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OAS Permanent Council Concluded the First Stage in the Debate on the Strategic Vision

  December 18, 2013

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today completed the first stage of the debate on the Strategic Vision of the hemispheric institution, with the presentation of a progress report of the Working Group on the matter to allow the Permanent Representatives to consult with their respective governments.

The report was presented to the Permanent Council at its regular meeting today by the Chair of the Working Group and Permanent Representative of Mexico to the Organization, Emilio Rabasa. The debate on the Strategic Vision of the Organization was proposed by the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza in February 2012 and April 2013, with the goal of "building among everyone the desirable political scenario we want to achieve for our Organization in the second decade of the 21st century," because, as explained by the Secretary General himself, "the moment has come, several times postponed, to adapt the OAS to the demands of the present."

Ambassador Rabasa explained in his report that the Working Group was created in September and started work on October 4, with the approval of the methodology and schedule of three stages, with the ultimate goal of developing a document that will be discussed at the next OAS General Assembly to be held in June 2014 in Paraguay.

The Mexican diplomat noted that during the first phase now completed, an analysis was produced on how the Organization promotes its four key pillars - development, multidimensional security, human rights and democracy -, progress in the modernization of administrative management were studied, and also a review of external actors, such as civil society, universities, permanent observers and other international agencies was carried out.

Rabasa reported that the Working Group held ten meetings during the first stage, with an average participation of 26 countries in each meeting, and the presence of ten representatives of the OAS General Secretariat and officials from the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) of the UN.

The document which emerged from the first stage, he said, "identifies the internal and external context of the OAS, and identifies our strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, as well as the latent threats to which we are exposed by inaction."

The next step in the debate on the Strategic Vision, according to the plan presented by Ambassador Rabasa is that the member countries will answer in January to a questionnaire with five questions: What will happen to the Organization in 5, 10 or 20 years if we do nothing today and leave things as they are?; What do we want to avoid happening?; What do we want to happen?; How do we want the institution to be in the future?; and Is it possible to achieve and how?" The Mexican representative said " the construction of the desirable scenario for our Organization will depend on the answers to these questions."

Secretary General Insulza, for his part, urged governments in the region to actively participate in the debate because "this is the time when States have to speak, so that we hear the official positions regarding the questions raised to us by the Chair of the Working Group."

The OAS leader praised the work done so far by the team that coordinates discussions on the matter, headed by Ambassador Rabasa. "I appreciate that the report was submitted on time. The group worked very well, with great responsibility, and we have a text which can ask member countries to set forth their position on the issues raised," said the Secretary General.

The Chair of the Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Peru, Juan Federico Mayor Jimenez, who chaired the body for the first time after presenting his credentials yesterday, joined the call on member states to highlight the importance of the debate, "to focus the work of the Organization on its primary objectives and prioritize its recognized strengths, including work in the area of ​​institutional and democratic governance, the promotion and defense of human rights, the peaceful settlement of disputes and cooperation to achieve hemispheric security and integral development, all seeking to adapt the organization to the challenges of the 21st Century."

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The video of the event is available here.

The audio of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-486/13