Canada Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Organization of American States Membership

(No. 358 - November 10, 2010 - 4:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today commemorated the 20th anniversary of Canada’s membership in the Organization of American States (OAS) by delivering a speech to the OAS Permanent Council and offering the gift of an inukshuk to the organization.

“Twenty years ago, Canada took the important foreign-policy decision of joining the Organization of American States,” said Minister of State Kent. “That decision transformed forever our relationship with our neighbours, and today we take stock of the many achievements that have come about as a result of our engagement.”

In his speech, Minister of State Kent highlighted Canada’s contributions to the OAS, such as spearheading the creation of the OAS Unit for the Promotion of Democracy and giving ongoing support for OAS electoral observation missions and conflict mediation efforts in the hemisphere.

Minister of State Kent and OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza unveiled an inukshuk built by Nunavut artist Peter Irniq. The sculpture will stand outside OAS headquarters as a uniquely Canadian symbol of friendship and cooperation.

“Canada is actively engaged with the Organization of American States because it is the region’s premier forum for discussion and action on the hemisphere’s most pressing issues,” said Minister of State Kent. “Canada is proud to be a member of the OAS family.”

For more information, please visit The Organization of American States (OAS).

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Meredith McDonald
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
613-944-7013

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874