- The Washington Times - Monday, October 22, 2001

Challenge for OAS
Peru's new ambassador to the Organization of American States has challenged the regional body to adopt "joint strategies and action" in the war against terrorism.
Ambassador Eduardo Ferrero Costa said "mere statements of condemnation and solidarity" with the United States are not enough.
Mr. Ferrero Costa called for a "new collective security agreement" to fight crime in the Western Hemisphere, terrorism, drug trafficking, environmental destruction and poverty.
"Within such a framework, the OAS would become the forum ideally suited to achieve those objectives at the hemispheric level," he said last week in his first speech to the OAS Permanent Council in Washington.
"Peru will firmly support this exercise and provide concrete assistance to overhaul our security system to meet the challenges and needs of the new international arena," he said.
Mr. Ferrero Costa also praised the organization for adopting a democratic charter at its summit meeting in Quebec City, Canada.
The charter presents "key elements of the new system for collective defense of democracy" and allows for the OAS "to respond strategically to new and veiled threats to our democratic systems," he said.
Peru, still reeling from the scandal-ridden administration of former President Alberto Fujimori, is "building a freer and more just democratic society," he said.

Rejecting bigotry
The ambassador of Guyana, whose country is about 10 percent Muslim, is worried about acts of discrimination against Islamic worshipers in the war against terrorism.
"It is imperative that we guard against the bigotry that has driven some to blame Muslims and Arabs for the events of Sept. 11," Ambassador Odeen Ishmael told the U.N. General Assembly earlier this month.
The South American country of more than 700,000 is mostly Hindu and Christian.
Despite his concerns for Muslims, Mr. Ishmael firmly supports the U.S. campaign to punish the terrorists responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
He wished the United States "every success in its efforts to marshal the forces of humanity in a coalition to conquer international terrorism, which affects us all and which violates the ideals that we both profess and support."
He also called on the United Nations to deal with the conditions that, he believes, breed terrorists.
"Where injustice is manifest, it can become a politically destabilizing force and breed hatred conditions that might be exploited by the unscrupulous for the furtherance of their own evil ends," he said.

More nominees
President Bush has selected career diplomat James David McGee to serve as ambassador to Swaziland, the tiny kingdom surrounded by South Africa.
In another nomination, Mr. Bush plans to make Ambassador Sichan Siv an alternate representative to the U.N. General Assembly in addition to his duties as representative to the U.N. Economic and Social Council.
Suspicious letter
The anthrax scare has reached all the way to far-off Fiji, where the U.S. Embassy is awaiting tests on a suspicious letter it received last week.
The embassy remained open for business, but employees who handled the letter were given antibiotics, a State Department official said.
"The letter was taken for testing. We are awaiting the results," he said.
Fiji is located nearly 2,000 miles east of Australia.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who holds a 10 a.m. news conference at the National Press Club and meets with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.
Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.
Arminio Fraga, president of Brazil's Central Bank, who addresses an investment seminar at the Inter-American Development Bank.
Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, who meets President Bush.

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