Among the challenges to be examined, said OAS Secretary General, Mr. José Miguel Insulza, are organized crime, and inequality.
The St. Kitts & Nevis delegation is being represented by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sam Condor, who is also accompanied by the Federation’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Mrs. Jacinth Henry-Martin.
The General Assembly is being held in San Salvador, El Salvador, from June 5 to 7, 2011.
While in El Salvador, the St. Kitts and Nevis delegation will attend formal plenary sessions of the General Assembly, a private dialogue of foreign ministers on key hemispheric issues and participate in a ministerial-level meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group in preparation for the Sixth Summit of the Americas, to be held April 14-15, 2012, in Cartagena, Colombia.
As they try to deal with the matter of crime and inequality, it is the view of the Secretary General that if these issues are tackled collectively and effectively and under today’s favorable economic policies, with current policies, then this would indeed be “the decade of Latin America and the Caribbean.”
All Foreign Ministers from the Americas are in attendance, said an OAS statement.
While addressing delegates at the opening ceremony, El Salvador President, Mauricio Funes said, “Crime, drug trafficking, and violence pose a threat to stability, the strengthening of democracy, the rule of law, and economic development in the Americas, and, especially, in Latin America and the Caribbean. We can no longer ignore the crucial impact that the increase in violence and transnational organized crime, in particular, will have on our future.”
In his speech, Insulza stressed that insecurity hit youth, children and women hardest, and added that not just people were affected by it. Insecurity also “threatens efforts to strengthen democracy, the rule of law, and the development of all the countries in the Americas.”
The “political challenge” posed by crime, Mr. Insulza went on to say, “Calls for clear responses on our part” from “the whole of society, from social and political organizations, and from active citizens.” They, in turn, should lead to “clear public policies and the political and budgetary decisions needed to implement them.”
In that context, he asserted, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Hemisphere were called upon here at this General Assembly in San Salvador and in the framework of the OAS to “adopt measures to boost international cooperation aimed at preventing and combating the threats posed by crime and violence.” He noted that such initiatives should include an analysis of the role of the State and its interaction with civil society, the media, the private sector, and academia.
This approach seems consistent with one recently outlined by St. Kitts & Nevis’ Minister of National Security, who is also Mr. Sam Condor. Condor told invited guests and the Police High Command, at a Passing Out parade or graduation ceremony of new police officers, that his ministry intends to introduce a more engaging strategy, to deal with crime and violence.
He said that they hope to build relationships with different stakeholders in the community and to engage civic society in the various stages on policy development.