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OAS Assistant Secretary General Makes a Call to “Change the Paradigm of Natural Disasters”

  October 13, 2010

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin, participated in the Inauguration of the International Conference of Contributors to the Reconstruction with Transformation of Guatemala, held October 11 and 12 in Guatemala City, to share the perspectives and experiences of the OAS in disaster risk reduction.

Ambassador Ramdin made a call to “change the paradigm of natural disasters, from one that is reactive to one that is proactive,” and to recognize that in a globalized and interconnected world, “disasters transcend municipal, state and international borders, making this a problem that belongs to all countries of the hemisphere.”

In his speech, the Assistant Secretary General congratulated the Government of Guatemala for “its initiative to ‘rebuild with transformation,’ in response to recent disasters,” and asserted that the OAS “is at the service of the Government of Guatemala for the execution of programs and projects designed as part of the Plan for Recovery, Reconstruction and Transformation.”

Ramdin also mentioned some examples of the work of the OAS in two main programs: the Central American Program for Early Flood Warning in Small Basins and the Vulnerability Reduction Program: Development of a Regional Platform.

“Through these two platforms, the OAS General Secretariat provides technical assistance in the implementation of Early Flood Warning Community Systems, integrating hydrologic studies and flood forecasting in community-operated systems, as well as addressing the problems of governance related to the flow of information and early warning decisions,” he said.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-379/10