Media Center

Press Release


  November 23, 2009

Representatives of multilateral organizations, governments and civil society in the Americas expressed their different points of view Monday at a round table hosted and organized by the Organization of American States (OAS) at its headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The XXI OAS Policy Round Table, titled, “Regional Peace, Development and Security: The Role of Regional Organizations and Civil Society,” was divided into two panels and was followed by an open, public debate.

The first panel discussion, titled, “Perspectives of Regional Organizations in Conflict Prevention and Peace-building and the Role of Civil Society,” was moderated by Víctor Rico, OAS Secretary for Political Affairs, and included among its participants Edward Greene, Assistant Secretary General, Human and Social Development of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); Erick Vílchez, Director of Juridical and Political Affairs, General Secretariat of Central American Integration System (SICA); Adolfo López, Coordinator of Political Affairs of the Andean Community; Craig Kelly, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State; and James Lambert, Director General for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada.

The second panel, titled, “Perspectives of Civil Society Organizations in Conflict Prevention and Peace-building,” was moderated by Andrés Serbin, Executive President of the Regional Coordination for Economic and Social Research (CRIES). Its participants were Gilberto Rodrigues, professor of the UNISANTOS University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Daniel Matul Romero, professor of the University of Costa Rica; and John Siebert, Executive Director of the project PLOUGHSHARES, Canada.

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza highlighted the “unique opportunity” provided by the Round Table and encouraged its participants to formulate proposals to “strengthen the currently ongoing peace processes in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Secretary General Insulza also stressed the role played by international organizations, and particularly by the OAS, in the post-Cold War world. “The OAS has taken a universally acknowledged leadership role, accompanying peace processes and supporting peaceful solutions to inter-state and intra-state conflicts,” he said during his welcoming remarks.

OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin delivered closing remarks and stressed that peace and stability must be a “shared responsibility” of all members of society.

Ambassador Ramdin also highlighted three questions to be analyzed in the future: “How do we promote regular, meaningful and structured dialogue in societies, especially at the community level? How do we promote social cohesion, peaceful coexistence and consensus for public policy making? And how do we strengthen existing regional mechanisms and instruments to mitigate tensions proactively?”

Reference: E-392/09