Belize Assumes the Chair of the OAS Inter-American Council for Integral Development

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

On Friday July 19th, Ambassador Nestor Mendez, Belize’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), assumed the chair of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI). The CIDI is the main body of the hemispheric organizations with decision making power in matters of partnership for integral development. The announcement was made by the OAS via a press release following the short ceremony at the organization’s headquarters in Washington DC, USA.

The Chair of CIDI was previously held by the Permanent Representative of Barbados, Ambassador John Beale. He concluded his term as chair of CIDI by emphasizing the role the body plays in the development of the work of the OAS. Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Ambassador Beale highlighted the area of education, stating that through better education, the people of the Hemisphere can achieve a better quality of life and distance themselves from the problems of violence, crime and drugs.

OAS 4In accepting the Chair of CIDI Ambassador Mendez said that integral development is a fundamental element in fighting the ills that afflict the regional society such as violence, crime and insecurity. “Those things can best be combated by the creation of access for economic opportunities for our people,” he said. The Belizean diplomat presented a plaque of recognition to Ambassador Beale on behalf of the Council for his work as CIDI Chair, and said he faces a difficult task to live up to the work of his predecessor.

Present at the ceremony was the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin, Head of the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development, Sherry Tross. Several other ambassadors from the member countries also took part in the handover ceremony.

The CIDI reports directly to the General Assembly and is intended to promote cooperation among Member States for the furthering of their integral development and, in particular, to help eliminate extreme poverty.

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