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Foreign Minister Choquehuanca and Secretary General Insulza Underscore Importance of Food Security with Sovereignty in the Americas

  June 2, 2012

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, drew attention to the importance of the theme of the forty-second regular session of the OAS General Assembly --”Food Security with Sovereignty”-- at a press conference that he hosted on the eve of the hemispheric meeting together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, David Choquehuanca, and the Assistant OAS Secretary General, Albert Ramdin.

Secretary General Insulza said that he hoped that “the issue of food security is given the importance it deserves,” and noted that “from the point of view of food output, our region has the largest surplus in the world, which is why having nearly 60 million people in the Americas going hungry is an indignity that cannot be ignored.”

On the question of human rights, the OAS Secretary General said that a reform of the inter-American human rights system was not on the table and that the idea is “to hold discussions with a view to strengthening it” since “none of the powers of the system's organs are going to be curbed or done away with.”

“We want a system in which all member states take part; a system in which the conditions exist for the rulings and decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to be fulfilled by countries; a system with the capacity and conditions for development, and autonomous development, at that,” he said.

Foreign Minister Choquehuanca, for his part, referring to the theme of the Assembly session, said, “We are going to discuss matters that are of concern to us; in particular, how to organize to ensure a secure food supply for all our peoples.” He remarked, “The Declaration of Cochabamba will address this issue.”
“It is a question of guaranteeing not only food, but the right kind of food—healthy food—for our peoples. That is why the subject of the Declaration is food security with sovereignty,” he added.

Assistant Secretary General Ramdin mentioned all issues that would be the focus of the discussions of the foreign ministers of the Americas over the next three days. “This Assembly session has a clear agenda that unites us all,” he said, “including the advancement of peace, democracy, and cooperation in the Americas.” “Over the next few days, the foreign ministers will have the opportunity to discuss these issues, and after the meetings, the Declaration of Cochabamba will be adopted, highlighting the importance of promoting food security throughout the region,”Ambassador Ramdin said.

The Surinamese diplomat added, “This Assembly session will also provide an excellent opportunity for a hemispheric dialogue on such wide-ranging and important topics as the draft Social Charter of the Americas, promotion and strengthening of democracy, human rights, and common security challenges, all of which are fundamental for integral development and peace in the region.”

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The video of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-201/12