Media Center

Press Release


  May 27, 2009

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Albert Ramdin, met with U.S. Representatives Donald Payne (D-NJ) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) in individual meetings to continue conversations initially held at the recent Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago and discuss the upcoming 2009 OAS General Assembly to be held in San Pedro Sula, Honduras in early June.

During the meetings, Ambassador Ramdin expressed his appreciation to Representatives Payne and Clarke for their active support of the OAS. “This is a very crucial time for the hemisphere. So many issues are coming to the fore including the economic crisis, cross-border security, climate change, and others,” Ambassador Ramdin remarked. “Now more than ever, we need to keep open the channels of dialogue so we can develop integrated approaches to solve our collective problems.”

Ambassador Ramdin explained that the upcoming OAS General Assembly will focus on a variety of issues including the global economic crisis and its impact on smaller, more vulnerable national economies like those in Central America and the Caribbean. He also mentioned the OAS’s plans to help Haiti maintain its recent democratic gains, noting that the Organization would be leading a consolidated effort with several other entities from the inter-American community. The Assistant Secretary General also discussed the increasingly visible issue of Cuba and its relationship with the OAS. He stated that it was likely to be discussed during the General Assembly.

During their respective meetings, both Representatives Payne and Clarke agreed that the region was becoming more integrated and that the OAS would be a crucial instrument to address a wide variety of issues. Congressman Payne agreed that increased attention to Haiti would improve its chances of a stable transition next year when President Preval completes his term. Congresswoman Clarke expressed her interest in working closer with the OAS on issues related to cross-border security and offered to continue discussions on issues related to drug trafficking and arms smuggling, among other concerns. All parties agreed to follow up with each other following the outcome of the General Assembly.

Reference: E-186/09