Media Center

Press Release


  June 26, 2007

The Organization of American States (OAS) will receive a contribution of some 246,419 Euros (approximately U.S. $330,000) from the Italian Government, to bolster its work in key issues of the hemispheric agenda.

The funds will be allocated towards the Comprehensive Mine Action Program in Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. The donation will also help support the work of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in Colombia, promote and protect human rights in Central America, and finally, promote freedom of expression in the Americas.

Expressing gratitude for the “interest and support” provided by the government of Italy, William McDonough, Director of the OAS Office of Humanitarian Mine Action, said that “the current contributions recognize the importance of successfully concluding mature national programs like that of Nicaragua, and at the same time ensure the development of the more complex scenarios represented by Peru/Ecuador and Colombia.”

With regards to the work carried out by the Human Rights Commission in Colombia, this institution examines the initiatives for the demobilization of illegal armed groups as well as the applicable legal regime and mechanisms aimed at ensuring that the process unfolds in keeping with the State’s international obligations, among other duties.

During the recent General Assembly, held in Panama City, Panama, from June 3-5, Italian Ambassador Gerolamo Schiavoni, reiterated his government’s commitment and interest, as an OAS observer, to support the work of the Organization in the Americas with concrete actions. Italy has had permanent observer status at the OAS since 1972.

Reference: E-155/07