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OAS Permanent Council Expresses Solidarity with Canada and Approves Resolution for the “Operational Rules of the Consumer Safety and Health Fund”

  October 23, 2014

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today expressed its solidarity with the Government of Canada over the attack that took place on Wednesday in Ottawa, at a regular meeting that also saw approval of the resolution for the Operational Rules of the Consumer Safety and Health Fund," which aims to contribute to the strengthening of the Consumer Safety and Health Network (RCSS) of the Americas by financing activities with regard to institution building, exchange of experiences, and design and implementation of the Inter-American Rapid Product Safety Warning System.

The Chair of the Permanent Council and Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ambassador La Celia A. Prince, expressed, on behalf of the body, her consternation, condemnation and solidarity with the people and Government of Canada for the "unfortunate events" that occurred yesterday at the country’s Parliament in Ottawa. In her words, and in those made by the representatives of the Council, they recalled that organized crime is widespread in the region and recalled the importance of reviewing the instruments available to the Inter-American system in the fight against terrorism. Similarly, the Council referred to the events that took place in Mexico, where 43 students remain missing. In this respect, the ambassadors reiterated their support for the Mexican government to conduct an investigation to clarify the events, and sent messages of solidarity with the families of the students.

For his part, Hugo de Zela, Chief of Staff of the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, referred to the pronouncement made by the leader of the Organization on the events in Ottawa, in which he condemned the attack, sent his condolences to the family of the deceased soldier, expressed solidarity with the Canadian people and offered his support to the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Regarding the resolution on the Consumer Safety and Health Fund, approved based on a proposal by the delegation of Brazil, the document refers to the mandates of the OAS General Assembly related to the creation of the Consumer Safety and Health Network (RCSS) and the design and implementation of the Inter-American Rapid Product Safety Warning System (IAPSWS);" the document recalls the importance of "further strengthening the issue at the national and hemispheric level;” and reiterates the call for the creation of a specific fund of voluntary contributions to support activities to strengthen the Network.

The operational rules for the Fund approved today urged member states and other donors to contribute to financing the activities of the RCSS, "particularly those aimed at the institutional strengthening in the countries, exchange of experiences among experts at the inter-American level, the projection of the hemisphere vis-à-vis other regions and design of the IAPSWS." In adopting the resolution, delegations highlighted the Fund as a creative, efficient and unique tool to streamline the process of sharing information and protecting consumers in the Hemisphere.

The Permanent Council’s agenda also considered the issue of the Strategic Plan for Management Modernization of the OAS, presented by the Chief of Staff of the Secretary General, Hugo de Zela, who recalled the history and the process that led to the creation of the document. The Plan contains a series of recommendations divided into seven areas of work for consideration by member states. "To address its growing demands and for the Organization to be able to fulfill its historic and emerging mandates, the OAS must face important decisions and take action to facilitate any transition required by its stakeholders", states the document. After an extensive discussion of its content and procedures, Council members decided to refer the Strategic Plan prepared by the General Secretariat to the Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (CAAP) as well as the document on the costs of transitioning to a new administration in 2015.

In today's meeting the delegations from Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Uruguay, Canada, the United States, Bolivia, Venezuela, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, Haiti, Guatemala, Paraguay, Honduras, Argentina , Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica took the floor.

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-455/14