On February 19th, the OAS welcomed Luis Almagro, Minister of Foreign Relations of Uruguay and currently the only candidate for Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS). Almagro answered questions from civil society groups in a public forum. PADF Executive Director John Sanbrailo asked Minister Almagro to elaborate on his vision of the role of civil society within the Inter-American system and the OAS.
“It is very important to have a direct connection and a well structured interaction with civil society because this extends the reach of the OAS," Almagro said. "Civil society has probably the most efficient early warning systems and ideas can emerge from civil society where thinking is more open and more activist. To refresh the organization itself is absolutely necessary.”
Almagro also stressed that the OAS should be focused on solutions: “The purpose of the OAS is not to radicalize conflicts or to create problems. It is to build positive agendas that offer different solutions to the challenges that can arise in the hemisphere.”