Election of the next OAS Secretary General

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José 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 corruption.

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.

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2005 General Assembly - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
June 5 - 7, 2005
Election of the next OAS Secretary General

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