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OAS Assistant Secretary General Calls on Countries of the Region to Join Forces for Sustainable Development

  October 8, 2014

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, today highlighted the importance of the countries of the region working together to achieve sustainable development, during an event in the framework of the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF), which will be inaugurated tonight in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

In an address to a working lunch with business leaders from the region, whose central theme was business interaction, the OAS Assistant Secretary General said he realized that “acting on their own, the governments of the hemisphere, our Member States, can only achieve, so much.” “I firmly believe that development cannot be sustainable, if it's achieved in isolation,” he added.

Ambassador Ramdin said the OAS works closely with some of the “top business executives and the major conglomerates around the region” and the world to promote sustainable development. In that sense, he said the large businesses “have found that success isn't 'real,' if it isn't shared. And that progress is unsustainable if it isn't experienced and enjoyed by all.”

Ambassador Ramdin recalled that the principal mandates of the hemispheric institution have traditionally been democracy, human rights, security and development, “we realized quickly that these things mean little to nothing, if our people don't have access to opportunity, jobs, enough money to feed their families, send their children to school, or afford decent healthcare.”

During the luncheon, the Minister of State from Jamaica, Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams, and the President and Executive Director of Ansa McAl, Norman Sabga, also spoke.

The VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum will be inaugurated this evening by the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar; the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza; and the Minister of Planning of Trinidad and Tobago, Bhoendradatt Tewarie, who represents his country as President pro-Tempore of the RIAC. Trinidad and Tobago is the first country from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to host the event.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-426/14