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Mar 18, 2015

Ambassador Nestor Mendez is New Assistant Secretary General to O.A.S.

A historic vote took place at the Organization of American States in Washington. Belize’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, Ambassador Nestor Mendez, who is also accredited to the US State Department is the new Assistant Secretary-General to the O.A.S., following elections held this afternoon. Mendez contested against Permanent Representative of Guyana to the O.A.S., Ambassador Bayney Karran, and received twenty-four votes of a possible thirty-four, securing the position for a five-year term in the first instance. Mendez campaigned for two years and went on to win by a huge margin this afternoon becoming the first Belizean to be elected to that high office. Interestingly today, the elections were chaired by the Foreign Minister of Guatemala, Carlos Raul Morales. News Five has been following the election today, and has a clip of Ambassador Mendez’s address to the special assembly.

 

Carlos Raul Morales, Chair, 49th Special Session General Assembly, O.A.S.

“We invite the Assistant Secretary General Elect to address the special assembly. You have the floor Ambassador Mendez.”

 

Nestor Mendez

Nestor Mendez, Assistant Secretary General Elect, O.A.S.

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. His Excellency, Carlos Raul Morales, Chair of the forty-ninth Special Session of the General Assembly; honorable ministers of Foreign Affairs and heads of delegation, distinguished ambassadors, permanent representatives, alternate representatives; his Excellency Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the O.A.S.; ambassador Albert Ramdin, Assistant Secretary General; staff of the general secretariat, ladies and gentlemen. I stand before you with a grateful heart, a clear mandate and an unwavering commitment to seize the opportunity that is before us to work together to transform the O.A.S. into the organization that we want and that the people of the Americas deserve. Thank you so much for making this such an important and special day for my country, for the government of Belize, for my family and especially for me. We began a journey based on the conviction that Belize, the effective bridge between Central America and CARICOM had an important contribution to make to the inter-American system anchored always on the fundamental principles enshrined in the charter of the O.A.S., the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the Social Charter. I am honored today to reiterate that commitment to the inter-American system and to the people we all serve.”

 

In an election held this morning, former Foreign Minister of Uraguay Luis Almagro was named the new Secretary-General of the O.A.S. to replace Jose Miguel Insulza, who served for ten years as head of the hemispheric organization. Now, both Almagro and Mendez will assume their new jobs as early as next week. As Mendez moves up, his seat at the Belize Embassy will be vacant and there is no confirmation as to who will be named as the new ambassador to the O.A.S. and the U.S.

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