The status of Permanent Observer to the Organization of American States was
established by the
General Assembly at its first regular session, held in San José, Costa Rica,
in 1971 [AG/RES. 50 (I-O/71)]. Permanent observers participate in the
Organization’s activities and contribute to its programs.
December 10, 2013 - OAS SECRETARY GENERAL
RECEIVES THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION OF ITALY
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, received the Minister of Public Administration and Simplification of Italy, Gianpiero D'Alia, at the headquarters of the institution in Washington, DC.
During the meeting, the two discussed cooperation projects between the Government of Italy and the OAS in areas such as training for public officials, the development of electronic government and institutional development in the legal field. They also reviewed political developments in the region, with a particular focus on Latin America. Also present at the meeting was the Permanent Observer of Italy to the OAS, Sebastiano Fulci.
December 5, 2013 - THE NETHERLANDS EXPANDS CONTRIBUTION TO THE OAS MISSION TO SUPPORT THE PEACE PROCESS IN COLOMBIA (MAPP/OAS)
The Organization of American States (OAS) this week
signed an agreement with the Netherlands through which the country will
expand its contribution to the Mission to Support the Peace Process
(MAPP/OAS) in Colombia, which accompanies the country in a verification
and advisory role during the process of demobilization and reintegration
of illegal armed groups, and supports peace efforts.
The Secretary for Political Affairs of the OAS, Kevin Casas-Zamora, received on behalf of the Secretary General of the institution, José Miguel Insulza, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Netherlands, Peter Mollema, at the headquarters of the Organization in Washington, DC, to discuss issues of cooperation, in particular to acknowledge the decision of the Netherlands to contribute a further $875,000 to the Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP) in Colombia, bringing its total contribution for the period from May 2011 to December 2014 to $6.875 million.
During the meeting on Thursday, Secretary Casas-Zamora expressed on behalf of Secretary General Insulza his gratitude for the contribution of the Netherlands, which he called "particularly significant" because it comes at an important moment in the peace talks between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Deputy Head of Mission Mollema said that “the monitoring mission MAPP/OAS has proven to be a valuable instrument to help bring peace and security in Colombia. That effort deserves continued support. The Netherlands is ready to do its part by providing additional funding for 2014.”
The Netherlands has become the largest donor to OAS programs in 2013 among the Permanent Observers, with contributions of $7.6 million in cash and more than $132,000 in-kind. Since 1999, the European kingdom has contributed more than $30 million to the programs of the Organization. The Netherlands has been a Permanent Observer to the OAS since 1972.
November 20, 2013 – OAS ASSISTANT SECRETARY GENERAL MEETS WITH THE DIRECTOR GENERAL FOR AFRICA, ASIA, LATIN AMERICA, NEAR- AND MIDDLE EAST OF THE GERMAN FEDERAL FOREIGN OFFICE
The OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert
Ramdin, met with the Director General for Africa, Asia, Latin America,
Near- and Middle East of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany,
Ambassador Clemens von Goetze. During the meeting, the Assistant
Secretary General expressed his appreciation for Germany’s consistent
support to OAS programs since it became a Permanent Observer in 1972 and
the Organization’s interest in continuing to strengthen its dialogue and
cooperation with the German Government in the years to come.
The German representative shared his government’s commitment to continue working with the OAS in areas of common interest because of the Organization’s strong implementing capacity and political dialogue at the regional level. The two high-level authorities also discussed the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean, bilateral cooperation between Germany and OAS Member States, and possibilities for future collaboration.
November 19, 2013 – ITALY SIGNS BELÉM DO PARÁ CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION, PUNISHMENT, AND ERADICATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
The Republic of Italy, represented by its Deputy
Minister for Labor and Social Policies and Delegate for Equal
Opportunities, Maria Cecilia Guerra, signed the Inter-American
Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence
against Women (Belem do Pará Convention), an act seen as the beginning
of a collaboration between Europe and the Americas in putting an end to
violence against women in both regions.
The signing ceremony took place in the framework of the Fifth Conference of States Parties to the Mechanism for the Convention of Belém do Pará (MESECVI), the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin, congratulated the Italian government for its initiative, commitment and leadership and said that "we are honored to join in this effort and look forward to forging a new collaboration in this area." Italy is the first OAS observer country to sign the Convention.
"This signing ceremony is significant in several ways: it allows us to reflect on the progress made over the last twenty years, underscores the importance of women’s rights as a fundamental human right and reminds us of the need to strengthen our collective efforts to address remaining challenges," noted the senior official of the hemispheric institution, while recalling that international cooperation on the response to violence against women "will continue to provide a forum for participatory dialogue and exchange of innovative ideas and experiences."
November 11, 2013 – OAS SECRETARY
GENERAL MEETS WITH THE NEW PERMANENT OBSERVER OF
The Secretary General of the
Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met with the
new Permanent Observer of Sweden to the OAS, Ambassador Björn Lyrvall.
During the meeting, the representative of the hemispheric organization
and the representative of Sweden exchanged views on the situation in the
Americas and the Secretary General expressed his appreciation for the
constant support provided by the Government of Sweden for its
long-standing commitment and generosity to OAS
programs, especially in the areas of Human Rights, the Promotion of
Democracy, the Protection of the Rights of Women and Children,
Security, and Sustainable Development, among others.
Ambassador Lyrvall shared his Government's commitment to
the Americas and its interest in continuing to support the OAS'
programs related to peace and conflict resolution, human rights
and public security.
Ambassador Lyrvall shared his Government's commitment to the Americas and its interest in continuing to support the OAS' programs related to peace and conflict resolution, human rights and public security.
November 8, 2013 - OAS SECRETARY GENERAL RECEIVES THE PERMANENT OBSERVER OF SLOVENIA TO THE OAS
The Secretary General of the
Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met with the
new Permanent Observer of Slovenia to the OAS, Ambassador
Božo Cerar. During the meeting, the Secretary
General shared an overview of the work carried out by the OAS in the
region and expressed the importance of Permanent Observers to supporting
the Organization in fulfilling its mandates assigned by its Member
States. In turn, the Permanent Observer of Slovenia commented on
his government’s relations with the countries of the
November 6, 2013 – PERMANENT OBSERVER OF
The Permanent Observer of Serbia to the OAS, Ambassador Vladimir Petrovic, addressed the Permanent Council during its regular session on November 6, 2013 and shared his country's experience as an OAS observer on the tenth anniversary of the acceptance of its status in the Organization.
Petrovic praised the work of Secretary General Insulza, "whose energy
and leadership are a constant contribution to the development of the
activities of the Organization, and also contribute to the improvement
of relations between the OAS and the observer countries." Ambassador
Petrovic added that the OAS is one of the "leading regional platforms in
promoting democracy, good governance and human rights."
November 1, 2013 – OAS SECRETARY GENERAL RECEIVES THE ASSISTANT FOREIGN MINISTER OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met with the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Zhang Kunsheng.
During the meeting, the Chinese diplomat stressed that his country's relationship with the OAS has developed since it became a Permanent Observer in 2004, and indicated that collaboration between the two has increased since Secretary General Insulza assumed the leadership of the Organization. The senior Chinese official highlighted the role played by the Organization in the Hemisphere and the importance to his country of its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Chinese representative also presented the Secretary General with a contribution of $100,000 for the renovation of the OAS Headquarters.
For his part, the Secretary General expressed his gratitude for the contribution made towards the restoration of the building and for all the support China has given to the OAS over the past nine years, with contributions to finance areas such as integral development, gender equality, trade and competitiveness, natural disaster mitigation, promotion of culture, sustainable development and scholarships, among others.
October 3, 2013 – SECRETARY GENERAL INSULZA DISCUSSED WITH UNITED KINGDOM MINISTER OF STATE FOR CRIME PREVENTION THE DRUG PROBLEM IN THE AMERICAS
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met today with the Minister of State for Crime Prevention of the United Kingdom, Jeremy Browne, with whom he analyzed the drug situation in the region.
The OAS Secretary General
provided Minister of State Browne with a copy of the “Report on the Drug
Problem in the Americas" (Analytical
Report and Scenarios
Report) that the OAS presented last May and which was prepared under
his leadership in compliance with a mandate of the 2012 Summit of the
The Secretary General told Minister of State Browne that the OAS produced the report with the aim of making it available to the governments of the region, and that the hemispheric institution’s report does not propose measures, but rather presents several approaches to the problem for the issue to be discussed. “The report suggests alternative scenarios to the current drug policy, which has been implemented in the region over the past four decades," the OAS Secretary General added.
He indicated that the report
notes that countries with a higher consumption of drugs in the
Hemisphere are not suffering the highest levels of violence and
intentional homicides, but violence occurs more strongly in drug transit
countries, especially in parts of Central America and the Caribbean
where the consumption of substances such as cocaine is relatively low
compared to other countries in the region.
The head of the OAS also said that in the Hemisphere there is a favorable movement to address the drug problem from the standpoint of public health and that there is consensus regarding the concerns about violence related to drug trafficking and to the activities of criminal gangs involved in this business.
Minister of State Browne is a member of the Inter-Ministerial Group on Drugs in the United Kingdom, which is conducting a study of a national drug policies adopted by different countries, including legal and operational responses, as well as treatment and health related approaches, within each country’s social and legal context. The study is being conducted in fulfillment of the United Kingdom’s 2010 Drug Strategy, which commits to review new evidence of alternative approaches taken in other countries to tackle drug use.
The meeting, which was held at the headquarters of the hemispheric institution in Washington, D.C., was attended by the Executive Secretary of the OAS Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), Paul Simons; the OAS Director of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), Paulina Duarte; and the OAS Director of the Department of International Relations, Jorge Sanín.
September 18, 2013 – Secretary General Insulza ParticipateS in Meeting with MAPP/OAS Partners
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today participated, along with representatives of the Member States and Permanent Observers to the OAS, in a meeting to discuss the current situation and relevance of the OAS Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP/OAS) in Colombia.
Secretary General Insulza recalled that, at its inception, the MAPP emerged in an environment of uncertainty and skepticism as to its impact, but over the years and its work, this peacekeeping entity was strengthened and today is recognized as a mission of great magnitude, which has played a vital role in Colombia. “From its inception in 2004, the MAPP has accompanied the peace process in a consistent manner and from an integral perspective geared to victims and perpetrators, institutional actors and those on the field, with critical emphasis on the local level,” he added.
The head of the OAS emphasized that the MAPP has played a central role, not only during the first stage of demobilization verification, but also in the accompaniment process during the reintegration processes of transitional justice, reparation to victims and in increasing citizen participation. “We have tried to plant a seed that not only promotes a temporary absence of war, but also a firm and lasting peace,” he asserted.
In this context, Insulza invited countries that have expressed their political support to peace strengthening in Colombia to consider making a financial contribution to the MAPP/OAS. He argued that while several donor countries expressed their interest in maintaining their financial support to the Mission in 2014, “to date, only Spain has made a financial contribution for 2014. The Mission will not be able to continue its work in Colombia if other financial contributions are not received by the end of 2013.”
The leader of the OAS said that in the coming days, the Eighteenth Semiannual Report of the Secretary General to the Permanent Council on MAPP, to be discussed at the next meeting of the Council, will be issued in the coming days. “This report describes the main accompaniment, monitoring and verification tasks carried out by the MAPP in 2013, which focused on supporting the efforts of the Colombian Government for the implementation of transitional justice, in particular the Law on Victims and Land Restitution, as a transcendental tool to establish a firm and lasting peace,” he added.
For his part, the Permanent Representative of Colombia, Ambassador Andrés González, said that the deepest aspiration of the Colombian people is to achieve peace, and he compared the internal conflict in his country to a “tumor that needs to be removed both to prevent spreading and to learn how to stop it from happening again.”
The Colombian diplomat said that the long internal conflict in his country is the result of a "number of different contradictions that make the problem complex," among which he mentioned drug trafficking, armed uprisings, agrarian conflicts, inequity in the modernization of rural areas, and social exclusion. He added that he valued the contribution of the MAPP to the peace process in his country: "It has been extremely valuable, with results that make it possible to appreciate it as one of the most important experiences in our organizations and countries," he concluded.
For his part, Robert Menéndez, who was recently appointed by Secretary
General Insulza as the head of the MAPP/OAS, stated that this is a great
challenge. "My main idea is to give back to this Mission and to Colombia
something that I was able to learn during the previous processes in
which I participated," he said alluding to his two decades of experience
in facilitating dialogue and in conflict transformation in countries
such as Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Colombia itself.
Menéndez indicated that in his experience, “once peace, justice, truth, victims’ rights, and state institutionalism are stronger, there will be fewer chances to repeat violence and to destabilize peace again." His administration, he added, will be "marked by the same responsibility, solidarity and commitment as those of all Colombians who have decided to work for peace, reconciliation, truth and justice."
The OAS Director of the Department of Sustainable Democracy and Special Missions, Christopher Hernández, said that the main objective of the MAPP/OAS is to support the Government of Colombia in achieving its peace policy’s goals. Hernández added that the work of the MAPP aims to "accompany the peace process as a whole, in strict observance of the principles of respect for states’ sovereignty and independence, non-intervention and territorial integrity."
Furthermore, Hernández said that since its inception, the work of the MAPP has been divided into three stages: the first, from 2004 to 2005, focused on the dismantling of the demobilized group’s military structure; the security situation in the area (Armed Forces’ recovery of areas abandoned by the structures of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia), and the reintegration process of the demobilized population. The second stage, from 2005 to 2009, focused on establishing the framework for Transitional Justice (Law 975), the creation of rehabilitation programs provided by law, and the demobilization of the Guevara Revolutionary Army (ERG) in August 2008. The third stage, from 2010 to 2013, focused mainly on victims of the conflict and, in particular, on efforts for victims to obtain access to truth, justice, and reparation.
Finally, Hernández explained that for 2014, the MAPP intends to work on the restitution of lands and territories; reparation; truth and reconciliation; justice and peace, as well as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
September 17, 2013 – OAS Secretary General meets with Permanent Observers of Finland and Turkey
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met today with the Permanent Observers of Finland and Turkey at the headquarters of the hemispheric organization in Washington, D.C.
The OAS Secretary General spoke with the Ambassador of Finland, Ritva Koukku-Ronde, and Ambassador of Turkey, Namik Tan, in relation to the "Group of Friends of Mediation," created as part of the United Nations Mediation Support Unit to promote and advance the use of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, and in conflict prevention and resolution, and invited him to participate in the meeting that will be held next week in New York, within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly. The "Group of Friends of Mediation" was founded in September 24, 2010, is co-chaired by Finland and Turkey and is composed of 37 Member States, the United Nations, and 7 regional organizations in addition to other international organizations.
During the meeting, Secretary General Insulza shared with both ambassadors the experiences of the OAS as mediator in some disputes in the region, namely the territorial disputes between Belize and Guatemala, and Colombia and Ecuador. The Director of the OAS Department of International Affairs, Jorge Sanin, participated in the meeting.
September 13, 2013 – OAS SECRETARY GENERAL MEETS WITH POPE AND PRESIDENT OF ITALY AND DELIVERED LECTURES ON THE COUP D’ÉTAT IN CHILE AND THE FUTURE OF LATIN AMERICA’S ECONOMY
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, was received in a private audience by Pope Francis in Vatican City and by the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, in the framework of a visit to Rome at the invitation of the Italianaeuropei to give a lecture during the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the military coup in Chile.
During the meeting
with the Pope, which took place in the private office of the head of the
Catholic Church, both leaders discussed the world’s current events, with
particular attention to those occurring in Latin America. The situation
of young people and seniors, as well as human rights and the Report on
the Drug Problem in the Americas were also discussed by the Pope and the
OAS Secretary General. Pope Francis, a native of Argentina and the first
Pope in history from the American Hemisphere, showed particular interest
in this region’s context and received from Secretary General Insulza a
thorough synthesis of the times that North, South and Central America,
as well as the Caribbean are going through.
At the conference held by the Italianaeuropei Foundation, chaired by former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alemana, the head of the OAS recalled that the September 11, 1973 coup against the government led by Salvador Allende occurred at the heart of the darkest period in Latin America’s history, “full of national security dictatorships in the Southern Cone and civil wars in Central America. During that period of obscurantism, Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship was noted for its arrogant brutality.” The Secretary General added that “Pinochet became, and remains today, the most hideous face of Latin America’s dictatorships.”
Secretary General Insulza said that the coup led by General Pinochet destroyed democracy in Chile and spawned a bloody dictatorship that “through summary executions, enforced disappearances, torture and mass incarceration, the exile of hundreds of thousands of persecuted people and the suppression of all freedoms and rights of citizens, would become a symbol of human rights violations in the world” and generated “widespread popular rejection and a wide international solidarity that Chileans still remember with gratitude.”
According to Secretary General Insulza, the debate during the exile years contributed to the creation of the Coalition of Parties for Democracy (Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia), which led to victory—in the plebiscite of October 5, 1988, that ended the dictatorship of Pinochet—the party that, from then on, ruled Chile for twenty years. “It was the expression of the historical convergence of Christian and Socialists forces, which had been opposing in 1973, and then were able to forge an alliance and a majority that still exists," he said.
In the final part of his speech, the head of the OAS asserted that "the times and the demands of society have changed, because we made them change. Progressivism means never being satisfied with what has been achieved, but to look for permanent improvements in democracy and society." "We still want to change our society with more democracy; young people, who demand more freedom, better education, more job opportunities, effective inequality reduction, and better models of political organization, are part of the democratic movement and take the place we forged with our effort and with your solidarity," he added.
delivered a message to Secretary General Insulza, which was read during
the Conference, in which the Italian dignitary recalled that the "bloody
overthrow of the constitutional order" in Chile gave birth to a "global
debate on the transformation processes of economic and social structures
and the risks to political and democratic institutions." President
Napolitano highlighted the deep solidarity with the Chilean people that
the Pinochet coup d’état inspired in his country and recalled the "deep
admiration" felt by his countrymen on "the return of democracy in Chile
and the subsequent evolution of the political, economic and social life"
that took place in the South American country.
During his visit to Rome, Secretary General Insulza also gave a lecture at the Italo-Latin American Institute in that city in which he called on countries of the region to take action, because the boom cycle of Latin America’s economy is close to exhaustion. “The virtuous economic cycle of the last decade will be less active in the next, which does not mean a negative economic growth, but a more difficult economy over the years,” he added.
Secretary General Insulza emphasized that the starting point to address the new cycle is positive, following the high growth rates in the region in the last decade and the way in which Latin America avoided the effects of the global crisis that broke in 2008. All these factors, he reiterated, were used by most governments of the Hemisphere in order to reduce poverty, increase social services and generally strengthen democracy, as evidenced by the “unusual” fact that all elections held in the region since 2005 have been deemed fair by all international observers.
The head of the OAS concluded by mentioning the challenges facing the region in the near future, among which he highlighted poverty, inequality and, in particular, security, with Latin America’s homicide rate at over twice the world average.
September 12, 2013 – OAS SECRETARY GENERAL MEETS WITH VATICAN SECRETARY OF STATE
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met with the Vatican Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, in the context of his official visit to Italy and the Holy See.
Secretary General Insulza and State Secretary Bertone agreed on the importance of the Holy See’s participation, as Permanent Observer to the OAS, status that the Vatican has held since 1978. The OAS Secretary General highlighted the participation of the Catholic Envoy at the recent General Assembly of the hemispheric organization, which took place in Guatemala last June, and recalled his address to the Plenary attended by foreign ministers and heads of delegation of the member states.
Secretary General Insulza presented the Vatican’s representative with the “Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas,” which the OAS prepared under his supervision in compliance with a mandate received from the 2012 Summit of the Americas. Both leaders talked about the debate that the Hemisphere has undertaken upon the report’s publication.
In addition, both leaders discussed human rights issues in Latin America, as well as the situation in Syria.
September 12, 2013 – OAS SECRETARY GENERAL WAS RECEIVED IN PRIVATE AUDIENCE BY POPE FRANCIS
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, was today received in a private audience by Pope Francis in Vatican City.
During the meeting, both leaders discussed the world’s current events, with particular attention to those taking place in Latin America. Pope Francis, a native of Argentina, is the first Pope in history from the Western Hemisphere.
The Secretary General was accompanied on his visit by the OAS Secretary of External Relations, Alfonso Quiñonez.
September 12, 2013 – OAS SECRETARY GENERAL MEETS WITH ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met today with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Emma Bonino, during his visit to Rome.During the meeting, the head of the OAS and the Italian Foreign Minister discussed the full current international agenda, with particular attention to developments in Syria and latest events in Latin America.
September 10, 2013 – OAS Secretary General Meets with the President of Italy
The Secretary General
of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met
today with the President of the Republic of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano,
within the framework of his official visit to Rome.
During the meeting, both leaders addressed the Western Hemisphere’s current issues, with particular emphasis on the economic, social, political, and security situation. In addition, they discussed the relations between Italy and the Americas and the opportunities for cooperation between the European country and the OAS. Italy holds the status of Permanent Observer to the hemispheric organization since 1972.
Secretary General Insulza also presented to President Napolitano the Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas, prepared by the OAS under his supervision and submitted in May, 2013 which gave rise to the current debate going on in the Western Hemisphere on drug strategies.
August 15, 2013 – OAS Secretary General Expresses Outrage over Repression in Egypt that has Caused Hundreds of Casualties
The Secretary General of the Organization of American
States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, expressed outrage at the violence in
Egypt against protesters expressing their rejection of the interim
government, which has caused hundreds of deaths, and called on the
international community to help Egyptian society to find a path to
dialogue and negotiations to end the fighting.
Insulza said he could not remain indifferent to the tragedy facing the Egyptian people, trapped in a spiral of violence in their desire to recover democratic institutions and normalize civic life. He noted that "the media show us real and painful images, such as the massacre of two days ago, that we cannot ignore even if it is happening thousands of miles away."
The OAS Secretary General recalled that in the Americas there are thousands of people descended from countries in the Middle East who "are suffering from the plight of their relatives in the area, so the violence is not that far removed from us."
Finally Insulza urged the Egyptian authorities and protesters to find points of dialogue to open the door to peace in Egypt, and bring an end to the rampant violence that has caused so much death and pain to the country.
August 5, 2013 – New Permanent Observer of France to the OAS Presents Credentials
Ambassador Jean-Claude Nolla of France today
presented credentials to the Secretary General of the Organization of
American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, as his country’s new
Permanent Observer to the Organization.
During the ceremony, which took place in the Hall of Heroes of the headquarters of the Organization in Washington, DC, Ambassador Nolla said “there exists currently the political will to strengthen the relations between France and the Americas, and that new will is translated into a conviction of the need to create new ties based on the existence of a deep relationship between France and the Americas.”
“The challenges brought by globalization have opened a period of opportunities but also of concerns and uncertainties,” said Ambassador Nolla, who added that “we are better prepared to resolve these challenges because we share a common political culture and a common history.”
For his part, Secretary General Insulza recognized “the fruitful cooperation and significant contribution” that the French government has made to the OAS since becoming a Permanent Observer in 1991. He highlighted, in particular, the support of France for the Electoral Observation Missions, the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP/OAS), the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and the Hemispheric Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition.
The Secretary General highlighted that these contributions “throw into sharp relief the ways in which the contributions of France to this Organization coincide with our main objectives and our main concerns.” In addition, he spoke of the possibility of holding a discussion on the common values between the European country and the member states, taking into account the “different paths to democracy.”
Also present at the ceremony were the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin, the Chair of the Permanent Council and Representative of Paraguay, Martín Sannemann, and the representatives of many OAS member states.
July 30, 2013 – OAS Secretary General Visited Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom
The Secretary General of the Organization of American
States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today visited the Foreign Secretary
of the United Kingdom, William Hague, during a visit to London at the
invitation of a British think tank to present the Report on the Drug
Problem in the Americas produced by the OAS.
During the meeting, the two discussed the current political context in the Americas, with particular attention on Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the support provided by the OAS report to the international debate on drug trafficking and consumption in the Americas and other continents.
In his visit to the Foreign Office, the Secretary General also met with Hugo Swire, Minister of State for the Foreign Office. The United Kingdom has been a Permanent Observer to the OAS since 1995.
July 30, 2013 – OAS Secretary General Presented Drug Report in London
The Secretary General of the Organization of American
States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today presented in London the Report
on the Drug Problem in the Americas, during a forum organized by Chatham
House in which political authorities and experts in the issue took
Under the title “The OAS Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas: What Next?” the British think tank offered a discussion forum which featured the participation of Luis Fernando Carrera Castro, Foreign Minister of Guatemala; Vanda Felbab-Brown, Senior Fellow from the Brookings Institution; Mike Trace, Chair of the International Drug Policy Consortium; and Patricia Lewis, Research Director on International Security at Chatham House.
Summarizing the objective of the document produced under his guidance by a team of analysts and international experts, Secretary General expressed his hope that “this Report and the ideas put forth in it serve not as a conclusion, but as the initiation of a dialogue on the matter.” Looking toward the future, he emphasized the need for an “open and informed” debate on drug policy, and described an important role for the Organization in the promotion of that debate. “The OAS, as directed by the resolution passed by the General Assembly this past June, will consult with national, sub-regional and international partners, civil society groups, think tanks, technical expert meetings, academia and forums such as this one to promote this discussion and draw conclusions that can be used as feedback for a coming Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting in 2014 on the topic,” said the Secretary General.
The leader of the hemispheric institution recalled that the mandate given to the OAS by the Heads of State and Government of the region at the Summit of the Americas in 2012 was to “analyze the results of the present drug policies in the Americas and to explore new approaches to strengthen this struggle and make it more effective.” To that end, he explained, the OAS delivered the Report to the Heads of State in May.
The Secretary General explained that the document consists of two parts: the Analytical Report, explaining the reasons that have caused concern in society about drug consumption and which have led to attempts to control the effects of drugs on human health; and the Scenarios Report, an examination of the paths that the phenomenon could take in the Hemisphere in the coming years. He noted that the study does not make recommendations, but rather is an analysis of what has occurred to the present in the struggle against drugs and describes possible future situations.
In the first part, said Insulza “we follow this process, tracking the course of illicit activity from the cultivation of crops, to the production of drugs, their distribution or transit along routes and the violence accompanying it, through to their sale and end-use.” He added that, “in undertaking this study, we examined the volume of activity, its various manifestations, its environmental impact, and the State's response to it, including the consequences and limitations of that response.”
In the second part, he said "three of the four scenarios –“Together,” “Pathways” and “Resilience”- describe different future alternatives, depending on whether the focus is largely on institution building, experimentation with legal changes, or the community's capacity to respond to the problem. The fourth, "Disruption," alerts us to what could happen if we are incapable in the short run of reaching a shared vision that allows us to join forces to address the problem, while respecting diversity in our approaches to it.”
In terms of the conclusions of the Report, the OAS Secretary General explained that there are four: the problem must be dealt with taking into account each country’s different situation; countries with fewer resources and less institutional strength have more difficulty dealing with the impact of drug trafficking; the phenomenon requires a public health approach; and the approach to the problem must be multifaceted, flexible, taking into account differences, and the countries of the regions must be united in their diversity.
July 29, 2013 – OAS Secretary General Sends Condolences to Italy over Victims of Bus Accident
The Secretary General of the Organization of American
States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today sent letters to the President
and Prime Minister of the Italian Republic expressing his condolences,
and those of the Organization he leads, over the bus accident that took
place in the Campania region on Sunday, July 28.
"With such strong historical and cultural ties between the peoples of the Americas and Italy, we share the pain of the victims and their families over the tragedy that resulted in so much loss of life," said the leader of the OAS in his letter to Prime Minister Enrico Letta. "We are even more united with the people of Italy in this time of sadness and we hope that our solidarity will help them to find peace."
In the letter to President Giorgio Napolitano, Secretary General Insulza said that "the OAS and the peoples of the Americas share with you our feelings of profound sadness and sympathy for the victims and their families with the hope they find comfort in dealing with this terrible tragedy."
July 27, 2013 – OAS Secretary General Sends Condolences to Spain for Victims of Train Accident
The Secretary General of the Organization of
American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, sent condolences on his
behalf and that of the Organization to Spain for the victims of the
train crash near Santiago de Compostela on July 24.
Through letters addressed to King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the Secretary General expressed his "deep sorrow over the tragedy" and said, "all the Americas share the suffering of the Spanish people and the families affected."
The Secretary General offered "in these unfortunate times, our deepest sympathy. The OAS stands with the Spanish people and sends our condolences and sympathy, confident that the established ties that bind us will serve as a support in overcoming this terrible event."
"We are confident that united Spain will overcome this tragedy, as it has done in the past, with stoicism and the affection that helps us to balance the sadness and counter the pain we feel," added Secretary General Insulza.
The OAS leader concluded by saying that he and the Organization he directs "share in the expressions of affection from all the corners of our Hemisphere, where today more than ever we are united in our hearts with our Spanish brothers."
July 18, 2013 – OAS SECRETARY GENERAL RECEIVES PERMANENT OBSERVER OF SLOVENIA
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, José Miguel Insulza, today received in his office in Washington, DC, the Permanent Observer of Slovenia to the OAS, Roman Kirn, who is concluding his assignment to the Organization.
During the meeting, the two discussed the role of the OAS as the diplomatic nexus for Slovenia with the Americas, progress in the common foreign policy of the European Union, and trade flows between Europe and the region. For his part, Ambassador Kirn described the importance his country ascribes to its collaboration with the OAS.
The OAS Director of the Department of International Affairs, Jorge Sanín, was also present at the meeting.
June 26, 2013 – THE PERMANENT COUNCIL BIDS FAREWELL TO THE PERMANENT OBSERVER OF FRANCE, AMBASSADOR PIERRE-HENRI GUIGNARD
The Permanent Council bade farewell to the
Permanent Observer of France, Ambassador Pierre Henri Guignard, and
expressed its thanks for his work with the OAS. The Secretary General of
the Organization, José Miguel Insulza, thanked Ambassador Guignard for
"the indelible mark left he has left behind and the remarkable way in
which he has brought his country closer to the OAS." The Secretary
General also highlighted the support of the French diplomat for the
Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Juridical
Committee. He also highlighted his support during the process of
strengthening the Inter-American System of Human Rights, as well as the
efforts of Ambassador Guignard in defense of the freedom of expression,
the abolition of the death penalty in the Americas, and the OAS Mission
to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP/OAS).
The representatives also paid tribute to the Permanent Representative of Panama, Arturo Vallarino, who today presided his final session as Chair of the Permanent Council. The Chair of the Permanent Council during the next trimester will be in the hands of Paraguay.
During the meeting, the representatives of Haiti, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Perú, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Canada, Colombia, Panama, Brazil, the United States, Bolivia, Guyana, Uruguay, Dominica, Venezuela, Suriname, Paraguay, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Argentina took the floor. The permanent observers of Spain, Italy, the European Union and France also took the floor.
June 27, 2013 – SECRETARY GENERAL RECEIVES PERMANENT OBSERVER OF CHINA TO THE OAS
The Secretary General of the Organization of
American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today received in a courtesy
visit the Permanent Observer of China to the hemispheric Organization,
Ambassador Cui Tiankai.
During the meeting, the two reviewed the most important aspects of the recent OAS General Assembly, which was held from June 4 to 6 in Antigua, Guatemala. They also discussed the current political and economic situation in the Hemisphere and agreed to strengthen existing partnerships. The Secretary General thanked the Ambassador for the support that China has provided to the Organization since joining as an Observer Country in 2004. Ambassador Cui, meanwhile, highlighted the role played by the OAS in the region under the leadership of its Secretary General.sit the Permanent Observer of China to the hemispheric Organization, Ambassador Cui Tiankai.
During the meeting, the two reviewed the most important aspects of the recent OAS General Assembly, which was held from June 4 to 6 in Antigua, Guatemala. They also discussed the current political and economic situation in the Hemisphere and agreed to strengthen existing partnerships. The Secretary General thanked the Ambassador for the support that China has provided to the Organization since joining as an Observer Country in 2004. Ambassador Cui, meanwhile, highlighted the role played by the OAS in the region under the leadership of its Secretary General.
The Director of International Affairs of the OAS, Jorge Sanin, was also present at the meeting which was held at the office of the Secretary General.
June 17, 2013 – OAS AND DOCUMENTATION SCIENCES FOUNDATION OF SPAIN SIGN AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE GREATER TRANSPARENCY TO PARLIAMENTS OF THE AMERICAS
The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Documentation Sciences
Foundation (FCD) of Spain signed a memorandum of understanding that
seeks to promote the strengthening of the management of legislatures in
the region, through actions that promote transparency, access to public
information and citizen participation.
The Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, and the President of the FCD, José Raúl Vaquero Pulido, signed the agreement, which states that both institutions should establish a general cooperation framework to promote the development and strengthening of the legislative bodies of the region.
The central objective of the agreement is to promote the program of Open Parliaments in OAS Member States, including the opening of information on public records, increased citizen participation and accountability at national, regional and municipal levels.
The document sets out the terms and conditions to promote and accompany common efforts and initiatives aimed at institutional strengthening, the performing of diagnostics, maintenance, organization of files and documentation as well as the analysis and production of reports for the training of legislators, political leaders and public officials on issues related to the access and management of the information of legislative institutions at different levels.
Implementation of the agreement will begin shortly and will be carried out by a committee which will be composed of representatives of the FCD and Unit in Support of Representative Institutions of the Secretariat for Political Affairs of the OAS.
Among other tasks, the Committee will coordinate activities such as development of diagnostic tests of the capacities in the legislative Institutions of the region in the conservation, digitization, management and organization of files, promoting citizen participation; and the creation of documentary and bibliographic funds in those parliaments wishing to effectively manage their information. In this way, it will seek to generate knowledge that will make them more competitive and useful to society; as well as organizing training courses in document management applied to Open Parliament, in order to promote transparency, adjust document management processes to Electronic Parliament strategies enhance tasks and issues such as standardization and documentary interoperability.
(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 6, 2013).
June 7, 2013 - DECLARATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS APPROVED BY THE 43RD OAS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
All declarations and resolutions approved by the 43rd General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) are available here.
June 6, 2013 – SECRETARY GENERAL MEETS WITH DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL, HEAD OF LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN DIVISION OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF ISRAEL.
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met today with the Deputy Director General, Head of Latin America and Caribbean Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Ambassador Pinchas Avivi, in the framework of the OAS XLIII General Assembly, held from June 4 to 6 in the city of La Antigua, Guatemala.
During the meeting, the Israeli diplomat expressed to Secretary General Insulza, the interest of his Government to deepen cooperation with countries in the Hemisphere through the OAS. He noted that the areas in which Israel’s contribution can be most effective are specifically related to water, energy, security and technological innovation.
Ambassador Alfonso Quinonez, Secretary for External Relations of the OAS was also present in the meeting.
June 6, 2013 - SECRETARY GENERAL MEETS WITH THE PERMANENT OBSERVER OF THE HOLY SEE TO THE OAS
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met today with the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the OAS, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, H.E. Archbishop Francis Chullikat, who is in La Antigua Guatemala participating in the OAS General Assembly that concludes today.
During the meeting, the Apostolic Nuncio expressed his interest in the programs developed by the OAS in the Member States, and welcomed the efforts undertaken by the General Secretariat in the peace process between the "maras" that is unfolding in El Salvador, hoping that these can be replicated elsewhere in Central America.
Also present in the meeting were the Secretary for External Relations of the OAS, Ambassador Alfonso Quinonez, and the Apostolic Nuncio to Guatemala, H.E. Archbishop Nicolas Henry Marie Denis Thevenin.
The Holy See has been Permanent Observer to the OAS since 1978.
June 5, 2013 - OAS OBSERVER COUNTRIES REAFFIRM COMMITMENT; APPLAUD HEMISPHERIC EFFORT TO FIGHT DRUGS
Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, joining the member states’ Heads of Delegation in the Guatemalan city of La Antigua for a dialogue with representatives of thirty seven Permanent Observer countries, thanked the Permanent Observer countries for their ongoing commitment to and support for the Organization’s activities.
The dialogue, on Tuesday, was among activities held ahead of the inauguration of the forty-third regular session of the OAS General Assembly, from June 4 to 6.
“Permanent Observer support has had a tremendous impact on this Organization’s work, especially in the areas of democracy promotion, human rights, humanitarian demining, conflict resolution, combating drug trafficking and terrorism, promoting gender equality, and sustainable development, among others,” the Secretary General stated.
In terms of specific programs for which the OAS received contributions over the past year, the Secretary General cited the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP), the Program for Universal Civil Registry and the Right to Identity (PUICA), the Office in the Belize-Guatemala Adjacency Zone, and Electoral Observation Missions.
Mr. Insulza went on to explain that “these dialogues, which began in 2004 at the General Assembly in Quito, Ecuador, provide an opportunity to exchange views on the issues and priorities of the inter-American agenda, particularly on the central theme of the General Assembly. Since their inception, we have continued to explore ways to enrich and deepen them.”
He touched on the theme of the forty-third regular session of the General Assembly, “For a Comprehensive Policy against the World Drug Problem in the Americas,” and on the contribution made by the OAS through the Report on the Problem of Drugs in the Americas, which proposes a variety of approaches to address it and hypothetical future scenarios. “This is an issue that affects our countries and our citizens in terms of health, consolidation of democracy, human rights, security, access to justice, and economic development, among other areas,” he said.
Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Fernando Carrera Castro, meanwhile, noted that the purpose of the dialogue with the observers was to “share ideas about the central theme of the Assembly and about the contribution that those countries are making in support of mandates the OAS has received.” Foreign Minister Carrera also expressed the Guatemalan government’s hope that the General Assembly would encourage debate among member states to facilitate progress on a comprehensive policy to combat drugs.
During the dialogue, the representatives of Spain,
the European Union, France, Italy, Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom,
Switzerland, Japan, the Russian Federation, Estonia, Serbia, the
Netherlands, Monaco, Croatia, Portugal, China, Austria, the Philippines,
India, Thailand, Greece, and South Korea shared their own countries’ experiences
and perspectives regarding efforts to tackle drug trafficking, as well
as lessons learned and examples that could serve as a basis and for
analysis for Western Hemisphere countries.
In their statements, the Permanent Observer delegates announced future support for specific OAS programs. They also commended the initiative to approach the issue of drugs from a joint perspective, and applauded the multi-sectoral perspective outlined in the Report on the Drug Problem, recently prepared by the OAS. They noted further that the region had unique characteristics, principles, and priorities that should be considered as a central part of the debate on drugs.
June 4, 2013 - OAS SECRETARY GENERAL MEETS WITH THE DIRECTOR OF THE EUROPEAN EXTERNAL ACTION SERVICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), today met with the Director of the European External Action Service of the European Union, Christian Leffler, who is in Antigua, Guatemala, to attend the hemispheric body’s 43rd General Assembly, which opens today.
During their meeting, the two officials discussed the main topics to be addressed during the hemispheric assembly, paying particular attention to the drugs problem and its possible solutions. They also spoke about matters related to the two organizations’ cooperation work.
The meeting was also attended by the OAS Secretary for External Relations, Ambassador Alfonso Quiñónez, and the Ambassador of the European Union in Guatemala, Stella Zervoudaki.
May 30, 2013 - OAS AND SPAIN RENEW COOPERATION AGREEMENTS IN STRATEGIC AREAS OF THE HEMISPHERIC ORGANIZATION
The Organization of American States (OAS) and the government of Spain today signed agreements on the Operating Plan by which the European country will contribute more than $3.7 million over the next three years to finance programs of the Pan-American institution related to the promotion of peace, human rights, access to justice and policies on drugs and security.
The Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, recognized the interest of Spain to continue its support for the hemispheric organization. "We acknowledge with deep gratitude this contribution. Spain is the first observer country to the OAS, and since 2006 we have had a cooperation agreement that is renewed periodically. I wish we had a joint collaboration mechanism with other Permanent Observers such as the one we have with Spain," he said.
The OAS leader highlighted that the Spanish collaboration focuses on areas relevant to the hemispheric institution, which means that "we share priorities." He recalled that the pioneering model of the contributions of Spain puts special emphasis on transparency in "the implementation of the projects that we work on together, which are subject to external evaluators."
The Secretary General of International Cooperation for Development of Spain, Gonzalo Robles, said the Spanish contribution is intended for areas where the OAS General Secretariat has strengthened in recent years, such as human rights, institution building, electoral support and drug policy. "With this agreement Spain maintains its presence where it should be" said the Spanish official, and added that "the OAS plays an indispensable role in a hemisphere that is moving forward in many fields, not only in economic terms, but also in terms of institutionalization."
“Spain has been, is and will remain committed to Latin America and the OAS," said the Spanish official, adding that "to accompany Secretary General Insulza with his leadership of the OAS is a pleasure for us."
Among the projects that will receive financial support from the contribution of the government of Spain are: the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia; the Promotion of the use of amicable solutions to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission for the protection of human rights in the Americas; strengthening the capacities of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to assess the state of compliance and enforcement of interim measures and to resolve particularly complex contentious cases; the consolidation of the National Judicial Facilitators Service in Paraguay, Phase IV; the Improvement of the hospital record system in El Salvador, Honduras and Paraguay; Strengthening Hemispheric Cooperation to Facilitate Access to Justice in the Americas (Phase I); Electoral Observation Missions; Strengthening Specialized Institutions for Assistance and Protection of Victims of Violence Generated by Organized Crime in Central America; the Continuous Reporting System on International Migration in the Americas (SICREMI); and the Strengthening of programs of prevention, mitigation, treatment and social inclusion on drugs at the local level.
The signing ceremony was held at OAS headquarters in
Washington, DC, where a video was shown documenting the Spanish
government's cooperation with the hemispheric organization, which can be
Before the ceremony, Secretary General Insulza received the Secretary General of Spanish Cooperation in his office in a meeting where they discussed issues of cooperation and the agenda of the OAS General Assembly to be held next week in Antigua, Guatemala. Secretary General Insulza was accompanied by his Chief of Staff, Hugo de Zela; the OAS Secretary for External Relations, Alfonso Quiñonez; and the adviser to the Secretary General, Ricardo Dominguez. Secretary General Robles was accompanied by the Permanent Observer of Spain to the OAS, Jorge Hevia; his alternate representative, Guillermo Marin; the Defense Adviser of Spain to the OAS, Lieutenant General Juan Carlos Villamía; and the Chief of Staff of Secretary Robles, José Ángel Manzano.
May 21, 2013 - SECRETARY GENERAL MEETS WITH SPAIN’S SECRETARY GENERAL FOR DEFENSE POLICY
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met today with Spain’s Secretary General for Defense Policy, Alejandro Enrique Alvargonzález, with whom he discussed issues related to hemispheric security; drug policy, the Ibero-American agenda and the cooperation between the hemispheric institution and the Spanish government.
Secretary General Insulza and Spain’s Secretary General for Defense Policy analyzed scenarios of defense collaboration, especially in natural disaster cooperation and security issues.
The maximum representative of the OAS commented to the official Spanish about major aspects of the Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas, which the OAS recently presented to the Heads of State and Government of the Americas.The two also discussed drug trafficking routes from South America and the Caribbean to Europe -via Africa.
The meeting, which took place at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, was attended by the OAS Secretary for Multidimensional Security (SMS), Adam Blackwell; the OAS Secretary for External Relations, Alfonso Quiñonez; the OAS SSM adviser, Alvaro Briones; The Permanent Observer of Spain to the OAS, Jorge Hevia; the Alternate Observer of Spain to the OAS, Guillermo Marin; and the Defense Adviser of Spain to the OAS, Lieutenant General Juan Carlos Villamía.
May 20, 2013 - OAS SECRETARY GENERAL PRESENTS DRUG REPORT TO THE MEMBERS OF THE PERMANENT COUNCIL AND CALLS FOR BEGINNING OF "LONG AWAITED DEBATE"
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today presented the Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas (Analytical Report - Scenarios Report ) to the members of the OAS Permanent Council, in a special meeting of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) in which he expressed his hope that the document is understood "not as a conclusion, but only as the beginning of a long awaited debate."
The Report, which was prepared by the hemispheric organization under the supervision of Secretary General Insulza pursuant to a mandate from the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, last year, will be at the center of discussions at the next OAS General Assembly, to be held from June 4 to 6, 2013 in Antigua, Guatemala. The central theme of the meeting of the highest political body of the OAS, chosen by the host country, will be "Toward a Comprehensive Anti-Drug Policy in the Americas."
Secretary General Insulza, upon presenting the report, said the document should not be seen to "cast doubts or raise questions about the progress that has been made so far in terms of collective action in our hemisphere on drugs, but rather should be understood to be based upon the identification of what serves the needs of each and that which serves the needs of all." "We believe we have opened a door to strengthening hemispheric action on an issue that affects all of our peoples alike, and requires, therefore, our collective commitment and solidarity," said the head of the hemispheric organization.
Insulza said that, by entrusting the Report to the OAS, "the Heads of State of our hemisphere assigned us a great responsibility. At the same time, they prescribed very precise limits for our response to it. That is why the Report I am presenting today lays out facts that will assist in decision-making, but does not propose solutions. That is up to our leaders, who will have a firm basis for their deliberations in future debates.”
"Nevertheless," said the Secretary General, "it is part of our duty and responsibility to contribute to those deliberations." Therefore, he presented four conclusions "that emanate directly from the analysis" in the Report: the drug problem must be dealt with taking into account each country’s different situation; countries with fewer resources and less institutional strength have more difficulty dealing with the impact of drug trafficking; the phenomenon requires a public health approach; and the approach to the problem must be multifaceted, flexible, must take into account differences, and the countries of the regions must be united in their diversity.
Secretary General Insulza emphasized that, regarding the decriminalization of drug use and the possibility of changes in national legislation that "it is clearly contradictory to say you want to treat drugs addict as people with an illness and at the same time, penalize them for their consumption.” He then clarified that "this does not mean that the patient does not need to be treated to remove them from their addiction and this could mean - if the addict threatens their own life or the security of others - a stay in a health facility. But we do not consider that sending serious addicts to prison is an appropriate treatment and, indeed, we think it can aggravate their condition even beyond the point of no return."
"With regard to criminal violence," said Secretary General, "we focus in the Report on the consideration of the possible reasons why this violence is present with greater intensity and virulence in some countries and not in others." "Our conclusion," he said, "is that it is very likely that this difference is due mainly to two reasons: the economic and social development, and especially the well differentiated capabilities of States to ensure the protection of their citizens and, mainly, to ensure that laws are complied with.” In terms of economic status, Insulza called attention to the fact that many of those who are recruited to participate in the drug trade "come from dispossessed social sectors." He said that this fact leads the Report to note that "social development and the elimination of social exclusion, particularly in producer and transit countries, lie at the core of overcoming the drug problem."
The Report, delivered by the Secretary General on Friday, May 17, 2013, to the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, consists of two parts: the Analytical Report, explaining the reasons that have caused concern in society about drug consumption and which have led to attempts to control the effects of drugs on human health; and the Scenarios Report, an examination of the paths that the phenomenon could take in the hemisphere in the coming years.
After the presentation of the Report by the Secretary General, the 53rd Regular Session of CICAD began, in which experts and authorities will discuss the findings and implications of the Report for the hemisphere and new trends in approaches to the drug problem through programs of social prevention of crime, among other issues.
Present at the event were the Minister of Public Security of Costa Rica, Mario Zamora Cordero, who will chair the meeting of CICAD; the Chair of the Permanent Council and Representative of Panama, Arturo Ulises Vallarino; the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Albert Ramdin; the Chief of Staff of the Secretary General, Hugo de Zela; the OAS Secretary for Multidimensional Security, Adam Blackwell; representatives of OAS Member States; representatives to CICAD, and representatives of several international organizations.
May 17, 2013 - OAS SECRETARY GENERAL PRESENTS REPORT ON THE DRUG PROBLEM IN THE AMERICAS
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today issued a stark review of the reality experienced by the countries of the hemisphere in relation to drugs, analyzing the policies implemented in the region to this point and possible scenarios that could develop if the phenomenon is not dealt with in a coordinated manner, during a ceremony in Bogota in which he delivered to the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, the Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas: Analytical Report - Scenarios Report.
“By delivering this Report today,” said Secretary General Insulza, “we are encouraged by the sincere aspiration, which I now have the privilege of presenting to the entire hemisphere, that this is not a conclusion but only the beginning of a long awaited discussion." The first opportunity to begin the discussion based on the document, which Secretary General Insulza immediately sent to the other 33 OAS Member States, will be the upcoming General Assembly of the hemispheric organization, which will be held in Antigua, Guatemala, from June 4 to 6.
President Santos received the Report in the Casa de Nariño, the seat of the Colombian government, as host of the Sixth Summit of the Americas in 2012, in which the Heads of State and Government of the Americas commissioned the OAS to prepare the document. "The Report that the OAS has delivered to us is an important piece in the collective construction of a path that allows us to confront with this problem," said President Santos during the event.
"This document should be known, publicized and analyzed not only in the hemisphere, but worldwide. We are very pleased, because the quality of the Report is truly exceptional. This was what we wanted, empirical evidence without prejudice, and now the real work begins, which is the discussion at the political level," continued President Santos. "Let it be clear that no one here is defending any position, neither legalization, nor regulation, nor war at any cost. What we have to do is use serious and well-considered studies like the one the OAS has presented us with today to seek better solutions. I have no doubt that we all share a common destiny, where we sometimes differ is in how we reach it, and this Report will help us to come to agreement, it will be the basis for a long postponed discussion," he said.
Also present at the ceremony were former Colombian Presidents César Gaviria (also former Secretary General of the OAS) and Ernesto Samper; the Chair of the Permanent Council and Representative of Panama, Arturo Ulises Vallarino, whose country will host the next Summit of the Americas in 2015; the Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the OAS, Adam Blackwell; and the Ambassador of Colombia to the OAS, Andrés González. The Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), Paul Simons participated in explaining the contents of the Report, as did Adam Kahane and Joaquin Moreno, two of the experts who contributed to the Scenarios Report.
In his speech, the Secretary General Insulza said, in the Report "we have tried not to silence or hide anything," in order to “show the problem just as it is and how it manifests itself in different ways in our various countries and sub-regions; to show the volume of money that changes hands and who benefits from it; to show how it erodes our social organization and how it undermines the health of our people, the quality of our governments and even our democracy.”
Insulza shared some of the data from in the Report, which was prepared by a team of experts who worked under his direction for a year, which indicate that in the Americas "approximately 45 percent of all the cocaine users in the world are found, approximately half of the heroin users and a quarter of the total marijuana users. The consumption of cocaine paste, crack, inhalants, amphetamines and the abuse of legal drugs has increased." He added that this consumption “generates some 151 billion dollars in drug retail alone” in the hemisphere.
He explained that although the impact of the drug phenomenon affects countries in different ways, "we are united by our concern" because "the relationship between drugs and violence is one of the main causes of fear amongst our citizens and has contributed to making security one of the most worrying issues for the citizens of the entire hemisphere." Following this line of thought, Insulza said that "this situation must be faced with greater realism and effectiveness if we want to move forward successfully," and added that "all of us who hold public responsibilities owe it to the millions of women and men, young and old, mothers and fathers, girls and boys who today feel threatened to find clear answers and effective public policies to confront this scourge.”
In terms of the structure of document, which through President Santos, has been delivered to all the leaders of the region, Secretary General Insulza said that the Report, of approximately 400 pages, consists of two parts: the Analytical Report, explaining the reasons that have caused concern in society about drug consumption and which have led to attempts to control the effects of drugs on human health; and the Scenarios Report, an examination of the paths that the phenomenon could take in the hemisphere in the coming years.
In the first part, he said, "we follow the entire process of drugs in the region, the only part of the world in which all of its stages are present in a dominant way: cultivation, production, distribution and the final sale of controlled substances. In each stage we review the various forms this activity assumes, as well as its environmental impact and the reaction of the State, its implications and its limitations." He said this part of the Report examined "the consumption of the different drugs in our countries, their effects on social exclusion and the exercise of human rights, the possible forms of treatment and prevention practiced today and, again, the reaction of our States.”
In the second part, he said "three of the four
scenarios –“Together,” “Pathways” and “Resilience”- describe different
future alternatives, depending on whether the focus is largely on
institution building, experimentation with legal changes, or the
community's capacity to respond to the problem. The fourth,
"Disruption," alerts us to what could happen if we are incapable in the
short run of reaching a shared vision that allows us to join forces to
address the problem, while respecting diversity in our approaches to
In concluding his speech, the OAS Secretary General presented four conclusions: the problem must be dealt with taking into account each country’s different situation; countries with fewer resources and less institutional strength have more difficulty dealing with the impact of drug trafficking; the phenomenon requires a public health approach; and the approach to the problem must be multifaceted, flexible, taking into account differences, and the countries of the regions must be united in their diversity
Speech, OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza,
PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT "THE DRUG PROBLEM IN THE AMERICAS"
May 13, 2013 - NEW PERMANENT OBSERVER OF POLAND TO THE OAS PRESENTS CREDENTIALS
Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf today presented credentials to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, as his country’s new Permanent Observer to the Organization.
Poland has been a Permanent Observer of the OAS since 1991.
April 29, 2013 - OAS PERMANENT COUNCIL RECEIVES FOREIGN MINISTER OF SPAIN
The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today received the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, José Manuel García-Margallo, at the headquarters of the organization in Washington, DC.
The Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, in his words of welcome to the Spanish Foreign Minister, stressed that the country "always actively promotes a foreign policy based on the strengthening of multilateralism." He recalled that Spain was the first country to achieve the status of Permanent Observer to the OAS, in 1972, and considered the visit of Minister García-Margallo as "an unmistakable sign of Spain’s interest in strengthening its links with the region, understanding the problems that affect the community of the Americas, and assisting in the ongoing quest to realize the ideals of our Charter."
Secretary General Insulza emphasized the concrete examples of cooperation between Spain and the region, including the Ibero-American Summits and the creation of the Spanish Fund for the OAS. Regarding the country’s collaboration with the OAS, he highlighted the contributions of the European country to more than a hundred programs, including the Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP) in Colombia, the strengthening of the OAS office in the adjacency zone between Belize and Guatemala, the Inter-American System of Human Rights, the judicial facilitators program, and humanitarian demining programs, among others.
At the end of his address, the leader of the hemispheric organization asserted that "the General Secretariat particularly appreciates the willingness of the government of Spain to continue its cooperation with the organization. We interpret it as a clear sign of confidence in the work that we have developed together."
For his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain said that "we are at a real historical crossroads," from an economic and geostrategic standpoint, and commented that, in his view, "there are three key dates in the economic history of the world:” 1929, with the Wall Street collapse; 1973, with the oil crisis, increased competition from emerging countries and major demographic changes; and 2007, with the crisis that began with the Lehmann Brothers collapse.
To address this crisis and the global changes it brings, said Minister García-Margallo, the relationship between Europe and the Americas "cannot look like it did 20 years ago," rather it must be symmetrical. Along that line, he said "we are fortunate that we share values, we share principles, and we share the same view of the world.” Expanding upon this idea, he said: "This organization has been characterized by its defense of democracy as a system of representation –citizens elect their governments-, by the defense of human rights and by the defense of gender issues and the environment."
The Spanish Minister said Europe and the Americas should join forces to define precisely what role they will play in the new world order. "We have obvious initial advantages," said García-Margallo, and insisted that "we would be wrong to not take advantage of these values and present ourselves as a bloc that wants to have its own voice in a world increasingly dominated by powers beyond our regions that are beginning to have an extremely important role." "Count on my government and my country to explore together with you that path, those roads, to intensify our dialogue and affirm our role in the world," concluded the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain.
The Chair of the Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Panama to the OAS, Arturo Vallarino Bartuano expressed gratitude for Spain's commitment to the region, saying that "your political will and financial resources have strengthened the institutional capacity of the OAS as a hemispheric forum par excellence, have enriched the lives of the citizens of the Americas, and have contributed significantly to the strengthening of this organization."
During the meeting of the Permanent Council the representatives of Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, Chile, Haiti (on behalf of CARICOM), Colombia, Canada, Honduras (on behalf of SICA), Guatemala and Belize all took part, as did the Permanent Observer of Spain to the OAS.
April 29, 2013 - OAS SECRETARY GENERAL RECEIVES FOREIGN MINISTER OF SPAIN
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, received today the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, prior to his presentation to the Permanent Council of the hemispheric institution.
During the meeting, Foreign Minister García-Margallo and Secretary General Insulza exchanged ideas on political and economic issues relevant to both the OAS and to Spain. They discussed the possibilities for expanding on the cooperation that the country provides to the organization, and assessed the progress of the projects currently supported by the country.
Spain was the first country to become a Permanent Observer to the OAS in 1972, and has since supported the work of the organization in nearly all the areas it covers. Also present at the meeting with Secretary General Insulza were Ambassador Jorge Hevia, the Permanent Observer of Spain to the OAS; the Chief of Staff of Secretary General Insulza, Ambassador Hugo de Zela; and the Secretary for Political Affairs of the OAS, Kevin Casas -Zamora.
April 12, 2013 - OAS SHARES EXPERTISE ON TECHNOLOGIES TO PROTECT CIVILIANS IN GENEVA
The Organization of American States, through the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, and the General Coordinator of the program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA) and Assistance for Control of Arms and Munitions, Carl Case, and the program’s coordinator in Colombia, Guillermo Leal, participated this week in Geneva in the "2013 Meeting of the Group Of Experts Of The High Contracting Parties To Amended Protocol II on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby Traps and Other Devices of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons."
During the Group of
Experts meeting, held in the United Nations Office at Geneva,
international organizations were invited to share their views on
existing practices and technologies to protect civilians against the
indiscriminate effects of explosive weapons. To address this subject,
Case presented a briefing on Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from
the Perspective of the Threat and Responses in the Americas.
The presentation of the senior OAS official provided details related to IED components and explosive substances, mechanisms, as well as clearance methods that have been proven effective in the field. In this regard, since systematic clearance of improvised explosive devices began in Colombian communities with OAS assistance in 2007, there have been no accidents to any of the de-miners involved and civilian casualties have been greatly reduced in several areas of the country.
The OAS continues to
make available the expertise found in its mine action program, which is
best known for its humanitarian nature. The OAS seeks to reestablish
safe and secure living conditions for mine-affected populations,
reducing the risk and dangers of antipersonnel mines, and returning
previously mined land to productive use.
April 3, 2013 - OAS SECRETARY GENERAL WAS RECEIVED BY THE PRESIDENT OF SPAIN
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, was received today by the President of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, at Moncloa Palace in Madrid.
During the meeting, the two discussed the current political context in the Americas and the main tasks being carried out by the hemispheric organization for the strengthening of the Inter-American Human Rights System and the preparation of a report by the General Secretariat on the anti-drug policies developed in the region in recent years. Also present at the meeting were the Permanent Observer of Spain to the OAS, Ambassador Jorge Hevia, and the Secretary of External Relations of the OAS, Ambassador Alfonso Quiñonez.
Secretary General Insulza is on an official visit to Spain, where he also met with the Foreign Minister of Spain, José Manuel García-Margallo.
March 13, 2013 - OAS SECRETARY GENERAL WELCOMES DESIGNATION OF POPE FRANCIS
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today welcomed the appointment of the new head of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and celebrated that the new Pope is a national of Argentina and the first in the history of Catholicism to come from the Americas.
Insulza expressed his hope that
the mandate of Francis, the name adopted by the Argentine Cardinal, "is
full of good wishes for all Catholics and for our continent." While
admitting that the Catholic religion is going through difficult times,
Insulza expressed confidence that "Pope Francis can garner the support
and backing of the faithful throughout the world and particularly in
Latin America, and that, true to his name, he will promote unity and
peace between peoples."
February 22, 2013 - OAS SECRETARY GENERAL TOOK PART IN MEETING OF ADVISERS TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, participated in the High Level Meeting of the Informal Advisory Panel of the President of the United Nations General Assembly, held yesterday and today in Paris.
In the meeting, convened by the President of the General Assembly and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Vuk Jeremic, senior officials including former Swiss President and Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, and the former Foreign Ministers of Spain, Indonesia, and Kuwait, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Hassan Wirajuda and Mohammed Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah, took part.
During his stay in the French capital, the head of the OAS will also meet with Jean Paul Ortiz, diplomatic adviser to the President of France, François Hollande, and Denis Pietton, Cabinet Director of the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius. During the meetings, he will discuss subregional organizations in the Americas, OAS activities in promoting human rights and democracy as well as public safety.
February 14, 2013 - ENROLLMENT PERIOD OPENS FOR THE JOINT OAS-UNIVERSITY OF SALAMANCA SCHOOL OF ELECTORAL OBSERVATION
The registration period has opened for participation in the first School of Electoral Observation, co-organized by the Ibero-American Institute of the University of Salamanca and the Organization of American States (OAS, through its Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation (DECO). Applications will be accepted until March 15 to take the courses that will be held from June 17 to 21, 2013, at the headquarters of the Spanish university.
The aim of the school is to train potential observers in the tools needed to participate in an electoral observation mission and improve the way the missions are organized and run, both internationally and domestically.
In her remarks upon the launch of this training activity, DECO Director Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian, said "electoral observation is one of the main contributions of the OAS to democracies in the region. Building on past achievements, our Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, has emphasized the need to professionalize this work." She added that "the first of its kind, this school takes us one step closer to that goal and we are pleased to have a top class faculty, with both theoretical and practical expertise and experience. I hope it will be successful and a valuable contribution not only to the OAS, but to all the institutions that are part of this initiative. "
The Director of the Ibero-American Institute of the University of Salamanca, Flavia Freidenberg, said for her part that "this school is the result of the strategic alliance between the OAS and the Institute. It is an effort to offer comprehensive and professional training in diverse observation methodologies, monitoring of mass media and election campaigns, financing of political parties, electoral governance, or the use of new technologies in elections. We hope, with this school, to contribute to the professionalization of the Missions and to improve the quality of democracy in the region."
During the week of June 17 to
21, participants will have the opportunity to attend at the Ibero-American
Institute a series of lectures presented by renowned national and
international experts and to participate in workshops that will enable
them to apply their knowledge to job of an observer. This initiative has
the support of the Federal Electoral Institute of Mexico, the Carter
Center, International IDEA, the Argentinian Society of Political
Analysis, the Embassy of Chile in Spain and the Chile-Spain Foundation,
through the Cátedra Chile.
February 13, 2013 - SECRETARIES GENERAL OF THE OAS AND THE UN DISCUSS POLITICAL CONTEXT IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today received a courtesy visit from the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC.
During the meeting, the two leaders discussed the political context in Latin America and the Caribbean, with special emphasis on the situation in Haiti, where the OAS, through its representative, and the UN, through the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), work closely. The two leaders also spoke about the role of the OAS in Colombia through the Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP/OEA), integration policies in the different sub-regions of the hemisphere, and issues related to hemispheric migration.
Secretary General Insulza explained to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the progress made in the report on the drug problem, which was commissioned by the Heads of State and Government of the region at the Summit of the Americas in 2012, and which will be presented in late March. For his part, the UN Secretary-General was particularly interested in the electoral processes underway in the region.
The Secretary General of the OAS received his UN counterpart together with the Assistant Secretary General of the hemispheric organization, Albert Ramdin; the Chief of Staff of the Secretary General, Ambassador Hugo de Zela; the Secretary of External Relations, Alfonso Quiñónez; and the Director of the Department of International Affairs, Jorge Sanin. Secretary Ban Ki-moon attended the meeting with his Chief of Cabinet, Susana Malcorra; the Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs of the UN, Jeffrey Feltman; the Under Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal; and the Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning, Robert Orr.
José Miguel Insulza, OAS Secretary General -Protocolary Meeting of the Permanent Council in Honor of the Secretary-General of the United Nations-
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General -UN Secretary-General Remarks to the OAS Permanent Council-
February 13, 2013 - OAS SECRETARY GENERAL CONDEMNS NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR TEST
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, condemned the recent nuclear test carried out by North Korea, which he said is "an unjustified threat to our coexistence and peace." In supporting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's condemnation of the North Korean test, he affirmed that "it produces a destabilizing effect on the Asian region and constitutes a flagrant violation of the resolutions of the world body."
Insulza mentioned the importance that the organization's Member States assign to nuclear non-proliferation, as expressed in the Tlatelolco Treaty, signed by 33 of the hemisphere's countries. "The declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean as a region free of nuclear weapons has been the foundation for an effective, peaceful coexistence among our nations," he added.
The OAS leader concluded saying
that "we would like to see similar zones free of nuclear weapons
elsewhere in the world, but the North Korean test is a regrettable sign
of the opposite." In this sense, he called on the international
community "to express a firm rejection of these practices."
February 12, 2013 - SECRETARY GENERAL MEETS WITH THE PERMANENT OBSERVER OF GREECE TO THE OAS
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today met with the Permanent Observer of Greece to the organization and Ambassador to the United States, Christos Panagopoulos, with whom he spoke about issues related to the strengthening of the Inter-American human rights system, democratic progress in the region, and the organization’s cooperation with observer countries.
At the meeting, held at OAS headquarters in Washington DC, the Greek representative reiterated his country’s commitment to the objectives and programs of the OAS, specifically in support of those related to combating illicit drug trafficking, the protection of human rights and cooperation in the field of international law. At the meeting, the two officials exchanged their views on issues related to the effects of the “Arab Spring,” the peace negotiations in Colombia, and Latin America-Europe relations, among other topics.
February 5, 2013 - OAS SIGNS AGREEMENT FOR FORTY-THIRD REGULAR MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN GUATEMALA
The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert
Ramdin, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Fernando
Carrera, signed the agreement for the holding of the forty-third regular
meeting of the OAS General Assembly, which will be held in Antigua,
Guatemala, from June 4 to 6.
The senior OAS representative and Foreign Minister Carrera agreed that the General Assembly will be a unique opportunity to address hemispheric challenges on the issues of security, poverty and development.
Assistant Secretary General Ramdin expressed thanks to the government of Guatemala for its decision to host the OAS General Assembly for the third time in its history and stressed that this meeting of foreign ministers is an important time for multilateral diplomacy and a unique opportunity to discuss means of collaboration and to build consensus on how to solve the challenges facing our nations and improve the quality of life of our peoples.
Foreign Minister Carrera said he will be visiting the OAS in February to present the central theme of the General Assembly to the Permanent Council. Foreign Minister Carrera added that the General Assembly is a space for democratic interchange and political dialogue on current issues in the Americas.
As part of the events of the General Assembly, Assistant Secretary General Ramdin said the Model OAS for students will be held, as well as the Private Sector Forum and a competition for young entrepreneurs on innovation and technology. He also referred to the importance of the participation of different sectors of society through the dialogues of the OAS Secretary General and heads of delegation with representatives of civil society, the private sector and workers.
The signing ceremony was attended by senior government officials, members of the diplomatic community accredited in Guatemala and representatives of the private sector.
January 26, 2013 - SECRETARY GENERAL MEETS IN SANTIAGO WITH FOREIGN MINISTERS OF BELIZE AND GUATEMALA
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met
today in Santiago, Chile with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of
Belize, Wilfred Elrington, and Guatemala, Luis Fernando Carrera. The
meeting's main objective was to exchange information on the tasks that
both countries are committed to carry out in preparation for the
referenda concerning recourse to the Court of the Hague Convention on
the territorial issue.
In the tripartite meeting, which took place within the framework of the EU-CELAC Summit, both officials explained the situation in each country, with a view toward finalizing the consultation agreed and renewed the commitment of their governments to carry it out.
During the discussion, Ministers Elrington and Carrera expressed thanked the efforts of the hemispheric body, particularly those of Secretary General Insulza for accompanying the process.
Meanwhile, the leader of the OAS, who was accompanied by Ambassador Hugo de Zela, his Chief of Staff, said that "our organization will continue supporting all efforts made by Belize and Guatemala to comply with the agreements they have reached."
January 22, 2013 - SECRETARY GENERAL INSULZA INAUGURATES HOLOCAUST EXHIBITION AT THE OAS
The Secretary General of the Organization of American
States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today inaugurated the art exhibition
“Auschwitz: the Final Solution,” by the Ecuadoran artist and OAS General
Secretariat official Gabriel Gross.
Secretary General Insulza recalled that the Shoah (as the Holocaust is named in Hebrew) “is the largest genocide that has been committed” in history, and urged efforts to ensure that “this never happens again, we have to make sure that humanity never forgets the degradation of the human being that was the Holocaust.”
The exhibition is made up of eight large panels painted in oil on canvas, and is displayed in the OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, located at 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, now until February 8. The exhibition will coincide with International Holocaust Day on January 27.