Media Center

Press Release


  March 28, 2006

With poverty, unemployment, corruption, public safety and a values crisis among the most pressing issues facing countries of the Americas, the Organization of American States has stepped up support for member states’ efforts to reduce poverty and inequality, promote equal access to opportunity for all citizens and deliver the benefits of democracy.

Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin, the Assistant Secretary General, told some 350 high school student leaders participating in the Future World Leaders Summit Program at OAS headquarters today: “In the OAS, we believe that only by working together can all the stakeholders in the process tackle issues like poverty, political instability, crises, and problems between countries.” He said cooperation through dialogue and negotiation can create a safe and prosperous hemisphere for all.

The Assistant Secretary General explained the inter-American system and the evolution of the OAS as well as the priority issues on the agenda. He also emphasized the importance placed on partnerships with specialized hemispheric and international organizations, and on fostering partnerships between the public and private sectors.

Referring to the particular importance of youth, Ramdin pointed to the OAS-affiliated Young Americas Business Trust, which promotes youth entrepreneurship in member countries. “By providing training and creating opportunities for employment done by youth themselves, we see that we can improve the capacity on the ground in those countries and through that effort promote development and opportunity for all,” he explained.

` The 2006 Future World Leaders Summit Program, an initiative of the Presidential Classroom, has brought together students from 35 countries to explore issues in international relations, diplomacy, political influence, and the changing world economy. The 38-year-old Presidential Classroom is a non-profit, non-partisan civic education organization devoted to the development of outstanding student leaders. It has provided opportunities for more than 100,000 student leaders over the years. Participating students are from countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe.

Reference: E-074/06