(posted Jan. 16)- Denis Moncada, Nicaragua’s ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), was given a gavel and a new desk plaque this week to go with his new title as Chair of the Permanent Council—a post he will assume for the next three months.
Moncada, whose most memorable moment in the OAS in recent years was his head-turning defense of Nicaragua’s 2011 election process, says he hopes to use his time as chairman to strengthen the Inter-American Human Rights System (IHRS), continue negotiations on the Social Charter of the Americas, and contribute to the negotiations on the Inter-American Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
At a ceremony held at the OAS on Monday, Moncada received the gavel from the hands of Mexican Ambassador and outgoing Chair Joel Antonio Hernández, who reiterated his country’s commitment to the organization and offered his full support to Nicaragua during the upcoming quarter.
“We are sure this will be a successful presidency,” Hernández said.
Moncada raised a few eyebrows in the OAS back in 2011 with unsubstantiated claims of a U.S. conspiracy against Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan diplomat promised to provide the assembly with more detailed information at a later date, but never got around to providing any proof. Back in Managua, the opposition said they thought Moncada’s 2011 outburst was an unsuccessful attempt by the Ortega administration to “weaken and discredit the OAS” following the organization’s criticism of Nicaragua’s election process.
But as chairman, Moncada says he will now aim to strengthen the OAS and help prepare the regional body for its 43rd General Assembly next June in Guatemala.
The Statute of the Permanent Council establishes that the Chair is to be held successively by each of the Permanent Representatives, in alphabetical order as determined by each country’s name in Spanish. It is a three month post.