The Organization of American States (OAS), was formed in 1948. This year the organization marked its seventieth year of existence. The OAS office in Belize today held a special ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the organization. OAS Representative, Starret D Greene, spoke on the missions of OAS and all it aspires to do in this hemisphere
Starrett Greene, OAS Representative: Today we celebrate the fact that for 70 years the OAS has kept the peace and preserved the security in this hemisphere. I think that is something worthy of celebration. And when I speak of the hemisphere I’m speaking from Canada in the north all the way to Chile in the south and from the Commonwealth of the Bahamas southeast of Florida all the way to Trinidad and Tobago in the south caribbean sea. For seventy years we have promoted and consolidated democracy while observing the principle of non intervention in the internal affairs of member countries. Even as we celebrate today we know that all is not well in Venezuela, all is not well in Nicaragua either but I can assure you friends and partners the Organization of American States is working to ensure that democracy returns to Venezuela and peace, prosperity and security, stability return to Nicaragua. Preserving human rights and protecting human rights and working hand in hand with human rights defenders remain the cornerstone of what the organization does in this hemisphere. Advancing cooperation for integral development is at the core of what we do and we have been joining with our sister organization such as the Inter American Development Bank, the Inter American institute on Cooperation in Agriculture, the Inter American Children’s Institute and the Pan American Health Organization these are our sister bodies with whom we are working.”
Representatives from several organizations shared their collaboration with the OAS over the years. CEO in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Judith Alpuche was one of the speakers.
Judith Alpuche, CEO Ministry of Human Development: “That partnership has helped to shape the social protection, particularly the social protection safety net in this country. We started a decade ago really trying to reform and modernize the social safety net and social protection systems in Belize; certainly the way the Ministry of Human Development delivered that service trying to come at it from a more empowerment model and ensuring that the considerable investments that the government was about to make in what it called its ‘Pro Poor’ police was solid and evidence based and the OAS has played and continues to play an incredible part in that process that we are still undergoing.”
Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Supreme Court of Belize, Belize Port Authority, the National Drug Abuse Control Council, UNICEF, BELTRAIDE and the OAS Adjacency zone were in attendance.