Sir Ron takes OAS chair

Following his recent unsuccessful bid for the top post within the 53-nation Commonwealth, diplomat Sir Ronald Sanders has taken up another important chair.

(Left to right) Venezuela Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, Sir Ronald Sanders, Secretary-General Luis Almargo Lemes, and Assistant Secretary-General Nestor Mendez at OAS headquarters.
(Left to right) Venezuela Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, Sir Ronald Sanders, Secretary-General Luis Almargo Lemes, and Assistant Secretary-General Nestor Mendez at OAS headquarters.

Yesterday, the Antigua and Barbuda ambassador assumed office as the President of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS).

In a ceremony at the OAS headquarters in Washington DC, Sir Ronald was welcomed to the office by Secretary General Luis Almargo Lemes and ambassadors from the organisation’s 35 member states.

Sir Ronald will preside over the activities of the OAS until April this year with a packed agenda, which includes issues involving general elections in Haiti as well as problem areas in some member countries.   

Under his stewardship, the Permanent Council will also advance preparations for the General Assembly, the highest decision-making organ of the OAS.  The General Assembly will be held in the Dominican Republic in June.

Indicating the focus of his chairmanship, Sir Ronald expressed concern about the financial health of the OAS saying that its “financial state is dire and urgently needs to be addressed if the Organization is to continue to fulfill its obligations to the development needs of the people of its member states”.   

The Antigua diplomat, who was defeated by Baroness Patricia Scotland in his bid to be Secretary General of the Commonwealth back in November, is expected to elaborate on his concerns about the Organization in his inaugural statement to the Permanent Council on
January 20. 

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