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Civil Society Held Dialogue with the Candidates for Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General of the OAS

  March 4, 2010

In the framework of the elections of the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), candidates José Miguel Insulza and Albert Ramdin today held a dialogue with representatives from civil society. The objective was to exchange ideas and opinions in relation to their vision of the Americas, as well as explain their challenges, plans, projects, and proposed programs for the next five years.

The current Secretary General and candidate for reelection, José Miguel Insulza, highlighted the key role that civil society organizations play for the OAS. “The relationship that we have with all civil society organizations, especially with those who work on the same issues as the OAS, is a central and fundamental aspect of our organization; that is the best way to accomplish a multilateral function that relates with the world we live in.”

Secretary General Insulza emphasized that, during his first term, the Organization has “tried to include the participation of civil society organizations on topics as important as corruption, the pursuit of the convention of Belem do Para on violence against women, on matters relating to crime, drug trafficking, and poverty.” He also highlighted his plans for the upcoming five years.

Assistant Secretary General Ramdin, also a candidate for reelection, said the meeting was “a unique opportunity to listen to civil society as we share the same objectives: peace, security, stability and prosperity.”

“Even though we have made progress in the last five years, we have yet to reach our final objective, and I am the first to say that we can do things much better,” said Ambassador Ramdin. He also underlined that in the next term he intends to “strengthen the strategic alliance that we already have.”

The event took place in the Hall of the Americas at the OAS headquarters in Washington, DC. Representatives from several civil society organizations tied to matters such as women and discrimination, human rights, indigenous people and sexual minorities, among others, participated and had the opportunity to interact and put forward their concerns to the candidates.

The dialogue was held via interactive video conference with representatives from civil society organizations based in Buenos Aires, Bogota, Mexico City and Port of Spain. Over 100 entities additionally sent in their questions through the Internet.

Photographs of the event will be posted here

For more information please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-065/10