Media Center

Press Release


  May 27, 2008

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert R. Ramdin, underscored the positive contributions of Caribbean Diaspora communities in the hemisphere and reiterated the need to include them into the overall vision of regional integration and development.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Caribbean Studies Association Ramdin noted last night that “the Caribbean Diaspora represents a source of human, social, cultural and financial capital to both the receiving and originating countries.”

“To support the development of the Caribbean region, policies and programs must be created to acknowledge, tap into and harness the huge political, economic and cultural potential of these tremendous communities scattered across North America, Europe, Central America and further afield,” Ambassador Ramdin said. In this context, he underscored the relevance of the Caribbean Diaspora to Caribbean nations, and noted that “more than ever politicians and policy makers should consider the Diaspora as a new financial, knowledge and labor resource for the social and economic development of Caribbean economies.”

The Assistant Secretary General who opened the forum in the host country of this year’s 38th Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly, which will be held in the City of Medellin, June 1-3, explained that these communities continue to contribute to the growing multiculturalism of the countries in which they settle, making valuable contributions to the intellectual, scientific, political, economic, social and cultural life of their host countries.

Ambassador Ramdin pointed out that since the Caribbean represents one of the largest Diaspora communities in the world, in proportion to its overall population, these communities should be dedicated advocates for Caribbean interests abroad.

“The Caribbean Diaspora itself must look for ways to strengthen its international and domestic interests through established communities in the United States, Europe and Canada. As has been the case of the Cuban population in America, especially in South Florida, where they have exerted significant political influence, so too can our Haitian, Jamaican and Dominican Republic communities,” he stressed.

OAS Assistant Secretary General Ramdin reiterated the Organization’s commitment to continue working with Member States to provide opportunities for Diaspora communities to be heard. “In this regard, CARICOM Member States will most definitely have an important contribution to make by advancing the needs and interests of this constituency,” he said.

Reference: E-198/08