H.E. Delcy Rodríguez Gómez, Minister of the People’s Power for Foreign Affairs
Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro
Assistant Secretary General, Nestor Mendez
Fellow Permanent Representatives and Alternates Representatives of Observer States
Special Invited Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen
We welcome you today, Her Excellency, Delcy Rodriguez, Minister of the People’s Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the spirit of dialogue, fair-mindedness and respect for democracy and constitutionality enshrined in the base principles of the OAS.
At my Induction Ceremony as the Chair of the Permanent Council of the O.A.S. on January 12th, 2017, I expressed my commitment to the respect of the Democratic Charter and the other Inter-American Instruments and the functions entrusted on us. I pledged to work tirelessly to continue building on our four pillars of the Organization: Integral Development, Multidimensional Security, Human Rights and Democracy. I reiterated that we cannot have development without peace and security in our hemisphere. We cannot have sustainable economic development without political stability, without respect for basic rights and without all sectors of our societies being actively engaged in that development. Our Democratic Charter reaffirms that democracy is essential for the social, political, and economic development of the peoples of the Americas.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs joins us at a critical time. When solidarity and cooperation between our States require the political goodwill of those States based on the effective exercise of representative democracy, and economic growth and social development, based on justice and equity, and democracy are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.
It is right that the Minister of Foreign Affairs has a voice at the Permanent Council, because meaningful discussion and dialogue promotes understanding and can enhance inclusion and solidarity, two principles at the core of the OAS. Isolation and separation will not bring benefits to Member States and their citizens. It, therefore, is wholly appropriate that the State at the heart of this much publicised issue on sovereignty, respect for procedure, constitutional democracy and rule of law be able to have a voice in this Permanent Council.
At the establishment of the Organization of American States (O.A.S. in 1948, the hemisphere clearly saw the benefit of a body which, collectively, was better equipped to achieve these goals rather than individually. States found this multilateralism, this cooperation, to be a fundamental principle to resolving the complex issues plaguing our countries.
This hemisphere has suffered much civil and economic strife - regardless of political and economic ideology. This is undeniable. For us all to grow and progress from our historical past and suffering in a truly meaningful manner, for all our people, a clear alternative needs to evolve by maintaining open channels of communication. We must consult and reconcile our differences in order to peacefully and respectfully resolve differences.
In this context, Minister Rodriguez, I welcome you again, and reiterate a commitment to not only maintaining dialogue with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela but with all Member States of this Organization for the best interests of all.
Minister, you have the floor.