Media Center

Press Release


  May 18, 2009

OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin, concluded yesterday a three-day working visit to Suriname where he held meetings with Suriname's President, the honorable Ronaldo R. Venetiaan; the Foreign Minister Lydia Kraag Keteldijk, and with academia and civil society representatives.

During the meetings with the President and Foreign Minister of Suriname, Ambassador Ramdin shared his views on the results of the Fifth Summit of the Americas and preparations for the upcoming 39th Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly that will take place in San Pedro Sula, Honduras during the first week of June. He urged the government representatives to continue its support to the OAS to ensure that the Organization is better positioned to respond to its growing mandates and the needs of member states.

Assistant Secretary General Ramdin also participated in a ceremony with institutions of the Inter-American system that launched an “Urban Street Gyms” initiative as part of a campaign to promote better health and wellness in society and to provide social activities for at-risk youth.
"This type of activity can be easily replicated throughout the Americas because it provides great value at relatively low cost; it brings people together and it will be a strong symbol of our collective action," said Ambassador Ramdin expressed while addressing the Suriname Country Representatives from the IDB, PAHO and IICA.

Ramdin also had the opportunity to engage with the Democracy Unit of the University of Suriname and took part in a ceremony to launch a new database program funded by the OAS. The project aims at facilitating the exchange of information between the University of Suriname and the Georgetown University in Washington D.C. on politics and elections in the Caribbean. He also met with the Independent Electoral Council of Suriname where he was briefed on the work of the Council as well as the opportunities and challenges it faces as it prepares for the next general elections scheduled for 2010. “I left the meeting with a greater understanding of the work of the Council and the belief that it can benefit from the expertise and best practices of the OAS," said Ramdin,

Ambassador Ramdin’s trip to Suriname ended with a visit to the Coordinating Committee of the Youth Parliament, where he met with members of the Youth Parliament and highlighted the impact of OAS programs that support youth-related initiatives. ASG Ramdin observed that “while it is always important to listen to our young people, as we endeavor to build greater democracies and promote trust and accountability, we must also take care to inspire in our youth the values of democracy and good governance."

Reference: E-173/09