WASHINGTON, USA – The ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the Organisation of American States (OAS), Sir Ronald Sanders, announced that he has submitted the formal nomination of former UN general assembly president, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, for the post of secretary-general of the OAS.
Ambassador Sanders advised that he submitted the nomination to the current president of the OAS permanent council on behalf of prime ministers Gaston Browne and Dr Ralph Gonsalves, the heads of government of Antigua and Barbuda and St Vincent and the Grenadines jointly.
He disclosed that in their collaborative letter, nominating Ecuadorian-born Maria Fernanda Espinosa, the two prime ministers described her as “a distinguished citizen of our Americas”. Recalling that Espinosa has “served in several capacities of high office, including several portfolios as minister of government, ambassador to international organizations and president of the United Nations general assembly”, the two prime ministers declared that their governments are convinced that she has a clear understanding” of the purposes of the OAS and that she will act to strengthen the Organisation “in the collective interests of all its member states”.
The election for the post of secretary-general will be held in March 2020. The declared contestants are now the incumbent, Luis Almagro; the present ambassador of Peru to the United States, Hugo de Zela; and Maria Fernanda Espinosa.
Commenting on support for Maria Espinosa, ambassador Sanders said that: “The broad support for her from countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean is encouraging; it makes her a formidable candidate who can deliver a new pathway to make the OAS fit for purpose in delivering on the expectations of the peoples of the Americas for peace, progress and development”.
The letter of nomination by prime ministers Gaston Browne and Ralph E. Gonsalves reads:
“I write to you on my own behalf and on behalf of the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Right Honourable Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves, to formally nominate Maria Fernanda Espinosa, a distinguished citizen of our Americas and former President of the United Nations General Assembly (2018-2019), for the post of Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the 2020-2025 term.
“We are confident that Maria Fernanda Espinosa meets the highest standards of personal integrity and professional ability.
“The governments of Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are committed to upholding the four pillars of the Organization: respect for democracy and democratic institutions, advancing integral development and prosperity, promoting and defending human rights and ensuring a multidimensional approach to security.
“Having examined Maria Fernanda Espinosa’s record in several capacities of high office, including several portfolios as Minister of Government, Ambassador to international organizations and President of the United Nations General Assembly, the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are convinced that she has a clear understanding of the above-mentioned pillars and will act to strengthen and advance each of them in the collective interests of the member states of the OAS.
“Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurance of my highest consideration.”
A profile of Maria Fernanda Espinosa is available here: