Media Center

Press Release

OAS Permanent Council Bids Farewell to the Permanent Representative of Panama

  June 18, 2014

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today bid farewell to the Ambassador of Panama to the hemispheric Organization, Arturo Vallarino, in a regular meeting in which it also received a presentation on the modernization of the management of the OAS.

During his final address before the Permanent Council, Ambassador Vallarino, thanked the members of the body and the Secretariat for their support, collaboration and advice during his time at the OAS. In addition, he highlighted the fact that “while we sometimes defend different positions, at the end we feel the environment of cooperation or a desire to come to agreements and that is one of the values of the OAS.”

The Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, for his part, said Ambassador Vallarino “has left his mark” on the OAS, and praised his “calm and his cooperative spirit.” “I congratulate you,” said the OAS leader, “for your excellent work here, for your character and your way of conducting yourself,” and added that “your presence among us will not be forgotten, due to your human qualities, and the strength with which you have defended the positions of your country.”

The Chair of the Council and Permanent Representative of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jacinth Lorna Henry-Martin, highlighted that Ambassador Vallarino “reminded us that we are here to represent our countries with conviction and belief in the positions we express.” At the same time, she added that the Panamanian diplomat “also reminded us that there are moments for consensus” and that “there is a lot to learn from the passion that Ambassador Vallarino transmits when expressing his ideas and positions.”

On another point of the agenda, the Council heard, at the request of the Mission of Canada, a presentation from consultant Julian Murray on the management modernization initiative currently underway at the OAS. In his presentation, Murray identified some “guiding principles” of the process, among them that it is not necessarily about cutting costs, but about modernizing management; that it should go beyond identifying symptoms to analyzing causes; and that as a part of the process the staff of the OAS will become more accountable and will be empowered to take more proactive positions.

The Secretary General thanked Murray for the presentation on the “roadmap,” and said “we as a General Secretariat are deeply committed to this task.” “I reiterate the full support of the Secretariat and I hope we will have results by the month of October,” concluded Secretary General Insulza, in reference to the Special General Assembly that will approve the next budget of the Organization. In addition, the OAS leader thanked in particular Ambassador Alan Culham, Permanent Representative of Canada, for his role in the process.

In the same meeting, the Council elected by acclamation as its representative to the Retirement and Pension Committee of the OAS the Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago, Neil Parsan; and installed the style committee of the General Assembly of Asunción, which will be composed of Brazil (for the Portuguese language) Haiti (French), United States (English), and Paraguay (Spanish).

During the meeting the representatives of United States, Mexico, Canada, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago (on behalf of CARICOM), Nicaragua, Peru, Honduras (on behalf of SICA), Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina (on behalf of ALADI), Brazil, Panama, Dominica, Grenada, Bolivia, Ecuador, and the observer mission of Spain (on behalf of France and Italy) all took the floor.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The video of the event will be available here.

The audio of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-264/14