By Michael Bascombe
WASHINGTON, DC – Grenada’s Health Minister, Senator Ann Peters was elected President of the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), which is meeting from September 17-21 in Washington, DC.
Argentina and Guatemala were elected as the two Vice Presidents while Mexico was elected the rapporteur.
“We meet at a time when the continued fallout of the global financial crisis exacerbates the on-going challenges that we all face in addressing the diverse health care needs of our countries and ensuring the implementation of public policies needed to reach all segments of the population,” said Minister Peters as she accepted the presidency.
“In this regard, the organisation’s work is a vital lynchpin in facilitating innovative and complementary public policy approaches and developing practical solutions to address these issues of shared concern and interest”, she added.
Minister Peters also appointed Bahamas, Cuba and the United States as members of the General Committee of the Conference.
Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten were also admitted as new Associate Members of PAHO.
Raul Castellanos, delegate from Puerto Rico, said that with the three new entrants, “Pan Americanism expands, strengthens and becomes a real practice.”
During Monday’s session President of the 149th session Executive Committee of PAHO, Miriam Morales of Venezuela, presented the report on the activities carried out by the EC and the Subcommittee on Programme, Budget and Management between September 2011 and September 2012.
Also during this session, elections will be held for the Director of PAHO and CARICOM Heads have endorsed Dominica’s candidacy Dr. Carissa Etienne for the post.
Accompanying the Minister to the meeting are Ambassador to the United States, Gillian Bristol, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. George Mitchell and Counsellor at the Grenada Embassy in Washington, DC, Patricia Clarke.