Washington, D.C.—WOLA is pleased to announce its endorsement of Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro in his candidacy to be the next Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS). WOLA believes that Minister Almagro is a great candidate to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law in the region. The election will take place on March 18, 2015, when OAS member states cast their votes during a Special General Assembly.
WOLA’s Executive Director Joy Olson said, “In my experience working with Minister Almagro, he has proven to be a principled person who actively embraces human rights. I’m convinced that he has the right values to lead the OAS into the future.”
Minister Luis Almagro, along with Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, has been a leader in strengthening the Inter-American Human Rights System of the OAS, as well as in promoting a new approach to drug policy that adheres to human rights.
In addition to providing strong leadership in defense of human rights, WOLA believes the next Secretary General should promote dialogue between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and the countries of North America about inclusive social development strategies. WOLA considers Minister Almagro to be especially well suited to promoting such dialogue, as he has proven his capacity to work with individuals and countries across the political spectrum.
In addition, Minister Almagro has a constructive vision of regional integration with diversity. In that context, Minister Almagro has supported Cuba’s participation in the next Summit of the Americas.
Minister Almagro has an extensive background in international diplomacy. He has served as Foreign Minister under the administration of President Mujica, and has been a strong advocate for human rights in the region. Previously, Almagro served as the Uruguayan ambassador in China and worked in the Uruguayan Embassy in Germany and Iran. He has also served in Uruguay’s Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries and chaired the International Cooperation Committee of the National Board of Drug Policy. He has a PhD in Social Sciences and Law from the University of the Republic in Uruguay.