Media Center



June 6, 2011 - San Salvador, El Salvador

Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary General Jose Miguel lnsulza,
Honorable Ministers of Foreign Affairs,
Heads of Delegation,
Permanent Representatives to the OAS and Observers,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I first of all extend to you my warmest congratulations on your election as President of this important gathering and we pledge our support and cooperation in your task of steering us through this General Assembly of the Organization.

I join previous speakers in expressing our appreciation for the hospitality, cordial reception as well as for the excellent conference facilities provided for the meeting.

I also take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt wishes for the speedy recovery of the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Ambassador Albert Ramdin and we hope to welcome him back soon in our midst.

Mr. President, My country welcomes the central theme of: "Citizen Security in the Americas" as proposed by the Government of EI Salvador for this 41" regular session of the General Assembly as a timely and essential topic for discussion by all member states.

My Government confirms citizen security to be an intrinsic component of public security; citizens are entitled to feel secure and protected and it is our duty as States to guarantee this protection.

Citizen security, as a fundamental element of a wider national security strategy, is considered by Suriname to be a pre- requisite for national development and for the consolidation of democracy, as envisaged by the Charter of our Organization.

In this context we are very mindful that citizen insecurity impairs the social, economic and political development of states and that it inhibits citizens to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

We should also never ignore that security strategies by our countries cannot be reached in isolation.

In recent years we have witnessed a surge in the level of security threats experienced at hemispheric and global levels which has impacted the credibility of our democracies and public institutions and brought about instances offear and anxiety for personal security.

The destabilizing effects of transnational threats to national and citizen security - such as narcotrafficking, trafficking in persons, especially women and children; trafficking in firearms; smuggling of migrants; money laundering and corruption, validate the importance of a multidimensional and holistic approach as well as international cooperation.

In this spirit, as a token of my country's resolve to contribute to the fight against transnational crime, Suriname hosted the 49 th Session of CICAD, which took place from May 4th to May 6th , 2011 in Paramaribo.

The Hemispheric Plan of Action on Drugs for the period 2011-2015, adopted on that occasion, will be instrumental in the implementation of the Hemispheric Drugs Strategy and in building synergies among member states.

Mr. President, A new and dangerous form of threat has risen since September 11, 2001 and when called upon, the international community demonstrated its solidarity and joined hands in fighting international terrorism.

However many parts of the world, in particular developing countries like Suriname and several of the member states of this Organization, are at present confronted with other dangerous threats to safety and security of its citizens.

Violent crimes committed by young people have become a heavy burden; with increasing numbers of youth as both perpetrators as well as victims of violent crimes.

We are facing the challenge to create jobs, to provide better housing, better education, as well as access to affordable sport and recreation facilities; at the same time we are stressing moral values together with enhancing the capacities of our law enforcement institutions to protect citizens against violent acts perpetrated by criminal elements.

Involvement in sports and recreation at an early age may also contribute to that end. In this light it is worth mentioning the establishment in Suriname of the Regional Sport Academy which we believe will give to our youth all the possibilities to channel their talents for the good of themselves and society at large.

Mr. President, Sexual, physical and psychological violence against children is another disturbing phenomenon that threatens to deprive our innocent and vulnerable citizens of a bright future.

In an effort to combat this scourge, the President of Suriname has established a taskforce to coordinate all government institutions that deal with children and to advise him on concrete steps to fully implement the provisions of the convention on the rights of the child, in particular measures to halt violence against children.

Mr. President, My country is dedicated to citizen security, but we are not able to allocate sufficient resources for the implementation and execution of our national development goals.

Currently, my country is in the process of redefining its financial, developmental, social and security objectives, aimed at creating a more competitive economy leading to guaranteed social stability and overall sustainable development for its people.

Rising prices of imported goods and difficulties to penetrate protected markets with our export goods are hampering our efforts to generate the necessary means for national development.

Fair trade, meaning uninterrupted and unconditional access to markets for our goods and services, and access to financing for development are some requirements to provide us with the necessary means to create jobs, implement development and security programs.

We are looking forward to a demonstration of solidarity in the same manner that we did when we were called upon to join hands in the fight against international terrorism.

In closing Mr. President, Suriname welcomes the re-admittance of Honduras in the OAS and we look forward to strengthen our efforts to uphold the spirit and goals of the Charter of the ~AS.

I thank you Mr. President.