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OAS Assistant Secretary General Calls for Further Co-operation during PAHO Council Meeting

  September 26, 2011

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, joined Health Ministers, government officials and country representatives from around the world for the inauguration of the 51st Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, DC. PAHO, one of the longest-standing institutions of the inter-American system, met in annual session at the start of the week to analyze its actions and review policies.

During his address, OAS Assistant Secretary General Ramdin acknowledged efforts by PAHO to co-ordinate and collaborate with various agencies within the Inter-American System. Pointing as well to the co-operation recently demonstrated by Caribbean countries at the United Nations which led to the passage of an historic resolution on non-communicable diseases, Assistant Secretary General Ramdin said strategic collaboration among organizations and countries has now become essential. “We see the potential that can be realized from closer partnerships between organizations like ours. By linking our priorities on social matters and making them an integral part of the region's policy agenda, we can effectively ensure that health dimensions are included in the region's economic, social and political integration and cooperation efforts, providing a platform from which to better confront the challenges,” said Ramdin.

According to the OAS official, security, development and even democracy are all affected if health-related concerns of a population are not fully addressed. “It is impossible to speak of full democracy when there are people who lack basic health and sanitation services. Good governance requires strong, effective and respected institutions capable of shaping and implementing public policies needed to reach all segments of the population,” said Assistant Secretary General Ramdin.

PAHO Director Mirta Roses Periago meanwhile said, “It is fundamental for us to respond appropriately to the changing needs of diverse populations. It requires concerted action, repurposing, adaptation and strengthening of health systems to increase responsiveness.”

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-854/11