Media Center



  June 2, 2007

PANAMA CITY, Panama—Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin, the Organization of American States (OAS) Assistant Secretary General, today expressed great satisfaction at the state of readiness for the Organization’s annual General Assembly, which opens formally on Sunday evening in the Panamanian capital. The General Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the inter-American organization of 34 member states.

The Assistant Secretary General, who arrived in Panama City on Tuesday and who has overall responsibility for the plans and preparations for the General Assembly, stated: “We are pleased with the preparations by the Panamanian government, especially with the leadership of Foreign Minister and First Vice President Samuel Lewis, and we are delighted with the warm welcome extended by the government and people of Panama.” The OAS Assistant Secretary General also singled out the Panamanian Ambassador to the OAS, Aristides Royo, for special recognition in the lead-up to the General Assembly.

“We appreciate the strong commitment by the Panamanians to making this a successful meeting,” added Ramdin, who noted that the excellent state of preparations is already evident from the pre-General Assembly meetings—such as the Hemispheric Conference on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities; the Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education; the meeting of the OAS Young Americas Business Trust; and the three-day Private Sector Forum. Ambassador Ramdin also praised the strong Panamanian private sector interest in the main topic of the General Assembly, “Energy for Sustainable Development.”

“We believe the upcoming General Assembly will provide ample opportunity for all the foreign ministers—given the changes to the structure of the meeting—to discuss matters that are of immediate relevance to the countries they represent,” said Ramdin, noting as well that there will be adequate space for bilateral discussions between countries.

He said the OAS is entering the General Assembly with consensus on the Declaration of Panama, as well as with some 66 resolutions approved.

The OAS General Secretariat will host a press conference today at 3:00 p.m. at the ATLAPA Convention Center, venue for the General Assembly, and will provide more information on the arrangements for the conference of foreign ministers.

Reference: GA-08-07