- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 1, 2001

New 'human order'

Guyanese Ambassador Odeen Ishmael is urging the Organization of American States (OAS) to do more to help reduce the foreign debt of poor countries and promote a "new global human order."
Mr. Ishmael called on the OAS to pay more attention to the poor as he addressed representatives of the 34 member nations gathered in Washington this week to prepare for third Summit of the Americas.
The ambassador advised his colleagues to put the issue of debt relief high on the agenda for the summit, scheduled for April in Quebec City.
He said the OAS "can play a major role in the promotion of the new global human order, which is intended to bring about a reduction in poverty."
Mr. Ishmael also advocated OAS support for nongovernmental organizations working to help the poor.
"This can also add to the strengthening of democracy in our hemisphere," he said.

Diplomatic wedding

Venezuelan Ambassador Alfredo Toro Hardy is getting a new wife and a new position, as he prepares to marry a descendant of a leading figure in Mexican history and take up the ambassadorship to Britain.

Mr. Toro Hardy and Gabriella Gaxeola will marry Feb. 10 in Mexico City. The ambassador said they plan a small wedding with friends and family.

Miss Gaxeola represents the Mexican energy ministry at the Mexican Embassy in Washington.

She is also the great-granddaughter of former Mexican President Plutarco E. Calles, who founded the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) more than 70 years ago.

The PRI held the presidency until its defeat last year by Vicente Fox of the opposition National Action Party.

Mr. Toro Hardy, ambassador in Washington since April 1999, said he expects to take up the position in London in March.

He will be replaced here by Ignacio Arcaya, currently Venezuela's ambassador to the United Nations.

Homes for Salvador

Rose Likins, the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, this week signed agreements to build $4.6 million worth of temporary housing for 12,000 people left homeless by the Jan. 13 earthquake.
The two agreements, also signed by Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hector Gonzalez, will concentrate construction aid in the worst-hit areas of the earthquake that killed 726 persons and left more than 1 million homeless.

Bombings in Laos

The State Department yesterday warned Americans to be cautious and "alert" in Laos because the United States has evidence that the country may be targeted for more bombings.
"There is credible information that individuals may be planning to bomb Lao government and public facilities in or near the cities of Vientiane, Pakse, Saravan, Savannakhet and Maung Khammouan," the department said in a public announcement.
"While there is no evidence that this violence has been directed against U.S. citizens or institutions, the indiscriminate nature of these attacks could constitute a threat to individuals in the vicinity."
Several past bombings have damaged restaurants, bus stops and other transportation sites used by tourists.
Laotian officials are unsure whether the attacks are the work of opponents of the communist government or organized crime, according to reports from Laos.
The State Department announcement followed last week's bombing that injured more than a dozen people at a crowded checkpoint on the Laotian-Thai border.
A bomb exploded in the capital, Vientiane, just before a meeting of the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in December.
On the eve of an Asian ministers meeting in November, a bomb killed one person and injured four others at the domestic terminal of Laos' main international airport.

Food for Afghanistan

The United States is providing 75,200 metric tons of wheat in emergency food aid to combat hunger in Afghanistan, the State Department said yesterday.
The donation, worth $34 million, will be distributed by the World Food Program in Afghanistan.

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