by Ambassador Noriega at OAS Ceremony
U.S. Permanent Representative to the OAS
Assuming the Chair of the OAS Permanent Council
look forward to a period of consolidation of the fine work carried out by my
predecessors, Ambassador Lestrade, Peña Herrera and Escobar who in the midst of
very difficult tenures took the time to review the workings of the Permanent
Council to propose changes to the way we do business.
intend to follow through with the consideration of the proposal that Ambassador
Escobar recently tabled with the modifications resulting from the consultations
with the different regional groups and individual ambassadors who have already
also believe that, while our memory is still fresh, we should review the process
of preparing for the General Assembly and develop a realistic calendar to
eliminate the last-minute rush that, in some cases, prevents us from addressing
major issues in depth due to the press of time.
advantage of the recent successes of the OAS such as the Inter-American
Convention Against Terrorism and others, I would like to work with the Secretary
General to conduct some briefings for the U.S. Congress and for other
influential policy groups to emphasize the work of the "new OAS".
is important to note that Democracy does not go on vacation. I am assuming
office at a moment of truth on Haiti -- at the moment that the Report of the
Independent Commission of Inquiry is being issued. In accordance with PC
Resolution 806 of January 15, it is now essential that the Government of Haiti
move decisively to end impunity and establish the rule of law and that both
sides agree to fair elections and to finish the initial political accord in the
chair of the Permanent Council, I will give full support to Assistant Secretary
General Einaudi’s diplomatic efforts in Haiti.
Council itself has been given a substantial amount of work to do in the
implementation of General Assembly mandates. It is important to constitute the
Committees and distribute the mandates as soon as possible. I intend to begin
consultations with the regional coordinators on this matter in the next few
will be difficult to follow in the footsteps of the Ambassadors who preceded me.
But with the help of all of you, especially the outgoing chair of the Permanent
Council, Ambassador Escobar, who now becomes my vice-chair, I will do my best.
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