Speeches and other documents by the Secretary General


November 16, 2021 - Washington, DC

I would like to thank the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Clingendael Academy for this third edition of the training course for senior diplomats from OAS Permanent Missions.

It is a great pleasure to join the Chair of the Permanent Council, Ambassador Josué Fiallo, in thanking Clingendael Director Ron Ton and the Director for Western Hemispheric Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yvette van Eechoud.

I congratulate the 13 Permanent Missions and OAS staff of the General Secretariat for taking part in the training. We are honored to partner with Clingendael, a world-renowned diplomatic academy, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to strengthen the institutional and human capacities of Permanent Missions. Over the past two years, almost 30 senior diplomats from the Permanent Missions have been trained at Clingendael.

Through Clingendael’s tailored training, the Missions will acquire skills and tools to articulate policy making and build a stronger foundation for the future.

Since 1972, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has been a key strategic partner to the OAS and has contributed to promoting freedom, human rights, and democracy in the Americas.

Our Electoral Observation Missions have been uninterrupted during the pandemic as is our commitment to protecting equal access of all citizens to the ballots and to free and fair elections. 18 electoral Observation Missions were deployed. I thank the Netherlands for strongly supporting our Observation Missions. The support to the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP) has been fundamental to accompany the peace efforts of the State and the Colombian people, directly in the areas most affected by the internal armed conflict, criminality and inequity.

Through the Inter-American Judicial Facilitators Program in Central America, we are improving access to justice for millions of citizens.

The Netherlands’ strong ties with the Americas are rooted in History and Geography, and your active role as a Permanent Observer to the OAS is important for a more democratic and peaceful region.

The OAS must continue to evolve into a stronger organization to meet the new multidimensional challenges impacting our Member States and Citizens. We just concluded our fifty first General Assembly. Our Member States raised alarms about the low vaccination rates and the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic.

In addition to being the epicenter of the pandemic, our countries are victims of three unfortunate and mutually amplifying calamities: high poverty rates, migration, and climate change. All this in the context of unsustainable debt crisis and the largest economic contraction ever experienced by Latin American and the Caribbean over the last one hundred twenty years.

We must strengthen our partnerships and institutional capacities to respond to these historic challenges.

We greatly appreciate the Kingdom Netherlands’ support and Clingendael’s timely capacity building training to our Permanent Missions. I trust that the skills to be imparted and analysis to be carried out by participants in the coming days will prove useful for sound policy making to respond to the current times.

Thank you!