The Office of the Prime Minister of Belize is pleased to announce that H.E. Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize to the United States, Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), and High Commissioner to Canada, was elected for a five-year term as the new Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States. The post of Assistant Secretary General is the second highest office in the OAS, it is a highly competitive post to obtain, and holds senior responsibilities in that hemispheric organization.
The Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs embarked on two years of active diplomacy and campaigning to achieve the support of the majority of countries in the Americas for this post. Ambassador Mendez contested the election against Ambassador Bayney Karran, Permanent Representative of Guyana to the OAS, and secured the election with 24 votes against 10 out of a total of 34 Member States. This is the first time that a Belizean has been elected to such a senior office in the OAS.
Ambassador Mendez will serve along with former Foreign Minister of Uruguay Luis Almagro, who was today elected Secretary General of the OAS. They will succeed Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza of Chile and Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin of Suriname, both of whom will conclude their terms this year. The newly-elected leaders have pledged to work towards reforming and transforming the OAS into an organization that responds more efficiently and effectively to the needs of its Member States.