OAS assisting Bolivia's Constituent Assembly process

An agreement signed Thursday between the government of Bolivia and the Organization of American States (OAS) paves the way for the hemispheric body to provide technical assistance to Bolivian authorities for the country's Constituent Assembly process.

Signing for her government, Bolivia's Ambassador to the OAS, María Tamayo, thanked the Organization for its invaluable assistance, noting the efforts by the government of President Eduardo Rodríguez to preserve the rule of law and strengthen representative democracy.

The Bolivian envoy praised the recognized experience of the OAS Department of Political and Democratic Affaire, saying it is "certainly very important for us as a country to receive this support" for the process that will lead to the Constituent Assembly. Tamayo added: "We are grateful for OAS support for this democratic process."

Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, recalling that Bolivia was among the first South American countries to return to return to democracy after a period that was very difficult for out entire region," underscored how important that was "for the direction the others would follow afterwards."

Citing the recent political situation in Bolivia, Insulza stressed that the OAS was concerned "precisely because this was a country where the democratic system had been entrenched."

With OAS assistance, the government will press ahead to give substance to Bolivia's commitment to institute a constituent assembly that reflects consensus on a new social contract to develop a new multicultural state that affords greater public participation while tackling all forms of exclusion and discrimination-as an avenue to peace-building.

Reference: E-150/05