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VIDEO: Jamaica takes up chairmanship of OAS Permanent Council

Friday, July 20, 2012    

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STEPHEN Vasciannie, Jamaica's newly appointed ambassador to the United States and permanent representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS), yesterday assumed the chair of the OAS Permanent Council.

Ambassador Vasciannie, who will hold the position for the next three months, succeeds Ambassador Diego Pary, the permanent representative of Bolivia, who had served as interim chair of the council for the last two weeks.

"It is indeed an honour for me to assume the position of chairman of the Permanent Council of the OAS one day after presenting credentials as the permanent representative of Jamaica to the OAS," Ambassador Vasciannie said.

"The learning curve will be very steep," he added, "but I am hopeful that I will take advantage of the opportunity to assist in the promotion of peace and security, rule of law, and all of the other core principles of the Organization of American States during my term of office."

The appointment, he said, comes as at "a propitious time for Jamaica".

"As some of you will know Jamaica, at the start of August, will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of its independence. As such, it's a time for us to renew our commitment in the international arena even as we celebrate locally the achievements of the country."

"We look forward to serving with distinction and we hope to work with the members of the Secretariat and the representatives of all the countries of the OAS to ensure that we have peace and security in our region," he added.

Attending the ceremony, which took place in the Gallery of Heroes in the headquarters of the OAS in Washington, DC, was the Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, Assistant Secretary General cAmbassador Albert Ramdin, and representatives of several missions of member states.

The Statute of the Permanent Council establishes that the chair is to be held successively by each of the permanent representatives, in alphabetical order as determined by each country's name in Spanish, and the vice-chair in the same manner, following reverse alphabetical order. Both positions have a term of three months.

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