Features — 17 March 2015 — by Adele Ramos
Ambassador Mendez up for election for high-level OAS post Wednesday

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 16, 2015–Elections will be held this Wednesday at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC, to find replacements for the outgoing Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General of the hemispheric organization.

Belize’s Ambassador to the US, Permanent Representative to the OAS and High Commissioner for Belize in Canada, H.E. Nestor Mendez, and Permanent Representative of Guyana, Bayney Karran, are competing for the job. Meanwhile, Luis Almagro, Minister of Foreign Relations of Uruguay, is seeking the post of Secretary-General. The Guatemalan candidate who would have challenged Almagro, Eduardo Stein Barillas, the former vice president of that country, has withdrawn his name due to health reasons.

Under OAS rules, new applicants have up to the day of the election to submit their names for consideration.

The OAS has issued a reminder that the 49th Special Session of the General Assembly of the OAS will be held this Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in the Hall of the Americas of the headquarters of the organization.

The election for Secretary General will be held at 10:00 in the morning, while the election for the Assistant Secretary General will be held at 4:00 in the afternoon.

The current Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza of Chile, and his deputy, Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin of Suriname, complete their two-term tenure in 2015.

Ramdin’s term in office expires on July 19, 2015, and Insulza’s term expires on May 26, 2015.

Ambassador Mendez has represented Belize at the OAS since 1999, when he served as Belize’s alternate rep. He became the country’s permanent rep in 2007. If he ascends to the post of OAS Assistant Secretary General, a replacement would have to be assigned for him in Washington.

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