October 26, 2021

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Mexico: Celac seeks to change the OAS and deepen the fight against COVID

Mexico: Celac seeks to change the OAS and deepen the fight against COVID

The Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (CELAC) will meet on Saturday in Mexico To deepen the common fight against the epidemic and to discuss the possible transformation of the Organization of American States (OAS).

“It has been a long time since presidents, prime ministers and senior officials have called for the convening of the President of the Republic,” Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard stressed during the summit led by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

So far, 17 presidents or heads of state – 18 if the Mexican president is counted – are expected to participate, two vice presidents, 12 foreign ministers and other officials.

In addition, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) will be present.

Among the referees present were Alberto Fernandez (Argentina), Luis Arce (Bolivia), Miguel Diaz-Canel (Cuba), Guillermo Laso (Ecuador), Carlos Alvarado (Costa Rica), Juan Orlando Hernandez (Honduras), Pedro Castillo (Peru). ) and Luis Lacalle Poe (Uruguay).

Lopez Obrador is the interim president of CELAC and has proposed turning that body “into something like the European Union”. He insisted that “replacing the OAS with a truly independent body should not be ruled out,” he said in July during a foreign ministers’ meeting.

Diaz-Canel arrives in Mexico to speak at an Independence Day event

In recent months, López Obrador has increased his role in foreign policy by trying to lead a decisive position towards the Organization of American States and towards the United States, above all, with his demands to end the embargo against Cuba.

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The president said Thursday during his speech at the celebration of the Army’s Independence Parade of Mexico.

Plans against the epidemic

Among the topics that will be discussed during the meeting is the presentation of the progress that has been made mainly related to how to deal with the epidemic. Alicia Barcena, secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, will detail the plan the region will follow to obtain vaccines, equipment and tests.

Among them is the production and packaging of vaccines under the Mexico-Argentina agreement, with support from the Slim Foundation for the drug AstraZeneca.

In addition, they will address support for 13 research projects on the Celac vaccine, in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

The government of Mexico has taken an active role before the United Nations, where it has a seat on the Security Council, to demand vaccines against COVID-19 for Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as to conclude an agreement with Argentina to distribute AstraZeneca medicines to your neighbours.

Likewise, they will highlight the importance of regional coordination of the PAHO Network of Specialists, the Celac Virologists Network and the ECLAC Regional Plan for Vaccines and Medicines.

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new body

At the end of last July, during the summit of Foreign Minister CELAC, the founding agreement of the Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency (ALCE) was signed, and now at this new summit the foundation of the organization is expected to be like this. executed.

PAHO and CELAC send donations to Cuba to fight COVID-19

Before the foreign ministers’ meeting in July, Lopez Obrador requested the creation of “something similar” in the region European Union (EU) For the Latin American region and the replacement of the Organization of American States.

Those attending the meeting will elect their new president temporarily, a position Mexico has held since January 2020, the year the meeting was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. So far the only candidate is Argentina.

The meeting will also discuss the creation of a disaster fund for Latin America, given the impacts of climate change.