Media Center

Press Release


  May 17, 2007

Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin suggested today that it may be time for the Organization of American States (OAS) to consider establishing a Permanent Council committee on development, thereby giving this issue a more prominent place on the OAS political agenda.

“This would bring much more attention to the whole issue of development,” Ramdin asserted, as he opened the twelfth regular meeting of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) at OAS headquarters.

Ramdin explained that a permanent committee on development would also give more relevance to how this issue interrelates with democracy and security, other central OAS priorities addressed on an ongoing basis by the Permanent Council. It is important that the strengthening of democracy, the rule of law and human rights be treated as preconditions for social and economic progress, he argued.

The Assistant Secretary General also emphasized that in approaching the issue of development, the OAS should focus much more on concrete results, “because that is what the people of the Americas are looking for.”

Addressing the member state delegations, Ramdin noted that in order to more effectively resolve many of the development issues facing the member countries, differences among them must be acknowledged, such as the underlying questions that cause small economies to be especially vulnerable.

At the meeting, the member states elected St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador Ellsworth John as Chairman of CIDI and Chilean Alternate Representative Patricio Powell as Vice Chairman. The delegations also heard presentations on the respective cooperation priorities and experiences with the OAS, presented by Permanent Observer of Spain, Ambassador Juan Romero de Terreros; the Permanent Observer of France, Ambassador Georges Vaugier; the Permanent Observer of Italy, Ambassador Gerolamo Schiavoni; and Geraldine Dufort of the European Commission.

Reference: E-129/07