Media Center

Press Release

OAS Secretary General: “Competitiveness is inseparable from security”

  June 3, 2011

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, spoke today, at the closing ceremony of the 7th OAS Private Sector Forum, of the close ties that exist between competitiveness in the private sector and citizen security, stating that “competitiveness as a fundamental aspect of our development is inseparable from security.”

Speaking to the participants at the Forum, which began on June 2 under the title “Competitiveness and Security for Development,” the Organization’s top authority said that “competitiveness without security is impossible,” and he emphasized the role of states in ensuring both.

Secretary General Insulza also noted that cooperation was of key importance for the topic. “Today, competitiveness in our countries is essential for the global economy, and we can only strengthen it by working together, in coordination,” he said. “Competition does not necessarily mean rivalry.”

The ability to create the conditions necessary for success in the marketplace also depends on resolving other social problems, he explained: “The competitiveness to which the Organization’s member states aspire can only be attained in full if we overcome the such basic problems as poverty and inequality in our societies… We must aspire to securing competitiveness with social equality, eliminating discrimination, ensuring gender equality, and successfully combating the crime that afflicts our region.”

In turn, Hugo Martínez, Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, emphasized the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors. “The participation of private enterprise is essential in development processes, in the promotion of an authentic culture of peace, in overcoming social problems, and in the democratic stability of our countries,” he stated.

More specifically, he said, in El Salvador’s case President Mauricio Funes “has placed great importance on the formulation of a national model for economic and social development, which is not solely the task of the political and economic sectors, but of Salvadoran society as a whole.”

The Vice Chair of the Private Sector of the Americas, Enrique de Obarrio, said that the 7th Forum had obtained “highly satisfactory results” in all the topics it addressed, but particularly in the areas of corporate social responsibility, innovation, and competitiveness. He also emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships, which must work together to create more education, more jobs, more inclusion, and a more just and equitable society.

“An attitude of social responsibility and solidarity means going further and contributing investments and programs that are useful for developing human capital and the environment in which companies pursue their activities,” he said. “It is a way of life, with a dimension of interdependence.”

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-705/11