Paraguay: Strengthening Regional Cooperation And Diplomacy – OpEd


On May 24, 2024, the leadership of Paraguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Organization of American States (OAS) held a major coordination meeting in Asuncion, as the Guarani nation is preparing to host the 54th Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly that will be held in Asunción, from June 26 to 28.  Technical teams and renowned diplomats of the Americas and from Paraguay’s Foreign Affairs Ministry held meetings and tours of the convention places where the main activities will be carried out.  The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay Ambassador Víctor Alfredo Verdún Bitar and national coordinator of the organization of this event, led the coordination meetings with the visiting technical teams.  This will be the third time that Paraguay will host the organization’s main annual meeting, after 1990 and 2014.  

Paraguay’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has begun to work on the organization of two large-scale international events that will take place in Asunción in the first and second half of the year, the 54th edition of the Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS). and the Summit of Heads of States of Mercosur and Associated States, which still does not have a confirmed date, but will be in the month of July.  The OAS General Assembly will take place from June 26 through 28, where more than 150 delegations are expected to participate.   

In a parallel fashion, civil society meetings will also be held under the auspices of the OAS. They seek to add valuable voices to the solution of crucial social, economic and environmental issues for the region.

At the beginning of the second half of 2024, Asuncion will also host the MERCOSUR Summit, in which the presidents of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay will participate, as well as representatives from other invited countries such as Bolivia and Chile. The agenda of the meeting will be quite broad and includes, in addition to regional issues, agreements with the European Union and other markets in Southeast Asia.

Public Tenders

Within the framework of these meetings, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for bids for the contracting of logistical services for both major regional events, as well as the acquisition of gifts and decorations, such as the one awarded to the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, in his latest official visit to Paraguay; on May 3rd, 2024. [1] 

Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, during his official visit to the Republic of Paraguay, held a summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Santiago PEÑA PALACIOS, President of the Republic of Paraguay.  After the meeting, Prime Minister Kishida made a joint press announcement with President Peña. Prime Minister Kishida, along with Japanese business representatives accompanying him, attended a dinner hosted by President Santiago Peña. The overview of the meeting is as follows.  

At the outset, President Peña explained the history of Paraguay and welcomed Prime Minister Kishida’s first visit to Paraguay. He also expressed his desire to further strengthen bilateral relations with Japan, an important friend of Paraguay. In his statement, Prime Minister Kishida expressed his desire to take the friendly and cooperative relations of more than 100 years with Paraguay to new heights through this visit, as Paraguay is an important partner that shares values and principles with Japan such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

The two leaders exchanged views on the situation in East Asia and confirmed that attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force will not be tolerated and that the two countries will continue to work together to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order. The two leaders also shared the view that cooperation between the two countries is important in addressing various issues in the international arena such as disarmament, non-proliferation and UN Security Council reform.

President Peña expressed his appreciation for the development cooperation projects implemented by Japan over the past 60 years in a wide range of areas. In response, Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan would like to have support from the Government of Paraguay so that Japan would be able to continue to conduct development cooperation that will lead to Paraguay’s economic development and investment promotion.

Prime Minister Kishida also spoke of the presence of the Nikkei (Japanese immigrants and descendants) community of approximately 10,000 in Paraguay and expressed his gratitude to the Paraguayan society for its warm welcome to Nikkei over the past 88 years since the start of the migration in 1936. In response, President Peña expressed his respect for and gratitude to the Japanese immigrants for their contribution to the development and growth of Paraguay, particularly in the agricultural sector.

The two leaders welcomed memorandums of cooperation in various fields in both the public and private sectors being signed on the occasion of Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to Paraguay this time, including in the fields of information and communications as well as space, which would deepen cooperation in new fields beyond the areas of conventional development cooperation. The two leaders concurred on the further expansion of the scope of cooperation and exchanges between the two countries in the future. [2] 

UNESCO session

In addition to the two aforementioned meetings, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also supporting the National Secretariat of Culture for the 19th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Cultural and Intangible Heritage of UNESCO, which will be held in Asunción from December 2 to 7, 2024. This event will mark a milestone for Paraguay as it will be the first time it will host this meeting.

Furthermore, Paraguay is shaping a new Country Association Framework with the Kingdom of Spain.   The first meeting for the construction of this agreement was held on April 25, 2024, in Asuncion. This new framework of cooperation will establish the bases of the strategic partnership between Paraguay and Spanish Cooperation for the next four years (for the period 2024-2028).  On this occasion, Ambassador Helena Felip highlighted the role of Spanish cooperation in supporting the sustainable and inclusive development of Paraguay over the last 3 decades.  For her part, the ambassador of Spain, Carmen Castiella Ruiz de Velasco, highlighted the real impact of Spanish cooperation in areas such as public health, education, social cohesion, human rights, peace and justice, and institutional strengthening.    On the other hand, the general coordinator of Spanish Cooperation in Paraguay, Rafael Ruipérez Palmero, presented the evaluation of the previous MAP 2020-2023 and the recommendations to be considered for the new framework. [3]  The results of some programs sponsored by the AECID were also presented in areas such as water and sanitation, maternal and neonatal health, retributive justice, and restoration of Jesuit missions and in the Chaco Pantanal.  A roadmap was established for the preparation of the new MAP 2024-2028, including technical workshops and the participation of institutions, civil society, academia and the private sector.





Prof. Dr. Jeton Kelmendi

Prof. Dr. Jeton Kelmendi is a distinguished Albanian writer and University Professor in Kosovo and a political analyst. Kelmendi is the author of over thirty books, poetry and prose, published in over thirty languages.

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