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Mar 18, 2016

What’s the Fate of O.A.S. Office at the Adjacency Zone?

Wilfred Elrington

The original primary agenda item for the meeting in Washington, and one which is still very pertinent, is the matter of funding for the O.A.S. Office inside the adjacency zone to the west. The hemispheric body has revealed that it has no further funds to keep the office open. Both the government and the Opposition have agreed that everything possible must be done to allow this peace-keeping entity to continue to operate between both countries. 

 

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The O.A.S. office is the office which in our view has helped to prevent an increase in tension in the area and has in fact kept our country safe thus far. And I cannot overemphasize that the O.A.S. consists of all the countries in the hemisphere – it is the United States, it is Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, Guyana, Columbia, Costa Rica – all the countries in the hemisphere. It is the second largest multi-lateral institution on the world stage, and so we are in good hands when we are at the O.A.S. The Secretary-General explained that the O.A.S. was having serious financial problems because some of the major donors were not in fact paying their contributions in a timely manner if at all, and that accessing funds to help us to keep the office open was proving to be a difficult task. One of our major donors to the O.A.S. would have been China, but we can’t approach China because we are not diplomatically tied to China, so both the Foreign Minister of Guatemala and myself agreed that we would approach the government of Taiwan. I can say to the nation that in fact last night we delivered a note of request to the Foreign Minister of Taiwan who happily was in our country, and in a private discussion which I had with him he has assured me that they will do all in their power to be helpful in this difficult time.”

 

Elrington says they are not relying only on Taiwan’s promise to assist, though, and he and his counterpart from Guatemalan will be travelling to other countries including the United Kingdom and the European Union to seek funding to keep the O.A.S. office open – at a cost of some two point five million dollars U.S. annually.

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1 Response for “What’s the Fate of O.A.S. Office at the Adjacency Zone?”

  1. Steve says:

    2.5 million US dollars annually to run it? I wonder what all the annual expenses are. I have not heard much of OAS activities in Belize. My wonder is sincere. I hope people are not just living large on that money. Are annual reports and expenses provided to the donors? They surely are discouraged to continue providing monies.

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