.
(Possible interventions)

There being no (further) requests for the floor, the Chair proposed that the Council approve the draft resolution (with the changes suggested by delegations). It is so agreed.


We will now move to the next topic that is the Referral of documents to the Committees. The Chair suggests proceeding in the following manner:

To refer to the Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs the report on The Work Plans of Offices of the General Secretariat in the Member States for 2006 and Report of Funds/Subsidies received from Host Governments, document CP/doc.4095/06); and the Annual report on CPRs, document number CP/doc.4100/06.

To refer to the General Committee the Annual report of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to the General Assembly, document CP/doc. 4097/06. I wish to remind delegations that the Director of PAHO will make a presentation of the annual report in the General Committee tomorrow.

Finally I suggest that the Report of the General Secretariat on the implementation of AG/RES. 2105 (XXXV-O/05) “Support for Action against Antipersonnel Mines in Ecuador and Peru,” AG/RES. 2106 (XXXV-O/05) “Support for the Program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines in Central America,” and AG/RES. 2142 (XXXV-O/05) “The Americas as an Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone.”, document CP/doc.4098/06, be referred to the Committee on Hemispheric Security.

If there are no objections to these proposals, it is so agreed.

Other business

We have now arrived at the last item on our agenda, other business.

Delegations are welcome to present any matters they wish to bring to the attention of this Council at this time.
But before offering the floor to delegations, the Chair wishes to inform delegations that the minutes of the regular meeting held on October 22, 2004, has been distributed to delegations in compliance with article 69 of the Rules of procedure.

I now offer the floor to delegations wishing to raise an item under other business.

There being no other matters to discuss, this meeting is adjourned.