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OAS Secretary General Praises the Region’s Efforts towards the Millennium Development Goals

  September 23, 2010

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, highlighted the “tremendous efforts” countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have made towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at a United Nations (UN) High-Level Plenary Meeting.

“Through these efforts, we have demonstrated that our region is committed to development and the fight against poverty,” said Insulza, who also took the opportunity to congratulate the countries on the progress they have made and encouraged them to continue with those efforts.

At the event, which is took place in the framework of the annual UN General Assembly in New York City, the Secretary General explained how the OAS has supported its Member States in recent years to achieve the MDGs, especially in five areas: the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty; universal primary education; promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women; and environmental sustainability.

“At the OAS, we advocate, along with our Member States and the other institutions of the inter-American system, for the adoption of regional and national public policies that will help them reach their Millennium Development Goal targets by 2015. The people of Latin America and the Caribbean have embraced Democracy as their chosen political system, with the expectation and the demand that it deliver a better life for all,” Insulza explained.

Presenting a summary of the different activities and initiatives the OAS has conducted to advance the fulfillment of the MDGs, the head of the hemispheric institution referred to programs such as the Inter-American Social Protection Network, which seeks to strengthen the institutional capacity of national social development agencies; the Inter-American Network for Labor Administration, which helps to increase the institutional and human capacities of the Ministries of Labor in the region; and the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN) of the OAS, which fosters technical collaboration and coordination among countries in the collection, sharing, and use of biodiversity information relevant to decision-making on natural resources management and conservation, among others.

Insulza also recalled that Latin America and the Caribbean have progressed 63% toward the goal of reducing total poverty by half, and 85% toward halving extreme poverty. “Even though ours is not the poorest region in the world, we have the most unequal distribution of income of any region. This inequality is clearly an obstacle to the attainment of the goals we are discussing here today.” He also asserted that the OAS has helped to develop innovative programs in the form of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs to help our Member States reach the target of halving, by 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day.

“Overall, it appears that progress has been mixed in our region, as it has been worldwide,” he remarked, adding that one of his main concerns regarding the progress of the MDGs is the state of Goal 8, which refers to the global partnership for development. “In order to advance toward this goal, the OAS believes that we must support those engaged in trade—particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as women, indigenous people, youth and afro-descendants—so they may benefit from expanding markets for their goods and services.”

In the context of the high-level meeting in New York, OAS Secretary General Insulza also met with regional and international leaders to discuss this and other issues related to the inter-American agenda.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-342/10