The Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Neil Parsan, assumed today the Chair of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) of the institution, at a ceremony during which the importance of advancing in a development agenda that responds to the changing needs and particularities of the countries of the region was highlighted.
The leadership of the Inter-American Council was received from the Permanent Representative of Bolivia, Ambassador Diego Pary, whose work was focused on enhancing the analytical dialogue between countries on the Organization’s development agenda. Upon handing over the leadership of CIDI, Ambassador Pary recalled that in the last six months, “it was possible to reflect on important themes that allowed progress in consolidating the CIDI as a central organ of the Organization." In that context, he called for member states to take a more protagonistic role and assign more relevance to the activities developed in the Council.
The Bolivian diplomat summarized the progress achieved and the discussions at the CIDI meetings, on priority issues such as water use, education and teacher training, and stated that in the next six months, under the leadership of Trinidad and Tobago it is expected to conclude the discussion of the development agenda for the OAS, "which will help to focus and direct the work of the CIDI, reflecting the interests of all the countries of the Organization."
Ambassador Parsan, for his part, praised the "brilliant driving done by Bolivia in recent months," reflecting the Bolivian government's vision on development. The Caribbean diplomat also reviewed the statistics of development in the region and recalled that, according to data from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Latin America and the Caribbean have made significant progress in the recent decade, a period in which the gap between the rich and the poor has been significantly reduced in 13 of 16 countries. However, he stressed that many challenges remain which must be addressed through a coordinated effort.
Upon assuming the Chair of the CIDI, the Representative of Trinidad and Tobago noted that access to education, competitiveness, social inclusion and innovation must be at the center of activities and discussions that deal with development, and in that sense he said that member states “have welcomed the initiative of having a Strategic Vision of the OAS, launched by the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, which calls to have a reformed OAS that responds to the needs of the twenty-first century." Ambassador Parsan also urged that this strategy continues to recognize that partnerships at the hemispheric and global levels "are key to achieving a robust development agenda in the Hemisphere."
The Chair of CIDI rotates every six months between delegations of member countries according to alphabetical order in Spanish. This time, Trinidad and Tobago assumed that office in its turn as Vice President. The CIDI reports directly to the General Assembly and is intended to promote cooperation among member states for the furtherance of their integral development and, in particular, to help eliminate extreme poverty. The Council is composed of all member states who meet in regular, special, specialized and/or sectoral meetings.
Today’s ceremony was attended by Secretary General José Miguel Insulza; the Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Sherry Tross; and various representatives and authorities of the member states.
A gallery of photos of the event is available here.