Media Center

Press Release

OAS Secretary General Participates in Graduation Ceremony of 53rd Class of the Inter-American Defense College

  June 25, 2014

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today participated, together with Haitian President Michel Martelly, in the graduation ceremony of the 53rd Class of the Inter-American Defense College (IADC), which took place at the headquarters the hemispheric Organization in Washington, DC.

In his speech, President Martelly referred to the important professional training received by the participants in the Inter-American Defense College programs. "I feel honored to be present at this event that concludes an important process of your careers. There is no doubt that you have made significant efforts you have dedicated yourselves to meeting the academic requirements of the College and you have worked in the best spirit of inter-American fraternity developing personal and professional relationships that will impact your future," he said.

The Haitian President also mentioned several economic, political and social initiatives undertaken by his country in recent months and highlighted the importance of continued international support and cooperation to carry on moving forward.

For his part, Secretary General Insulza recalled the importance of the Inter-American Defense College, founded in 1962, and the trajectory and impact that it has had on hundreds of graduates it has produced since its inception. He further highlighted the "constant effort of academic and educational renewal" that has characterized the institution, adding that the annual graduation ceremony exemplifies the important relationship between the OAS and the College.

"I want to express my gratitude for the invitation to be here with you today to celebrate such an important event for your careers and to remember that for me it is also an important moment since I have attended every class graduation ceremony from the 44th to the 53rd," said Insulza while wishing the graduates "the greatest success, a success that many have had in their professional lives after having attended the IADC."

Introducing the President of Haiti, Michel Martelly, Secretary General Insulza recalled the trajectory and life of the Haitian President, noting "his vocation and spirit of dedication to the community and the culture and politics of his country." He also mentioned several of the social and political contributions that the President has made to the Caribbean country, and stressed "his vast knowledge of the Haitian population and his political and human sensitivity to the situation of his people."

Referring to the leadership of President Martelly, Insulza said that he "has not ceased to redouble his efforts to ensure that the rebuilding since the 2010 earthquake has taken place within the framework of the Rule of Law." "Aware of the realities and challenges of the national context, President Martelly has become one of the leading statesmen of our Hemisphere," he concluded, and highlighted the achievements of Martelly’s administration "through the consolidation of democracy and the progress in the economic and social areas that have brought important and new hope to the Haitian people."

Welcoming remarks were made by United States Navy Rear Admiral and Director of the Inter-American Defense College, Jeffrey Lemmons, who noted the historical relationship between the College and the OAS, indicating that the historic building of the hemispheric Organization "is the ideal venue to host this ceremony.” He expressed his gratitude for the support received from the institution, which he described as "a forum for ongoing dialogue in the Hemisphere." "The support of the OAS is a key factor to achieving our goals of maintaining the highest levels of academic excellence to train officers in our countries," Lemmons said. Finally, he thanked the member countries for allowing the College to become "a nexus of education between countries on security and defense."

The College graduated 55 students, including military officers, national police and civilian officials from 15 countries who participated in a 11-month study program that included classes on international governmental systems; international political environment; the functioning of the Inter-American System; and challenges to regional security.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The B-Roll of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-272/14