CANCUN, Mexico – Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto inaugurated on Monday the 47th General Assembly of the Organization of American States calling for dialogue and regional consensus, following a first day marked by scuffles over Venezuela.
Peña Nieto said during the official inauguration ceremony that the region is facing challenges that must be overcome by the member countries in order to lay the foundation for a future of “shared prosperity.”
The summit, attended by representatives from its 34 member countries, will mainly focus on the bloc’s response to Venezuela, which announced its exit from the OAS in April.
However, its departure will not come into effect until 2019 and the country has the largest official representation, with 27 members, at this year’s OAS meeting.
On the first day of the summit, a meeting of foreign ministers failed to reach the required 23 votes to approve either of the two OAS declarations about the Venezuela crisis.
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez previously said that the country would not endorse any resolution and claimed that other countries are also seeking to withdraw from the OAS.
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told EFE on Monday that the summit will discuss key issues like migration, finance and indigenous people.
On Monday morning, the leading delegates met with civil society representatives to discuss challenges facing human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and security, among others.
This year’s OAS assembly is under the theme of “Strengthening Dialogue and Concerted Action for Prosperity” and will conclude on Wednesday.