Tonight there is great news for Belize as Ambassador Nestor Mendez made history today as he became the first Belizean to be elected as the new Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of the American States. The election took place today in Washington during the 49th ordinary session of the OAS meeting in the United States of America and Mendez garnered 24 out of the 34 voters casted. Also vying for the position was His Excellency Bayney R. Karran of Guyana who received ten votes.

After his election Ambassador Mendez addressed his fellow diplomats. Here is what he had to say.

Screen_Shot_2015-03-18_at_8.10.19_PMAmbassador Nestor Mendez- Newly Elected Assistant Secretary General of the OAS

“I stand before you with a grateful heart, a clear mandate and an unwavering commitment to seize the opportunity that is before us to work together to transform the O.A.S. into the organization that we want and that the people of the Americas deserve. Thank you so much for making this such an important and special day for my country, for the government of Belize, for my family and especially for me. We began a journey based on the conviction that Belize, the effective bridge between Central America and CARICOM had an important contribution to make to the inter-American system anchored always on the fundamental principles enshrined in the charter of the O.A.S., the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the Social Charter. I am honored today to reiterate that commitment to the inter-American system and to the people we all serve.”

Ambassador Mendez also addressed the stafF of the O.A.S.

Ambassador Nestor Mendez- Newly Elected Assistant Secretary General of the OAS

“I want to assure you that I look forward to working with you as partners towards the transformation of the Institutional culture into one that is more responsive to the needs of the member’s states.”

Ambassador Mendez will officially take over the post of Assistant Secretary General of the OAS on July 12th. Of note is that this is the first time that a Belizean has held a post in such a high regional body.

During today’s session election were also held for the post of Secretary General. That position was won by Uruguayan Attorney Doctor Luis Leonardo Almagro Lemes. He takes over the seat from Jose Miguel Insulza. Doctor Lemes who served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015, will officially take over the position as Secretary General on the 25th of May.

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