Media Center

Press Release


  March 22, 2006

Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francisco Carrión Mena, declaring in an address to the Organization of American States (OAS) that poverty, inequity in income distribution, social exclusion and external debt burden “are, unquestionably, the greatest challenges facing the region,” called for a development strategy that places greater priority on those issues.

“The best contribution the Americas could make to hemispheric and international security—in addition to a multilateral focus on international relations—is to promote social and economic development for our citizens on the basis of social justice,” the Foreign Minister today told a special session of the Permanent Council, chaired by Venezuela’s Ambassador, Jorge Valero. Secretary General José Miguel Insulza and Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin were among top OAS officials on hand to welcome the Ecuadorian dignitary.

In his address, Foreign Minister Carrion Mena noted that, as a system of government and legitimate power, democracy is the most effective vehicle for social justice, legal protections, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and social and economic rights for all citizens. He added that when citizens are able to freely elect their leaders—who rule with integrity, faithfully represent the interests of the majority of the population and institute policies to spur development, job-creation, health, education and wellbeing—“our societies will be more safe and secure and more socially integrated.” He also underscored the vital connection between social and economic justice and security.

Carrión Mena expressed his government’s appreciation for OAS support on a number of initiatives over the years, including mine-clearing on the border with Peru, and in electoral matters. He announced that in due course the government would formally request an OAS electoral observation mission for the October elections to vote for a President and Vice President as well as members of congress.

Restating Ecuador’s commitment to “a truly representative democracy,” the Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of full respect for and guarantees of human rights, stressing that “Ecuador never applied mass human rights violations policies, and was one of the first countries to adopt a national human rights plan.”

The Ecuadorian Foreign Minister also thanked the member state representatives for their support and, reaffirming his government’s support for the OAS agenda, emphasized its commitment to continued active participation in the hemispheric organization.

Reference: E-067/06