Media Center

Press Release


  March 6, 2003

According to Guatemala's Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), the Hemisphere's democratic systems are facing new threats, but Guatemala is satisfied with OAS efforts to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and corruption.

Delivering his first address to the Permanent Council, Ambassador Víctor Hugo Godoy Morales declared today that President Alfonso Portillo's administration would continue supporting moves to strengthen the OAS "to be a catalyst and play a role in upholding democracies around the Americas" while consolidating itself as a forum for dialogue about the economic and social problems facing the region.

Lauding the OAS' role in helping to bolster democratic systems and in resolving institutional crises in several countries, Ambassador Godoy Morales said corruption "undermines the very foundations of government by making it impossible for the state to properly respond to citizens' demands for minimum standards of living." He said action to control this threat to democracy, in the public sector and private sector alike, remains a top priority for the Guatemalan government.

The Ambassador reiterated his government’s support for the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), noting that “coordinated effort based as much on a recognition of shared responsibility as on the principles of cooperation and solidarity among states is the only way to achieve positive results.”

After his presentation, Ambassador Godoy Morales assumed the chairmanship of the OAS Permanent Council, which he will lead until March 31.

Reference: E-051/03