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OAS AND UN STRENGTHEN TIES TO PROMOTE DEVELOPMENT
AND BETTER GOVERNANCE IN THE AMERICAS

December 14, 2006

The Organization of American States (OAS) signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that seeks to strengthen international cooperation in eradicating poverty and promoting political, economic and social development in the hemisphere.

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza underscored the benefits that can be achieved by strengthening relations with other international institutions in order to work toward common goals. Insulza noted the importance of the framework agreement with the UNDP and said it “should enable us to undertake intense efforts at a singular moment in Latin America,” referring to the significant poverty levels that still exist in the region.

The agreement will lay the groundwork for both organizations to advance programs, projects and cooperation activities for development. This marks the first time that the two international entities commit to work together to face the problems of the region, implementing projects in support of institutional strengthening in the member states.

During a brief ceremony in the OAS Secretary General’s office, the UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Rebeca Grynspan, said this commitment will pave the way for the organizations to develop several concrete activities, with the shared priority of serving the region.

The UNDP representative noted that “what is important is to provide a unified voice in the understanding of this Latin America,” adding that the region “will probably benefit more from our agreement than from separate actions carried out by the institutions that serve it.”

 

 

 

 

UNIVERSAL CIVIL REGISTRATION INITIATIVE TOUTED AT OAS

December 14, 2006

In any society, individuals who do not have an identity are much more vulnerable to abuse. That view was expressed by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, as he accentuated the importance of moving forward on an initiative to promote universal civil registration in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Insulza told member state ambassadors during a Permanent Council meeting that this issue has implications for democracy, as a legal identity is vital if citizens are to exercise their rights and assume their responsibilities in a democratic society.

The Secretary General told the Permanent Council meeting—chaired by Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador Marina Valere—that identity is an important part of the rights that protect citizens from abuses such as human trafficking and other crimes to which they fall victim.

“That is why we have been working so assiduously on this matter,” said Insulza, who referred to a cooperative approach under the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed last August by the OAS, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The parties to the agreement undertake to cooperate on a citizen registration program, recognizing that a significant number of individuals in the region are not included in official civil registries.

Insulza argued that in a democratic society, people must have an identity, a name and a legal status. Stressing the importance of the memorandum of understanding, the Secretary General noted that nearly 15% of children under five years of age in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are not registered. The OAS “can now embark on projects in a number of countries,” Insulza said. “We have had discussions with some Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments about tackling these citizen registration projects in greater depth.”

Others who addressed the Permanent Council Wednesday included the UNICEF Executive Director, Ann Veneman, and the Chief of the Office of the Presidency of the IDB, Jamal Khokhar. Both reiterated the arguments presented by Insulza, emphasizing the need for universal civil registration in order to protect the rights of unregistered citizens and bring them into the official systems in their respective countries.

Member state delegations, meanwhile, expressed support for the initiative, which was put before the Permanent Council by the delegations of Peru and Mexico.

José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States Remarks at the 30th Miami Conference on the Caribbean Basin

December 4, 2006 - Washington, DC

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to open this Caribbean/Central American Action’s 30th Miami Conference on the Caribbean Basin. This means that for three decades you have been committed to advocacy on behalf of the countries of the Caribbean and Central America. This Conference gives us, therefore, an occasion to reflect on what we have done over the past decades and what we are doing now, and the continuing challenges that we have before us. 
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The Director of External Relations holds luncheon at the Museum of the Americas for External Relations and Washington office directors of multilateral institutions

October 30, 2006

The OAS Director of External Relations, Irene Klinger, held a luncheon at the OAS Museum of the Americas for External Relations and Washington office directors of multilateral institutions. The purpose of the event was to explore ways to cooperate to increase our impact on achieving our common goals in the Western Hemisphere. The group agreed to promote participation in each institutions' events, discuss organizing a conference on hemispheric issues and meet regularly to follow-up on joint initiatives.
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José Miguel Insulza, meets with Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

October 19, 2006

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, meets with Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Place: OAS Headquarters; Washington, D.C.
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OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza meets with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo de Rato.  

October 10, 2006

Place: Miranda Room, OAS Building - Washington, DC

In a meeting this morning at the headquarters of the Organization of American States, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Rodrigo de Rato, talked about political and economic issues relevant to the countries of the hemisphere. Insulza and de Rato, accompanied by members of their staffs, examined the electoral processes taking place in 13 nations of the region during a one-year period, and discussed the positive economic situation in the Americas.

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Insulza Stresses Regional Cooperation to Face Health Priorities

September 25, 2006

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today addressed the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), stressing the need for close cooperation among regional organizations to establish a stronger link between health priorities in the Americas and the region’s political agenda.

“Political action, particularly the negotiation and the search for consensus, is a vital element to forge the type of governance needed to strengthen democracy in the hemisphere,” Insulza said at the opening session of the annual gathering of health ministers from PAHO member countries. In that regard, the OAS Secretary General said that governance requires capable institutions that can, together with the private sector and civil society, formulate and implement public policies needed to reach all sectors of the population, including the most disadvantaged.

Insulza emphasized that one priority on the OAS agenda is support for persons with disabilities, including prevention and rehabilitation. This issue was considered by the Heads of State and Government during the Fourth Summit of the Americas, held last November. In response to a Summit mandate, the OAS General Assembly entrusted the OAS Permanent Council with drafting a plan of action for the Decade of the Americas for Persons with Disabilities. This effort will seek the support of PAHO and other regional organizations, Insulza indicated.

The Secretary General also recalled the recent strategic cooperation agreement signed at the OAS between the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and PAHO, aimed at improving health and prosperity in rural communities of the member states. These two institutions, Insulza noted, “have spearheaded our cooperation on the topic of avian influenza and other recent experiences related to natural catastrophes and the fight against drugs, which point us in the same direction of generating a culture of cooperation,” Insulza said.

Others participating in the opening session included PAHO Director Mirta Roses; the Acting Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Anders Nordstrom; the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt; and the Acting Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Andrew von Eschenbach.

During today’s meeting of the PAHO Directing Council, Insulza also moderated a panel discussion that focused on strategic alliances to improve coordination among the health, labor, education, and environmental sectors in countries of the region.
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OAS Secretary General at the United Nations - UN, New York

September 20-22, 2006

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza was invited to participate in a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, to debate policies of cooperation and joint collaboration among the UN and regional organizations.

Identity to millions of unregistered children

August 8, 2006

The Inter-American Development Bank, The Organization Of American States and Unicef launch initiative to grant official identity to millions of unregistered children.  More:  MS Word      Adobe Acrobat 

OAS Reaffirms Cooperation between the General Secretariats of the United Nations, CARICOM, and the Central American Integration System

June 6, 2006

The General Secretariat of the OAS and the Secretariats of the United Nations, CARICOM, and the Central American Integration System reaffirmed their cooperation at the XXXVI General Assembly in Dominican Republic. The OAS and UN furthermore strengthened that commitment by designing programs of mutual cooperation between the OAS and UN, and reporting on such cooperative programs.

More on the XXXVI General Assembly
Report on Cooperation with Institutions
Report on OAS and UN Collaboration Programs

UN Secretary General Meets With Jose Miguel Insulza

May 4, 2006

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, held a private meeting today with United Nations (UN) Secretary General Kofi Annan at OAS headquarters.

Insulza briefed the UN Secretary General on the current political situation in the Americas, outlining the Organization’s role in recent democratically held elections in the region.

Annan expressed his appreciation for the OAS role during the electoral process in Haiti. The OAS, in collaboration with the United Nations, supported Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council in carrying out a massive voter registration drive.

Annan and Insulza agreed to continue working together in that country to strengthen democracy and to build stronger institutions.

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Regional Institutions Put Development Center Stage at OAS FORUM. 

April 12, 2006

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