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OAS Commemorates Pan American Day “with vitality and strength”
April 14, 2010

The Organization of American States (OAS) today commemorated Pan American Day, which celebrates the creation of the International Union of American Republics in 1890, “with vitality and strength,” in the words of OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza.

In a protocolary session of the Permanent Council, Secretary General Insulza highlighted the “vocation of democracy, peace and cooperation” that always guided the OAS and its predecessors, and that “allows us to proudly say today, Pan American Day, that our Organization continues to be alive and strong, the world’s oldest multilateral political forum.”

The OAS Secretary General emphasized how the Organization developed since its inception to include today “all independent states in the Americas.” He added that “it is because of this unity that we can also proudly say that throughout its history, our region has proven to be the world’s most peaceful and stable area.”

That same spirit of unity and cooperation, he said, helped the development of “large concepts with roots in the Americas,” such as “defending human rights and democracy, the peaceful resolution of conflict, free trade, juridical equality among states and respect for the principle of non-intervention.”

Considering the “scope” and “quality” of unity in the region, Secretary General Insulza expressed hopes that “despite our differences in a geographically, demographically, economically and culturally diverse hemisphere, or precisely because of them, we may continue strengthening our dialogue, developing our unity and our cooperation and living together in peace and harmony in the Americas.”

The Secretary General also took the opportunity to recall that “in the coming weeks” the OAS will commemorate the centennial of its main building in Washington, D.C., inaugurated on April 29, 1910.

The Chair of the Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of the United States to the OAS, Carmen Lomellin, said the commemoration offers a chance to admire the “wisdom” of the Organization’s founders, “who saw the range of possibilities achievable through common cause, through solidarity and through mutual respect.”

“It is their legacy that continues to influence the work of our OAS in pursuit of its essential purposes of maintaining stability in our hemisphere and promoting peace and democracy in all of the Americas,” she added.

The International Union of American Republics was created during the First International Conference of American States, held in Washington, D.C., between October 2, 1889 and April 14, 1890. In 1910 the International Union of American Republics became the Pan American Union, which in 1930 established April 14 as Pan American Day, observed for the first time in 1931. In 1948, the Pan American Union became into the Organization of American States.

Representatives to the OAS of Colombia (on behalf of the ALADI Group), Saint Kitts and Nevis (on behalf of CARICOM), Panama (on behalf of SICA) and the United States also joined the celebration.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-119/10

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