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OAS to House the Secretariat of Environmental Matters of the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement

  July 18, 2011

The Organization of American States (OAS) will house the Secretariat for Environmental Matters of the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. The OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, met with representatives of both governments today to confirm the OAS’ agreement to house the Secretariat and provide it with administrative and technical support.

The OAS, through its Department of Sustainable Development (DSD), will house the Secretariat and provide it with administrative and technical support and office equipment to enable it to carry out its functions.

The Secretariat is created with the aim of strengthening the implementation of the Agreement. Through this new body, citizens will be able to file submissions regarding how both parties are effectively enforcing their environmental laws as called for under the terms of the Agreement. “I think this is a very important mechanism and I wish we could do the same with other Free Trade Agreements,” said Secretary General Insulza, who signed letters for the representatives of both countries confirming the role of the OAS regarding the Secretariat. “We are ready to start working,” he added.

Demetrious Marantis, Deputy United States Trade Representative, said that “having the OAS house this Secretariat will give it more credibility,” a key development for a body created to “ensure transparency and public participation.” “We are very grateful for all the work the OAS, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the State Department, and both delegations put into this,” Ambassador Marantis said.

Hugo de Zela, Permanent Representative of Peru to the OAS, said that “our choosing the OAS is a show of confidence in the Organization.” “We think that you are doing very good work in this area and we are willing to work with the OAS and to use your expertise in this matter,” Ambassador De Zela added.

The OAS Department of Sustainable Development is currently supporting the implementation of the Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), evaluating the fulfillment of the environmental goals set in the Agreement.

The meeting was also attended by Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, Permanent Representative of the United States to the OAS; Amy Karpel, Director for Environment and Natural Resources, USTR; Robert Wing, Division Chief, Environment and Trade, Office of Environmental Policy, US Department State; Javier Yepez, Minister Counselor, Permanent Mission of Peru to the OAS; Alfonso Quiñónez, OAS Secretary for External Relations; Ambassador Mauricio Cortes Costa, OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development; Cletus Springer, Director, Department of Sustainable Development, OAS; and Kenneth Frankel, Director, Department of Legal Services, OAS.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-770/11