Media Center

Press Release


  January 31, 2008

Appealing for a sense of unity among the region’s governments, Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General José Miguel Insulza last night urged “a coming together in agreement, without exaggerating whatever differences there are.” Emerging from his meeting with Honduran President José Manuel Zelaya, Insulza said “there are more things in our hemisphere that unite us than divide us: violence, organized crime, poverty, and the energy crisis are major issues we must tackle together, and we must devote ourselves to these endeavors.”

Insulza spoke about the major problems facing the nations of the Americas, among them violence, organized crime and lack of safety and security as major scourges with which our societies grapple. “We must together devote ourselves to finding solutions to problems that citizens face—as the governments of our countries that face similar problems undertake joint programs.” The Secretary General added: “We must tone down the rhetoric in the region.”

He also invited President Zelaya to an OAS preparatory meeting in Washington, to speak on security issues for a hemispheric meeting scheduled to take place in Mexico during the latter part of the year. “We must come up with broad-based cooperation agreements to combat the scourge of transnational crime,” Insulza argued.

The OAS Secretary General arrived in Honduras Wednesday for a seminar organized by the OAS in conjunction with the Honduran government, on the implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. He is scheduled to inaugurate the meeting along with President Zelaya.

Insulza explained that the OAS has a variety of projects to help governments modernize their laws for transparency in the public service. “Transparency helps improve relations between government officials and the public,” he stated, pointing to the Mechanism for Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC), a system of reciprocal evaluation by Member States. It has found, among other things, that laws to make government more transparent are often not in place.”

Prior to meeting with the Honduran leader, Insulza met with Supreme Court of Justice President Vilma Cecilia Morales Montalbán and the President of the National Congress, Roberto Micheletti Bain. He later signed a technical cooperation agreement with the Swedish government, to finance a range of OAS projects aimed at strengthening democratic institutions in Central America. The OAS Secretary General was also honored with the Keys to the City of Tegucigalpa and declared Illustrious Guest.

Reference: E-018/08