Miguel Insulza, installed today as the new Secretary General of the
Organization of American States (OAS), said in his maiden address that
the hemispheric body needs strong preventive strategies and instruments
so it can better anticipate and tackle crises in member countries.
Assuming the reigns of the organization during a special session of the
Permanent Council, the former Chilean interior minister said: “We should
aspire to be an Organization adept at anticipating and dealing with
crises that affect the region’s stability and thus do our part to shape
a world that is a safer place to live in.” He said the member states
must agree on mechanisms to implement the obligations set forth in the
Inter-American Democratic Charter, the effective application of which he
described as “indispensable for the future of our democracies.”
Other priorities he outlined include bolstering democratic governance
and human rights; combating poverty and corruption; multidimensional
security that covers global threats like transnational organized crime,
terrorism, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Insulza also suggested the need
for ongoing improvement of existing regional mechanisms such as the
Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), mechanisms against
illegal drugs, and experts’ groups on cyber crime, money laundering and
He signaled his interest in increasing multilateral action and avoiding
duplication through deeper cooperation with the United Nations system
and other international political and financial institutions. Turning to
the Haiti situation, the Secretary General pledged to continue promoting
active OAS engagement through the Special Mission, in collaboration with
UN Peace Mission.
Insulza praised the “excellent work” by Ambassador Luigi Einaudi who led
the Organization as Acting Secretary General for the past seven months.
He asked for the member states’ support to “dream together so that we
might endow the Organization with the political relevance that we all
want for it and that the peoples of the Americas so richly deserve.”
Permanent Council Chairman Ambassador Alberto Borea of Peru invested
Insulza as the new Secretary General, with representatives of OAS member
states and observers as well as staff and other guests in attendance.
“We hope you will be a promoter of permanent, lasting and stable peace
in the Hemisphere,” Borea told him.
Meanwhile, in welcoming Insulza, Assistant Secretary General Luigi
Einaudi gave an overview of the OAS activities, noting in particular the
restructuring process and the Organization’s budget problems.
José Miguel Insulza was elected to serve a five-year term as Secretary
General of the OAS.