Media Center

Press Release


  April 3, 2003

Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, Ambassador Odeen Ishmael, has called for effective action on development financing, to tackle problems facing especially the poor in the Americas.

“We in this Hemisphere will have to—as a matter of urgency—begin to identify effective means of applying the much-touted Monterrey Consensus,” Dr. Ishmael stressed in his first intervention before the Permanent Council since assuming the Chair on April 1, his second time presiding over the OAS decision-making body. “Talking about it and glorifying it at numerous conferences will do nothing to ease the plight of the poor in our countries. Applying it is what will bring beneficial results.”

Other priorities he highlighted included finding a solution to Haiti’s political crisis. He suggested that if the parties concerned can name their representatives to Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council, “we may be able to see a positive shift from the stalemate that is currently being experienced.” He expressed the hope that the OAS and CARICOM will continue “with some urgency to help promote political dialogue and compromise” to move the process forward.

The Guyanese diplomat underlined the importance of democracy and democratic governance as “ideas and practices which continue to gain attention and concern in all our countries,” and hailed host government Chile’s decision to propose it as the focus of the heads of delegation dialogue at the upcoming OAS General Assembly. He cautioned against complacency with respect to democracy. “There are forces which make threats against freely elected governments and place all kinds of impediments to prevent such governments from carrying out their development programs….. Only if all forces respect the results of those elections can a fledgling or developing democracy be allowed to nurture and embed its roots in the society.”

Ambassador Ishmael signaled the need to further develop cooperation between the Hemisphere and Africa, pointing to areas of mutual interest such as development, democracy and democratic development and managing the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Reference: E-079/03