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June's Star of the Month, H.E. Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Nestor Mendez is the Ambassador of Belize to the United S

tates of America, having presented credentials at the White House on July 28, 2008. A career diplomat in the Foreign Service of Belize, Ambassador Mendez was appointed to the level of Ambassador by the Senate of Belize on January 1, 2008. Prior to that, Ambassador Mendez served as Minister Counselor / Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Belize in Washington, DC from September 1999 to June 2007, and in June 2007, he took charge of the Embassy as Chargé d' Affaires a.i. On March 18, 2015 Ambassador Mendez was elected as the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States, his term beginning on July 13, 2015.

Though he is Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America, H.E. Nestor Mendez holds several other positions. On January 16, 2013, he formally presented his Letter of Introduction as High Commissioner to the Right Honorable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, thereby formally completing his accreditation to Canada. Ambassador Mendez is also accredited as Ambassador / Permanent Representative of Belize to the Organization of American States (OAS), where he served as Chairman of the OAS Permanent Council from 1st July to 30th September 2008. In addition, during his term, the OAS Secretariat applied for the certification of the first of its existing buildings as a "green building

" by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for Leadership in Energy Efficiency Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB). Ambassador Mendez also served as Vice-Chairman of the Permanent Council of the OAS, from October 1, to December 31, 2012.

During his term as Chairman of the Special Committee on Migration Issues of the OAS, a post to which he was elected in July 2008, Ambassador Mendez focused on the complex nexus between migration, development and the critical role of the diaspora in the development of the home countries. Between March 2009 and May 2011, the Ambassador served as a member of the Management Board of the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development, a body that oversees the development Agenda of the OAS. In June 2010, Ambassador Mendez was elected as Chairman of the General Commission for the Fortieth Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly held in Lima, Peru. On December 7, 2010, he was also elected to Chair the General Commission for the Special Meeting of Consultation of Foreign Ministers held at the OAS Headquarters to consider the dispute between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, which had created much tension between the two countries.

Ambassador Mendez was elected by the OAS Permanent Council on July 13, 2011, to Chair the Committee on Hemispheric Security for one year. Under his leadership, the Committee was able for the first time to consolidate a large number of voluminous resolutions into a single, coherent, omnibus document.

From July to December 2013, Ambassador Mendez served as Chair of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI).

Furthermore, from January to June 2009, Ambassador Mendez led the Caucus of CARICOM Ambassadors in Washington, DC as Coordinator of the Caucus and in this capacity, he spearheaded the negotiations on behalf of CARICOM at the OAS that resulted in the lifting of the suspension of Cuba from that organization. Between July and December 2010, he served as Coordinator of the Central American representations at the OAS, and also as Coordinator of the Central American Embassies accredited to the White House. From July to December 2014, he once again held the post of Coordinator of the Central American Embassies and Missions in Washington, DC.

In addition to his multiple accreditations, Ambassador Mendez is also a member of the Belize Negotiating Team that is charged with seeking a resolution to the Belize / Guatemala differendum.

Apart from his diplomatic career, H.E. Nestor Mendez participates in an annual toy drive, collecting toys and goods for children in Belize. Personally, H.E. Nestor Mendez and his wife sponsor high school expenses for students in Orange Walk, Belize.

We thank you, H.E. Nestor Mendez, for all your services and wish you success throughout all of your future endeavors!

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