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Chairman Menendez Praises Passage of Organization of American States Revitalization and Reform Act of 2013

Menendez Sponsored Legislation Requiring OAS Reforms to Ensure the Organization’s Effectiveness Set to Become Law with President’s Signature

WASHINGTON, DC – The Organization of American States Revitalization and Reform Act of 2013, legislation introduced by Chairman Menendez in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, passed Congress and is set to become law with the President’s signature.  

“The OAS is the Western hemisphere’s premier multilateral institution, and yet its effectiveness has declined in recent years. For Western hemisphere nations to truly thrive, urgent reforms are required to enhance the OAS’s strategic planning processes, and improve administration and financial management,” said Menendez. “I want to see a strong OAS advancing representative democracy, encouraging meaningful economic growth, and defending peace, security, rule of law and human rights in the Americas. I look forward to working with the Obama Administration and Secretary of State Kerry to pursue the reforms needed to restore the OAS to its rightful position as the region’s leading multilateral institution.”

This legislation recognizes the OAS as the primary multilateral diplomatic entity in the hemisphere for strengthening peace and security, promoting the consolidation of representative democracy, resolving regional disputes, and defending human rights. In order to support the OAS in its effective pursuit of these key competencies, this bill calls on the Secretary of State to develop a strategy toward the adoption of reforms at the OAS that put in place results-based budgeting processes, transparent and merit-based human resources standards, and planning procedures to review mandates, specifically those not linked to the organization’s core functions. This legislation also calls on the Secretary of State to lead diplomatic engagement to build support for these reforms and budgetary burden sharing among OAS member states and observers.

In the Senate, original co-sponsors of the legislation include Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-TN), and committee members Tom Udall (D-NM) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).