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OAS and Dominican Republic Sign Letter of Understanding to Promote Hemispheric Agenda on Sustainable Development

  September 3, 2010

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the OAS, Virgilio Alcántara, today signed a letter of understanding regarding the preparation of the Second Meeting of Ministers and High-Level Authorities on Sustainable Development.

The meeting, to be held in the framework of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), will bring together the highest authorities in the hemisphere on sustainable development from November 3 to 5 in Santo Domingo, to discuss subjects such as vulnerability, risk management in planning as well as institutional and managerial aspects in adapting to climate change. Furthermore, the Ministers will follow up on the commitments undertaken during the first meeting, held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, in 2006.

Secretary General Insulza said he was very pleased by the Dominican Republic’s proposal to host this important meeting, since “we know well the enormous efforts the Dominican Republic has made this year in many respects and the particularly daring way in which it has assumed the task of supporting its neighbor Haiti in the earthquake that struck this year.”

Also, he emphasized that the meeting is “crucial.” “Meetings on this subject have been held for many years, but it wasn’t long ago that sustainable development imposed itself as one of the central matters for the subsistence, for the survival of our planet,” the Secretary General said.

The head of the OAS also recalled that this year is the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Protection of Flora, Fauna, and Natural Scenic Beauty in the Countries of the Americas, one of the first international agreements on environmental matters that was supported from the beginning by the Dominican Republic, a pioneer country in its signing and ratification. “Seventy years later we again turn to this same task, to seek your country’s leadership so our efforts to sustain our environment may become a reality,” the Secretary General affirmed while addressing Ambassador Alcántara.

For his part, Ambassador Alcántara said the Ministers will adopt the “Declaration of Santo Domingo for Sustainable Development in the Americas,” which he described as “a document we hope will serve as a guide for the work of the OAS in the area of sustainable development in the future. It is also a document intended to regenerate the regular meetings of the Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development.”

The Dominican representative said a first preparatory meeting was held in Washington in June, and that a second will be held in Mexico on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Ambassador Alcántara said his country’s Ministry of Economics, Planning and Development, along with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Environment and Natural Resources and Agriculture, are coordinating the ministerial meeting. “The Dominican Republic feels honored to be the host country for this meeting, and we hope to welcome you, Mr. Secretary General, as well as the ministers responsible for sustainable development in the Member States.”

A photo gallery of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-315/10