Media Center

Press Release


  May 29, 2008

Speaking to the V OAS Private Sector Forum, taking place within the framework of the 38th OAS General Assembly, OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin stressed that improving education among young people is fundamental for enhancing economic growth and employment, consolidating democracy and creating prosperity for the peoples of the Americas.

Reflecting on the central theme of the OAS General Assembly, “Youth and Democratic Values,” the Assistant Secretary General stressed that “we must use the power of education to increase the collective potential of our countries, strengthen the individual skills of our young people, and improve competitiveness.”

Ramdin shared his views with a group of over 300 business leaders from throughout the hemisphere. Executives present at this meeting will create recommendations to be presented to the region’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs for consideration during the OAS General Assembly.
“While our countries have undergone significant improvements in access to basic education and literacy rates have continued to rise, the quality of education remains one of those areas of concern which still require sustained attention and significant investment from our governments,” the Assistant Secretary General said. He warned that if the educational and training challenges are not addressed successfully, “economic growth, productivity and competitiveness will be adversely affected.”

In this regard, the Assistant Secretary General underscored the importance of developing private-sector and public partnerships to better meet these challenges. “Private sector organizations must participate more actively in policy-making in order to improve competitiveness in technological education and professional formation,” he said.

Among others addressing the inauguration of the V OAS Private Sector Forum today were Colombia’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Luis Guillermo Plata; the President of the Private Sector of the Americas, Eugenio Marulanda; and the Mayor of the City of Medellin, Alonso Salazar Jaramillo. The two-day event is being organized by the Private Sector of the Americas in conjunction with the OAS and Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the theme “Governance for Development and Competitiveness in the Americas: The Role of Public-Private Partnerships.”

Reference: E-201/08