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Foreign Ministry, OAS, and PADF Hold Conference on Participation of Diasporas, Governments and Private Sector in Education for Development

  June 28, 2012

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) inaugurated on Thursday, June 27, in the capital of El Salvador, the regional conference “Education in Central America: the Commitment of Diasporas, Governments, and the Private Sector in Education for Development.”

The opening ceremony, which drew some 80 delegates and experts from different countries of the region, was presided over by the Salvadoran Foreign Minister, Hugo Martínez; the Executive Director of the PADF, John Sanbrailo; and the Ambassador of the OAS in El Salvador, Ronalth Ochaeta, representing Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin, Assistant Secretary General of the hemispheric organization.

This meeting, sponsored by the Tinker Foundation, Citi, and MoneyGram, gathers business leaders, diaspora associations, members of civil society, educational institutions and top government representatives in education and labor, in order to establish intersectoral alliances to promote investment in education and technical training, to prepare young people of limited means to enter local labor markets that are increasingly competitive.

“This forum will deal with the contribution of a sector that, as a Foreign Ministry, we work very closely and with special interest: the diaspora, a segment of the Salvadoran population that needs to be approached through a much more comprehensive dimension, so that we can do away with that vision of our compatriots abroad as simple producers of remittances or as a labor force,” said Foreign Minister Martínez, during the opening ceremony.

Ambassador Ochaeta, representing Assistant Secretary General Ramdin, said “we are pleased to hold this conference here in Central America because, as one of the biggest destinations for remittances, the Central American countries are called on to lead alliances with the private sector and the diasporas to encourage more remittances and to plot a new road to Central American development.” He added that “the private sector, with its innovative capacity, should also exercise leadership in the conception of ideas beyond the business related to the transfer of remittances.”

For his part the Executive Director of the PADF, John Sanbrailo, said “the remittances dedicated to support development and improve education are of great importance for the future development of Central America.”

Among those who spoke during the event were recognized experts such as Manuel Orozco, Director of the Program of Remittances and Development for the Inter-American Dialogue and Matthew Aho, Political Director of the Council of the Americas. Other participants included representative of Salvadoran diaspora associations in the United States and experts from India, Jamaica, and Mexico.

The conference was divided in three panels: Strategic Alliances with the Salvadoran Diasporas in Education, Lessons Learned from Alliances between Diasporas, Government and the Private Sector in Education and the Development of Human Capital; and Integrating Youth in Labor Markets.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-236/12