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Friday, April 07, 2006 

April 5, 2006

Ambassador Ellsworth John, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), today made a strong appeal for greater focus on delivering “development dividends” to the region and intensifying efforts to eliminate poverty.

“It will be nothing short of an exercise in futility to deliver democracy to the peoples of the Americas without empowering them with the basic tools for development such as education, health and access to capital,” Ambassador John told the member state representatives, in his first address to the OAS Permanent Council as its Chairman for the next three months.

Ambassador John stressed the need for the hemispheric organization to address itself to the changing times so it can better meet the goals and objectives that the OAS countries had articulated at the first Summit of the Americas, held in Miami in 1994. Asserting that the OAS is the best-positioned body to coordinate the implementation of development assistance for the region, the Vincentian envoy urged his colleagues: “Let us not be hesitant in exploring our full potential and take up the mantle of leadership in this area.”

John also referred to the Inter-American Forum on Development that the OAS is hosting next week, drawing participation from all the regional development banks in this hemisphere. “This forum will have a narrow focus of looking at the strategic plans of those institutions and their ability to contribute to the development of institutional and human capacity in our member states,” he said.

Ambassador John and his Permanent Council colleagues acknowledged the contribution by the immediate past Chair, Ambassador Sonia Johnny of Saint Lucia, in leading the body for the past three months.During this regular meeting, the delegations also elected Peru to membership on the Leo S. Rowe Pan-American Fund Committee, and considered a range of other matters.

Reference: E-085/06

Organization of American States.
© Copyright 2005.

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