Assistant Secretary General Speech


March 20, 2020 - Washington, DC

Distinguished Heads of Delegation
Distinguished Permanent Representatives of the OAS and Alternate Representatives
Secretary General Luis Almagro,

I greet you warmly, and thank you for your presence here this afternoon.
Given the circumstances, my intervention will be appropriately brief.

I begin by extending heartfelt appreciation to the Member States for your unambiguous support for my candidacy, unopposed as it was, and now for having re-elected me as Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States for the period 2020-2025 with an unassailably solid mandate.

I am humbled by your faith in my leadership and I am honored to continue serving the interests of our Member States.

Allow me also to congratulate Luis Almagro upon his re-election as Secretary General for the next 5 years and to pledge, for my part, a close and harmonious working relationship with him.

Your Excellences, I am tremendously honored by the responsibility entrusted to me, particularly given the turbulent times we now face, and accept with confidence the challenge of surmounting all obstacles to the strengthening of the core pillars of this Organization through continued collaboration with Member States.

I pledge today my earnest commitment to ensuring that this Organization is optimally positioned to assist each of its Member States in addressing the global pandemic and other crises plaguing our world at this time, and to surmounting the anticipated adverse impact on our economies.

This is clearly certainly a daunting time in the history of the Americas and indeed in the world…, but it must also be a defining moment for our Organization.

We must, as a collective body, remain resolute and steadfast in buttressing the strength of our union, and in consolidating our efforts to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our citizens, mindful that in so doing we are protecting the future of our nations.

For my part, I will remain unswerving in working with you and your governments to seek out the most appropriate and effective channels to address this global concern, and to create pathways for overcoming all pressing issues facing our hemisphere.

I reiterate my thanks to you, Excellences, and to all of the Member States which you represent in service to our hemisphere.