The Peruvian Ambassador to the United States Hugo de Zela has been chosen as a candidate for a highly-contested election.
"The Peruvian candidacy aims at contributing to the organization’s strengthening as an instance of dialogue and consensus, and at finding effective solutions to the main conflicts that are afflicting the region," Peru’s government stated.
The deadline to present the candidates for the election expires on Dec. 15 and the vote, which will take place in March 2020, will be defined by a simple majority of 18.
"Peru attaches the greatest importance to this candidacy that, with the consensus and support of the region’s countries, would make it possible for the first time for a Peruvian to serve as Secretary-General of the Organization of American States," it added.
The candidate has a diplomatic career of more than 40 years and "worked in the Peruvian foreign ministry," the Peruvian foreign minister said, highlighting that Zela for his "recognized negotiations capacities for peaceful conflict resolutions is suited for this highly demanding position.”
Zela worked as Permanent Representative of Peru to the OAS, Chief of Staff of two General Secretaries of the Organization, manager of the unit that institutionalized the OAS electoral observation missions, as well as in charge of verifying the Central American peace process and of the political crises of Haiti and Guatemala.
He also was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chief of the Diplomatic Service of Peru and ambassador of Peru in Argentina, Brazil, and the United States.
Current Secretary-General Luis Almagro’s mandate is set to expire in May 2020, however, the official had already said he will run for a second term after he received the United States’ endorsement.