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December 7, 1999

OAS Assistant Secretary General To Visit Suriname

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Christopher Thomas, will begin an official visit to Suriname tomorrow to explore what role the OAS can play in next year’s elections and to discuss ongoing OAS projects in that country.

"The OAS has been requested by the government of Suriname to assist in the general elections next year, and we are committed to doing whatever we can to facilitate the electoral process," Ambassador Thomas said. The elections are expected to take place in May 2000.

At the beginning of his two-day visit, Ambassador Thomas will meet with the President of Suriname, Jules A. Wijdenbosch, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Errol G. Snijders. He is scheduled to hold working meetings with several high-level officials, including the Minister of Regional Development, the Minister of Home Affairs, the Chairman of the Committee for the Preparations of Elections and the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Bureau.

The OAS has carried out numerous projects and activities in Suriname since that country joined the Organization in 1977. In 1992, under an agreement signed with the government of Suriname, the OAS began a special mission designed to help strengthen democracy and safeguard peace. The mission, coordinated by the OAS Unit for the Promotion of Democracy, has been extended over the years and is due to end in the year 2000.

The OAS has also been involved in projects in Suriname related to such areas as education, human rights, science and technology, culture, regional development of natural resources and tourism development.


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