Media Center

Press Release


  June 27, 2006

During an official visit to the United States House of Representatives today, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, outlined the main issues and achievements of the thirty-sixth regular session of the OAS General Assembly held at the beginning of the month in the Dominican Republic, under the central theme of “Good Governance and Development in the Knowledge-based Society.”

After meeting with representatives from the International Relations Committee on Western Hemisphere, Insulza described the discussions as “very constructive” and informative, noting they provided first-hand view of the US legislators’ perspectives on governance in the Americas, while allowing him to share the Organization’s views on those issues. The US legislators acknowledged the role of the OAS in key areas such as electoral observation, promotion of human rights and the strengthening of democracy in the hemisphere.

The Secretary General noted that one of the proposals made during the meetings concerns an information based project for parliaments and governments in the Organization’s member states. “There was a very interesting proposal to see if we could cooperate in supporting the strengthening of congresses in Latin America through an information system similar to the one available in the US Congress,” explained Insulza.

Secretary General Insulza also briefed the representatives on the OAS work this year on various electoral processes in the region. He noted that the OAS currently has electoral observation missions deployed in Nicaragua and Bolivia and is expected to participate in observing other elections over the next few months.

“The OAS Secretary General was very open and told us of the problems that they are facing and how they are addressing them, and I was very impressed with his ability of how he is handling it,” said Congressman Dan Burton, Chairman of the House International Relations Committee on Western Hemisphere.

The Dominican Republic’s Ambassador to the OAS Roberto Alvarez, US Ambassador to the OAS John Maisto and OAS Assistant Secretary for Political Affairs Dante Caputo accompanied the Secretary General to Capitol Hill.

Among members of Congress with whom Insulza visited were Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Dan Burton, Jerry Weller and William Delahunt.

Reference: E-137/06