OAS will not tolerate disruption of its congress in Guatemala City

Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, hosted the press before his departure at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) this morning. He had been meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington among others. He explains the purpose of the visit.

Albert Ramdin – Assistant General Secretary OAS:
vlcsnap-2013-04-16-21h22m54s218My visit here was really to listen to the Government.  We met with the Hon Prime minister, and the Hon Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Hon Minister of National Security, to hear from them in the first place, what the priorities are, the perspectives, and what from their perspective should be strengthened in the relationship between the organization and Belize. For me it was a useful experience, a very positive experience too, to hear perspectives.  Because as you know, member states are owners of the Organization of American States.  So their perspectives, their views, especially from the leaders is critically important.  I’ve invited the Hon Prime minister to come to the OAS, whenever it is convenient to him, to share with us also his perspective, Belize’s perspectives,  Belize role in the Americas, Belize role in CARICOM as a bridge to Central America.

Ramdin went on to list areas of cooperation between Belize and the OAS including education, national security and tourism, and reiterated that the organization is not as black as it is painted, especially with regard to its handling of the Guatemalan issue. And speaking of that, Secretary Ramdin said the OAS will not tolerate any disruption of its scheduled congress in Guatemala City but stopped short of endorsing a possible boycott by Belize over any use of the Guatemala Belize annexation map:

Albert Ramdin – Assistant General Secretary OAS:
Our position is that during an OAS Meeting, and the General Assembly is an OAS Meeting, nothing should take place, nothing should happen which can be offensive to any other member State of the Organization of American States. So we will be clear to all participants in that regard, not to go that route, or not to use that opportunity to be offensive or provocative in any way or means.  That commitment is there simply because for us, the Organization of American States, all member States are equal, and we want to make sure that all member States can equally participate without any reservations, in the proceedings of the meetings.  So this is a commitment we made as an Organization, to be very clear about that to all, including the Government of Guatemala.

Yesterday Foreign Minister Elrington told other members of the press that Belize was ready to attend but would walk out if it spotted the offensive map or any other affronts to national dignity.

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