Media Center

Press Release


  May 5, 2009

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, urged the member states of the hemispheric body to seize the “outstanding opportunity” for “cooperation and dialogue” provided by the latest Summit of the Americas, held in Port-of-Spain.

At the opening of the fourteenth regular meeting of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC, Insulza said that the 34 heads of state and government that met April 17-19 in Trinidad and Tobago gave “the highest priority to development, particularly promoting human prosperity, energy security and environmental sustainability.”

“The economic and social areas face new challenges that are exacerbated by the global economic and financial crisis,” he said. “The Summit assigned a great responsibility, with important challenges, to CIDI and its various ministerial processes. Now we must work to empower these processes.”

In this context, Secretary General Insulza stressed the need to “step up efforts” to “achieve agreements that create mechanisms geared toward said empowerment as well as the implementation of mandates arising from Summits and ministerial meetings.”

“It is particularly important to develop a strong link between political dialogue and efforts toward cooperation,” he said. “It is our responsibility to lead the inter-American cooperation network for social protection, and to provide a space for sharing experiences, programs and best practices, aimed at improving the ability to identify opportunities for multilateral cooperation in the area of social development.”

Regarding other mandates entrusted to the OAS and CIDI by the heads of state and government, Insulza reiterated his call for development authorities in the Hemisphere to meet in 2010 “to evaluate the achievements of the inter-American program for sustainable development, which represents a unique opportunity for us to keep making progress on issues of the utmost importance, such as climate change and energy.”

Insulza insisted that hemispheric authorities should meet before the United Nations Climate Change Conference convenes in Copenhagen in December, and called for a ministerial meeting on energy in 2010.

CIDI plays a crucial role in all of these mandates, said Insulza. “CIDI and its ministerial processes are key to advance a common and shared hemispheric agenda aimed at reducing poverty and achieving an economic and social development that is both inclusive and fair.”

The Chair of CIDI’s Permanent Executive Committee and Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the OAS, Ambassador Efrén Cocíos, also insisted on the need to reinforce CIDI’s mechanisms. “Despite the progress we’ve made, we need to speed up the process to achieve agreements and start working on a new method to strengthen the dialogue.”

“This is a hard task. But a stronger CIDI will yield more benefits to our citizens. The Fifth Summit of the Americas entrusted important mandates to both CIDI and the OAS. We have an enormous challenge ahead of us and a great opportunity to show that this Organization can bear more fruit and serve our countries better,” he said.

Also at the meeting were OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, and the Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Ambassador Alfonso Quiñónez.

Reference: E-158/09