Goodbye OAS? CELAC Summit to Decide Fate of OAS

The fate of the Organization of American States (OAS) will be discussed at the upcoming summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

In a press conference at the embassy of Mexico in Washington DC on Thursday, September 9, Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that the issue of whether to replace or reform what has come to be known as the US “Ministry of Colonies” will be addressed at the VI Summit of CELAC.

“Regarding the [Organization of] American States, there will be a summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in Mexico City on September 18,” announced Ebrard. “We have already confirmed the participation of representatives of all the countries. Most of them will be presidents or heads of state, and in other cases, the foreign ministers or ministers discharging equivalent duties.”

RELATED CONTENT: Latin American & Caribbean Nations Gravitate Away from OAS, Closer to CELAC

“A central issue is that we have to prepare for 2022 the proposal that we are going to make to the United States and Canada on what would be the different future of the Organization of American States,” informed the foreign affairs minister of Mexico. “Would it be replaced by another organization? What features would it have, how would it function? That will take place on September 18.”

Mexico, which holds the pro tempore presidency of CELAC, has repeatedly criticized the OAS under the direction of Secretary General Luis Almagro who has utilized the organization to advance United States interests throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

RELATED CONTENT: The End of the OAS? Mexico Leads Movement to End Almagro’s Term

Foreign Affairs Minister Ebrard stated that the final proposal is expected to be presented to the US and Canada during the first half of 2022. The US and Canada are both members of the OAS, and neither belongs to CELAC.

Back in July, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announced that the CELAC was trying to design a plan to replace the OAS with a “truly autonomous body” which would not be “lackey” to anyone.

The governments of Bolivia, Venezuela, and Argentina have been among those in support of the move. The presidents of Mexico and Argentina even signed a joint declaration in February this year, warning of the danger of the OAS as demonstrated through the events surrounding Bolivia’s 2019 electoral process and the subsequent coup, in addition to other interventionist actions. Colombia has already rejected the proposal to reconfigure or replace the OAS, expressing a desire for closer relations with the US and Canada.

 

 

Featured image: Marcelo Ebrard chairing the XXI Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Mexico City, July 24, 2021. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico

(Kawsachun News)

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