Jamaica assumes presidency of OAS Permanent Council

Jamaica’s permanent representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) Ambassador Audrey Marks has assumed chairmanship of the organisation for the next three months.

In her remarks at the virtual handing over, Ambassador Marks, who is assuming leadership of the hemispheric council for the second time, said it is her desire during her chairmanship to work with the experts in the secretariat and with delegations, “to advance the dialogue on issues such as accelerating equitable access to vaccines against COVID-19, and, most importantly, while we await a vaccine, ensure affordable quality testing to minimise imported cases to our countries, and manage the community transmission ravishing so many families at this time. We must continue to explore increased access to concessional and non-concessional financing and greater cooperation.

Ambassador Marks pointed out that she was “also keenly aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has served to magnify the inter-connectedness of our countries, big or small, rich or poor, and the need for us to work together, even more so now than ever, to overcome the challenges before us.”

Noting that this year Jamaica commemorates the 50th anniversary of its membership in the OAS, Ambassador Marks said: “The symbolism of this achievement is not lost on us. I look forward to working with all delegations over the next three months, especially as we prepare for the upcoming 50th regular session of the General Assembly of the UN, to be held October 20 to 21

“In a spirit of dialogue, as we seek to manage the threats posed by the pandemic and to emerge even stronger post-COVID-19 will only be achieved through our collective efforts in a sustained and organised way,” said Marks.

The Jamaican ambassador thanked her predecessor Louis Cordero for his work in steering the OAS Council during very challenging times.

She also thanked the team from the OAS secretariat, led by Assistant Secretary General Nestor Mendez, for their tremendous efforts “which has allowed us to utilise available technology, to meet virtually to continue the work of this organisation during the pandemic”

Permanent and alternate representatives to the OAS were joined by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and Assistant Secretary General Nestor Mendez in the virtual ceremony

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