Media Center



  June 4, 2009

San Pedro Sula, Honduras – The Fourth and final Plenary Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula featured several issues of high political and international relevance. The first issue on the agenda was the dispute between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Republic of Argentina on the matter of the Islas Malvinas.

On this point, the Argentine Minister of Foreign Relations and International Trade, Jorge Taiana, said that “the Republic of Argentina is firmly committed to the advancement of the decolonization process and the rapid and unconditional elimination of colonialism in all its forms.” He also said that this issue has “special and particular characteristics that set it apart from other cases of decolonization.”

The Declaration approved by the plenary of the Assembly celebrated the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between both countries; emphasizes the will of the Argentine government to keep exploring all possible paths for a pacific solution to the conflict; calls on all parts to resume negotiations on the sovereignty dispute as soon as possible; and confirms that the General Assembly will continue examining the issue in the upcoming periods of sessions until its definite solution.

Also on the agenda was the issue of the maritime access of the Republic of Bolivia. On this issue, the Minister of Foreign Relations of Bolivia, David Choquehuanca, said that “between Bolivia and Chile we have substantially advanced on the construction of mutual trust, and now it is time to embark on the phase of definition. Only three years ago, Bolivia and Chile initiated an effort to construct a climate of mutual trust, where the goodwill and political leadership of our presidents were decisive. We have achieved this climate due to both countries having democratic governments clearly committed to the interests of their nations.”

The Minister of Foreign Relations of Chile, Mariano Fernandez, acknowledged that his country and Bolivia are currently developing a wide and non-exclusive process of dialogue. “We have excellent relations, but we insist that Chile does not recognize this issue in the bilateral agenda to be in the jurisdiction of the Organization of American States,” said Fernandez, who also mentioned that the relations with Bolivia are a priority in the international agenda of his nation.

The follow up on the commitments towards Haiti adopted during the Fifth Summit of the Americas was also discussed on the final plenary session. The Secretary General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza, presented the report mandated by the Heads of State and Government in April in Trinidad and Tobago..

The report mentioned recent efforts started to mobilize financial towards the support of the development of Haiti, which was also discussed in a Resolution passed by the OAS General Assembly. Mr. Insulza acknowledged that “the government of Haiti has carried out great efforts to improve the quality of life of the Haitian citizens,” and that “only through the combination of the strong leadership that represents President Préval, and an effective international cooperation, we will be able to find a way for Haiti to step away from poverty towards greater peace and prosperity.”

Also discussed during the Fourth Plenary Session were the issues of violence against women; the effect of climate change on the societies, the economy and the environment of the Hemisphere; the hemispheric cooperation on preparation and response to transmittable diseases, including influenza A (H1N1); the hemispheric collaboration on an Advance Passenger Information System (APIS); and the national reports of the fourth round of evaluations of the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM) of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).

The plenary also chose as members of the Inter-American Juridical Committee Venezuelan Freddy Castillo Castellanos (28 votes), Salvadorian Ana Elizabeth Villalta Vizcarra (27) and Dominican Miguel Pichardo Olivier (24). As members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights were chosen José de Jesús Orozco (32 votes, Mexico), Rodrigo Escobar Gil (29, Colombia), and Dinah Shelton (20, USA). The plenary also proclaimed new members of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Costa-Rican Manuel Ventura Robles, Uruguayan Alberto Pérez Pérez, Chilean Eduardo Vio Grossi, and Peruvian Diego Garcia Sayán.

Reference: GA-16-09