Media Center

Press Release


  February 1, 2005

José Miguel Insulza, Chile’s Minister of the Interior and a candidate for the post of Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), said today that the OAS should focus its work on such shared principles as democracy, governance, the fundamental rights of citizens, integral development and multidimensional security.

During a special session of the OAS Permanent Council, Insulza underscored the importance of consolidating democracy in the region and said the OAS must be able to identify factors that weaken democracy and help to prevent and overcome crises.

“We must work together to validate fully the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, without hesitating to apply them, with justice and confidence, when it becomes necessary,” he said. The OAS should give particular emphasis to the creation and strengthening of democratic institutions that are solid, responsible and free of corruption, he added.

During the Permanent Council session – chaired by Ambassador Manuel María Cáceres of Paraguay, with Acting Secretary General Luigi R. Einaudi present – Insulza was accompanied by Chilean congressional leaders, including Senate President Hernán Larraín; House of Representatives President Gabriel Ascencio; and Senate Vice President Jaime Gazmuri.

The Chilean Minister called for greater coordination between the OAS, multilateral institutions, the private sector and the international community to face the region’s most pressing social development issues. He added that the upcoming Summit of the Americas, which will be held in November in Argentina, will provide an opportunity to advance cooperation in this area.

On the issue of multidimensional security, Insulza talked about the need to face such challenges as terrorism, drugs, gang violence, organized crime and AIDS. He also stressed the need for greater efforts to mitigate the effects of natural disasters, especially in the smaller, more vulnerable member states.

Insulza also emphasized the need to continue with the modernization of the OAS, including a review of its mandates and contributions from member states, to ensure an organization that is more effective, transparent and participatory.

To date, the other official candidates to head the General Secretariat are Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Luis Ernesto Derbez, and former Salvadoran President Francisco Flores. The next Secretary General will be elected by the member states at a date yet to be determined.

Reference: E-020/05