In a vote by acclamation the Chilean José Miguel Insulza was reelected secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the 2010-2015 term.
After the vote and as soon as the applause and congratulations had died down, Insulza expressed his thanks for the trust that had been deposited in him, which he will use to continue to defend the institution’s validity and “to strengthen the representative democracy that we have earned with so much effort.”
“Having a hemispheric organization makes sense not just for geographic reasons, but because we share a series of values and ideas that we try to put into practice. And those ideas and commitments that we have freely assumed – he stressed – must always guide our efforts,” Insulza stated.
While Insulza’s reelection had been practically guaranteed due to a lack of contenders and the majority support for this efforts, several countries took advantage of the occasion to reiterate their support for the Chilean’s work, though without ignoring certain differences.
Minutes before the vote Venezuelan Ambassador to the OAS Roy Chaderton announced his commitment to Insulza, which he called “a gesture of good faith,” though he engaged in “limited reflections” on the secretary general, advising him that the OAS “has to get used to agreements and differences.”
The issue that arouses the least consensus among American nations is Insulza’s programmatic project to reform the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which was a US requirement before pledging its vote for the Chilean.
“We have a Charter that is beginning to be called into doubt by factors that aspire to intervening with greater force in dissident democracies,” Chaderton told the extraordinary General Assembly gathered at the OAS headquarters in Washington.
For its part Bolivia, a country that together with Venezuela and Nicaragua is a member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), was the only country to abstain from voting. However, it said that it “would not object” to Insulza’s reelection by acclamation.
Thus a Chilean once again occupies an important regional post, as few days ago a lawyer and academic from the Universidad Diego Portales was elected president of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.
This post is also available in Spanish