THE Organization of American States, (OAS) national office in Saint Lucia now has a representative, Costa Rican Lilly G. Ching-Soto.
The position, which was vacant for years, was filled by Soto last Friday when she presented her letters of credentials to the government.
Soto studied International Relations and obtained her law degree at the University of Costa Rica and earned her Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. She has over 20 years of experience at the Organization of American States.
Prior to being the Resident Representative of the OAS in Saint Lucia, she was a Principal Specialist in Human Rights at the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) where she coordinated the “Admissibility” Section (2018-2019); the “Registry” Section, in charge of the initial review of petitions (2015-2018); the “Andean I” Section, responsible for Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia (2010-2015) and was part of the “Court Group”, which provided support in litigating cases before the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights (2003-2010). Previously she worked in several capacities within the Inter-American System, as a lawyer for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (2001-2003), a Rómulo Gallegos Fellow at the IACHR (2000-2001), and an assistant in the legal area of the Inter-American Court (1998-2000).
Speaking to this reporter Tuesday, Soto said she wants to be the means whereby Saint Lucia and the OAS can draw closer with an emphasis on the OAS drawing closer to Saint Lucia rather than the other way around.
“I am here trying to absorb as much as I can from Saint Lucia and to make the OAS draw closer to Saint Lucia. I know the projects and programmes we have at the OAS. I now have a duty to learn what are the needs and priorities of Saint Lucia in order to be able to match what Saint Lucia needs and what the OAS offers,” Soto said.
She plans to meet with as many people, organizations and groups as possible, meaning government, civil society, non-government organizations and others in order to understand the different visions they have and see how the OAS could be more accessible, available and helpful to Saint Lucia from its docket of projects.