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OAS Permanent Council Approves Declaration of Support to Chile following February 27 Earthquake

  March 3, 2010

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today approved a declaration of support to the people and government of Chile after the devastating earthquake of February 27, during a meeting in which a minute of silence was observed for the victims of the quake and in which many permanent representatives of the Organization expressed their solidarity with Chileans.

The complete text of the declaration is available here.

The Permanent Council “deeply regrets what happened and expresses its condolences” to Chile, “resolutely supports” the “rescue and reconstruction efforts,” “takes note” of the decision of Secretary General José Miguel Insulza to “approve a contribution from the Inter-American Emergency Aid Fund” and “endorses the solidarity expressed by the member states, permanent observers, organs of the inter-American system, civil society organizations, and the international community, as well as the offers of assistance to the people of Chile.”

Before approving the declaration, the Permanent Council observed a minute of silence in memory of the more than 700 victims of the earthquake, at the request of the Council’s Chairman and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica, José Enrique Castillo.

The Permanent Representative of Chile, Pedro Oyarce, thanked the “many gestures of solidarity” offered and the visits to the country of “Heads of State, high authorities and the Secretary General of the OAS” following the tragedy. The Ambassador reported that the earthquake left “close to 800 dead, two million injured or affected, a million people homeless and grave destruction to infrastructure, especially ports, airports, hospitals and schools.”

Ambassador Oyarce also described how his government has taken “the necessary constitutional measures” to maintain order, and how the immediate needs of the victims have been communicated to the international community. “We are hopeful that once again, with the support of sister countries, we can stand up before the challenges of nature,” he said.

Secretary General Insulza for his part informed the Permanent Council of the outcome of his visit to his country after the earthquake. “The destruction is enormous” despite the high standards of anti-seismic construction that have been applied for some time in Chile, he explained.

The Secretary General also noted that, though Chileans live through difficult times, “the level of unity evident in the country, the will to pull through” of the people and their government is remarkable.

During the meeting representatives of the following countries expressed their heartfelt condolences: Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Nicaragua, Canada, Dominican Republic, United States, Colombia, Ecuador, St. Kitts and Nevis (on behalf of CARICOM), Haiti, Brazil, Guatemala, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Peru, Jamaica, Panama, El Salvador and Permanent Observers Spain and China.

Photographs of the event will be available here.

For more information please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-060/10