Menendez-Kerry Bill To Strengthen Organization Of American States, Promote Democracy

Menendez-Kerry Bill To Strengthen Organization Of American States, Promote Democracy

Washington - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), introduced legislation to strengthen the Organization of American States (OAS). The "Organization of American States Revitalization and Reform Act of 2010" (S.3087) would help refocus the OAS on key mission areas through reform and greater transparency in budgeting, accounting, and hiring.

"Our hemisphere, with few exceptions, is unified in its commitment to some of the noblest objectives in history - democracy, human rights, freedom, fairness, transparency, and justice," said Menendez. "But there is more work to be done - as underscored by the erratic authoritarianism in Venezuela, the recent coup in Honduras, the human rights violations in Colombia, and ongoing abuses of the Castro regime. It is in the interest of the United States to have a strong, capable and relevant multilateral forum in which to resolve disputes and build consensus around initiatives."

"The OAS is the primary venue for collaboration and coordination on security, democracy, the environment, and other critical issues here in our own hemisphere, from Canada to Tierra del Fuego," said Kerry. "To fulfill its mission in the 21st century, the OAS needs reform and modernization, and our legislation clearly moves it in that direction."

The Menendez-Kerry bill works to focus the mission of the institution towards its natural areas of strength, adopt and implement improved accounting standards, put in place results-based budgeting processes, and adhere to transparent and merit-based human resource policies. It also seeks to help agencies within the U.S. Government to better use the OAS as a forum to collaborate on areas of mutual interest like energy, citizen security, economic development, and trade. The core of the OAS programs consolidate democracy, monitor elections, and improve public security.


Click HERE for a PDF of the "Organization of American States Revitalization and Reform Act of 2010" (S. 3087)


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