Media Center



  June 3, 2007

PANAMA CITY, Panama— Representatives of the 60 countries that are Permanent Observers to the Organization of American States (OAS) reiterated their unconditional support of efforts the OAS is undertaking in such critical areas as promoting peace, regional security, social progress and freedom of expression, fostering integration, addressing energy issues and developing an inter-American agenda.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Panama, Ricardo Durán, chaired the meeting with representatives of observer countries, who announced new donations to the OAS totaling some $23 million over the coming years. OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza spoke at the close of the meeting, which was held just hours before the General Assembly was to open in the Panamanian capital to examine the issue of Energy for Sustainable Development.
Representatives of 18 observer nations spoke during the meeting with General Assembly Heads of Delegation, thanking the OAS for its efforts in the region and for the opportunity to support and contribute to specific programs designed to strengthen democracy, peace and development.

Welcoming the observer delegates on behalf of his government, the Panamanian Deputy Foreign Minister said their participation is an indication of how the Western Hemisphere is working more closely with partners outside the region to improve the lives of citizens of the Americas. “Panama is a clear example of the success that can be possible through this type of alliance for cooperation, having witnessed firsthand the positive results of working together with partners around the world,” Durán said.

He stressed that in this era of globalization, more opportunities than ever are available to increase the dialogue between the Americas and Europe, Africa and Asia on key issues of mutual interest and concern.

Secretary General Insulza, for his part, underscored the important role of OAS observer countries, noting that they contribute to the Organization’s work with their ideas and their financial support. He thanked them for the commitments they had announced, as well as for their “renewed and significant support for OAS programs and projects.”

Reference: GA-13-07