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Assistant Secretary General Calls for Pragmatic and Results-Oriented Approaches to Address the Environmental Challenges of the Region

  June 24, 2010

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, participated in the opening ceremony of the Fifth Caribbean Environment Forum that took place in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and shared the Organization’s concerns for tackling environmental problems adequately and in a timely way.

In his speech, Ambassador Ramdin affirmed that “this high-level reflection will hopefully establish mechanisms for monitoring, implementation, evaluation and planning for next steps as part of the review of the outcomes of the Copenhagen Summit." In that sense, he expressed concerns over the current environmental challenges, stating that “we need to be pragmatic and results-oriented in our approach and action. The fundamental objective must be to make this place a better world for all of us.”

During the Conference, attended by the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, and by other leading politicians in the Caribbean, the Assistant Secretary General referred to the need to address “as a matter of urgency and with creativity, the environmental challenges facing our nations and peoples. We have to ask ourselves if this is the legacy we want to leave behind for future generations."

He also called for a pragmatic consensus worldwide on the way forward on this issue. “We have to build on progress achieved, because as we all are in the same boat in the same sea, we all will be affected if we do not work together to address the causes of these challenges,” he said.

Ambassador Ramdin also took the opportunity to reiterate the commitment of the OAS to enhance sustainable development in the Caribbean region in areas such as: water resources management, climate change adaptation, sustainable energy, land and biodiversity management, disaster risk management, and environmental policy, law and governance.

The Fifth Caribbean Environment Forum was organized in partnership with the Government of Jamaica, the OAS, the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP), the Global Environment Facility-funded Integrating Watershed and Coastal Areas Management in Caribbean SIDS (GEF-IWCAM) Project, Clean Islands International (CII) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For more information, visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-255/10