Media Center

Press Release


  October 2, 2003

Ambassador Salvador E. Rodezno of Honduras today assumed the chairmanship of the Organization of American States (OAS) Permanent Council, pledging to concentrate on preparations for upcoming conferences on poverty, hemispheric security and democratic governance.

Succeeding his Haitian counterpart, Ambassador Raymond Valcin, in the rotating post, the Honduran envoy stressed the urgent need to continue his predecessor’s initiatives for the OAS to devote significant effort to combating extreme poverty in the Americas. He noted as well that, as determined at the 2002 OAS General Assembly in Barbados, “fighting poverty is an ongoing priority and concern of the member states.”

Ambassador Rodezno said the Special Conference on Hemispheric Security, slated for October 27 and 28 in Mexico, was crucial to the Americas. He described the high-level meeting as “one of the most important events for the Organization” in the coming months, adding that the conference would serve as “the basis for the creation of a new hemispheric security system.” Rodezno also outlined preparations for an experts meeting to draft the Democratic Governance Program that will be considered at the Special Summit of the Americas scheduled for January 2004.

Meanwhile, noting the Permanent Council’s “grave financial situation,” he expressed the hope that all member states would lend support and goodwill to find an urgent and lasting solution to the problem.

As he handed over the symbolic gavel to Rodezno, Ambassador Valcin expressed appreciation for the cooperation he received over the past three months, adding that holding the chairmanship was a great honor for Haiti. Reviewing the Council’s accomplishments, he spoke about the progress in preparing for the upcoming hemispheric security conference and the Special Summit of the Americas that Mexico will host, as well as the conference on poverty to be held in Venezuela October 8 to 10. He commended the Permanent Council’s focus on development, democracy and fighting poverty as underscoring the central importance of the human element.

A career Honduran Foreign Service officer, Salvador Rodezno studied political science and international relations, and has served at several of his country’s diplomatic missions, including as Ambassador in Uruguay.

Reference: E-185/03