Media Center

Press Release


  November 26, 2007

A call has come from the Organization of American States (OAS) Assistant Secretary General for an annual donors’ conference to analyze successful interventions of regional and sub-regional institutions in specific targeted countries. According to Albert R. Ramdin, this would allow for more systematic and effective follow-up to conflict prevention action, and improved cooperation among the international financial institutions and other multilateral organizations working in a country.

“We see several countries right now where this is happening,” Ramdin declared to participants at a seminar on “Conflict Prevention: Cooperation with Regional Organizations,” held in Brussels, Belgium, November 22 as a joint initiative of the Folke Bernadotte Academy and the Madariaga European Foundation, with support from the European Union, the EU Council Secretariat and the European Commission. Opening remarks were offered by Javier Solana, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union and President of the Madariaga European Foundation; and Ragnar Ängeby, Programme Director, Conflict Prevention in Practice, Folke Bernadotte Academy; with an opening address by Carlos Frota, Deputy Political Director General for Defense and Security Affairs, Portuguese Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The OAS Assistant Secretary General underscored the need for cooperation, arguing that, “despite spending over a hundred billion dollars in the past decade in nearly thirty peace operations, the international community and their national counterparts are still grappling with one fundamental question: how do we convert international generosity into self-sustaining, nationally owned, and resilient processes for political and economic governance, and hence lasting peace?”

Beyond the benefits listed, an annual donors’ conference would also allow for targeted assistance for ensuring the country does not relapse into conflict or an institutional crisis, according to Ramdin. “In the meantime,” he added, “we must continue to work toward a more a pro-active role in conflict prevention, through quiet diplomacy, greater co-operation and sharing of information and experiences, improved analyses, and reviews of normative and legal frameworks.” He underscored lessons the OAS has learned, including that interventions, pre- or post-conflict, “must be designed and developed to respond to the objective needs of the target country and must be perceived as relevant by their societies and local communities.”

Ramdin reviewed the OAS’ own involvement in conflict prevention and how the issue has evolved within the inter-American system. He cited OAS cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and with the global organizations such as the United Nations, as well as with civil society and governments. He also cited the new challenges to peace and security in the Americas, against the backdrop of a new environment characterized by increasing internal tensions and conflicts manifested in coups d’état and major forms of civil disturbances.

Reference: E-302/07