The Permanent Representative of Paraguay to the Organization of American States (OAS), Martin Sannemann, assumed last Friday the Chair of the Permanent Council of the hemispheric institution, held in the last three months by the Permanent Representative of Panama, Arturo Vallarino.
Upon receiving the gavel that represents the Council’s authority from his predecessor, Ambassador Sannemann said that assuming the Chair for the next quarter represents a huge honor that we assume with plenty of responsibility, because we understand what it means to run such a relevant forum for our Hemisphere. The Paraguayan representative reiterated the commitment of his country and his government with the nature, purposes and principles of the OAS, which he considers a place of tolerance that searches for consensus until the last minute.
Ambassador Sannemann thanked the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, who attended the event, for the friendship and affection that he has shown to our country. We know we've been through a very difficult time and thanks to his leadership we were able to solve many of the problems that our region has faced.
The Paraguayan diplomat said that during his tenure he will seek to stimulate debate on the strategic vision of the OAS, the financing of politics in the region and promote the consolidation of democracy, human rights, strengthen cooperation, provide security, and promote development. Also, he will begin preparations to the 2014 General Assembly, to be held in Paraguay.
For his part, Ambassador Vallarino said he chaired the Permanent Council in interesting times, during a period in which the Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas was presented and the XLIII OAS General Assembly was held in La Antigua Guatemala. During this period, he continued, his goal was to fight and work so that the citizens of the Americas feel that the OAS is doing something for them.
Ambassador Vallarino recalled that his appointment as Chairman of the Council also coincided with his appointment as Chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the General Assembly, Chairman of the General Committee, and Chairman of the Committee on Inter-American Summits Management and Civil Society Participation in OAS Activities. I felt they were giving me the tools to achieve the goals that we set upon ourselves to satisfy the confidence shown by the Panamanian government when they sent me to this place, he said.
The handover event was also attended by OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, and several Permanent Representatives of the Member Countries.
The Permanent Council’s statutes establish that the chairmanship be exercised by each of the Permanent Representatives in turn, following the alphabetic order in Spanish of the names of their respective countries, and the office of Vice-Chair, by identical standards, following reverse alphabetical order. The Vice Chair of the Council will be the Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda, Ambassador Deborah-Mae Lovell.