Advancing Democracy in Latin America: The Role of the OAS

Event offered by:
The Foreign Policy Association
The National Endowment for Democracy

Event Details

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM 
The Americas Society
680 Park Avenue
New York, NY
Event type
Lecture / Panel  

Event Transcripts and Video

A NEW YORK DEMOCRACY FORUM EVENT, presented by the Foreign Policy Association, the National Endowment for Democracy, and The Americas Society/Council of the Americas.


H.E. José Miguel Insulza, Secretary-General, Organization of American States


Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy

H.E. José Miguel Insulza, Secretary-General, OAS will discuss how the OAS is taking the lead in strengthening democratic development and advancing democratic practices throughout the hemisphere. In particular, he will speak about three key areas of emphasis for the OAS: promoting democracy, good governance, and crisis prevention and response.

After the lecture, Secretary-General Insulza will take questions from the audience, to be followed by a reception with our guests.

Please join us for this exciting New York Democracy Forum program.

Event Speakers

    • José Miguel Insulza

      José Miguel Insulza was elected to the post of Secretary General of the Organization of American States in May of 2005. At the beginning of his five-year term as Secretary General, he pledged to strengthen the Organization's "political relevance and its capacity for action." A lawyer by profession, Insulza began his career in academia and as Political Advisor to the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Following the coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet into power, Insulza went into exile for 15 years, first in Rome (1974-1980) and after that in Mexico (1981-1988), where he taught at Mexico's National Autonomous University and the Ibero-American University.


      In 1988, Insulza returned to his home country and helped to lead a political movement toward democratic elections. A member of Chile's Socialist Party-part of a moderate coalition of democratic parties-Insulza has held a number of high-level government posts, including Ambassador for International Cooperation, Director of Multilateral Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Vice President of the International Cooperation Agency.


      In March 2004, under the administration of President Eduardo Frei, Insulza became Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs and in September of that year was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1999, he became Minister Secretary General of the Presidency, and the following year he became President Ricardo Lagos's Minister of the Interior and Vice President of the Republic. When he left that post in May 2005, he had served as a government minister for more than a decade, the longest continuous tenure for a minister in Chilean history.

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