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Mar 19, 2015

Ambassador Nestor Mendez on Becoming New OAS Assistant Secretary General

Nestor Mendez

On Wednesday, Belize’s Ambassador to the OAS, Nestor Mendez, soundly defeated Ambassador Bayney Karran, Guyana’s permanent representative to the organization, in a historic vote to become the new Assistant Secretary General.  The office is second to the highest seat in the administration’s hierarchy where Ambassador Mendez will be posted for the next five years.  News Five spoke with Ambassador Mendez in Washington, the first Belizean to be elected to the office, via Facetime. 


Ambassador Nestor Mendez, Newly Elected Assistant Secretary General, OAS

“Yesterday, March eighteenth, the Organization of American States held its forty-ninth special session of the general assembly which had been set some months ago as the date when the new leadership of the OAS would be elected.  In the morning, we had the election of the secretary general, the former foreign minister of Uruguay who ran unopposed and in the afternoon at four-thirty we did the election for the post of assistant secretary general with the ambassador of Guyana, my friend and colleague from CARICOM, against myself.  The elections went very well for Belize, we obtained a total of twenty-four out of a total thirty-four possible votes which was a very convincing majority.  And so, we’re delighted.  It’s really a first election of this type that we have won and I am just happy that I am the person who got to be in it for Belize. I don’t leave my post here for a couple of months.  The ambassador, Albert Ramdein, the incumbent at the OAS as the assistant secretary general right now will conclude his term during the last week of July at which time I will take over.  Between now and then I will continue my work as usual.  We have some very important commitments coming up.  We have the Summit of the Americas coming up the week of the ninth to the eleventh of April in Panama.  It’s going to be historic as for the first time we will have every government in the Americas represented there, including Cuba.  So it’s going to be quite a historic event.”


Mendez assumes office in early August.


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