PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Albert Ramdin, held discussions in Port-au-Prince this week with Haiti’s President Michel Martelly, Prime Minister Garry Conille, the Presidents of both the Senate and the House of Deputies, and several high ranking government ministers.
Assistant Secretary General Ramdin, who is Chairman of the Haiti Task Force of the OAS and the Haiti Group of Friends in Washington, DC, was in the country January 18 and 19 to hold talks with officials and reiterate the OAS’s continued commitment to Haiti in 2012.
Discussions between President Martelly, senior government Ministers and Assistant Secretary General Ramdin focused on the pressing need for a more strategic and coordinated approach to donor aid, under Haitian leadership in 2012.
Assistant Secretary General Ramdin also welcomed President Martelly’s view that senatorial elections need to be held as soon as possible. According to the high ranking OAS official, “There are clearly issues that still need to be resolved, but we are looking forward to decisions being made on the establishment of a Permanent Electoral Council and a timeline for the elections. All sides have made it clear that these elections should take place.”
Discussions between Prime Minister Conille and Assistant Secretary General Ramdin focused on the the need for donor aid to be more effective and for plans by international donors and NGOs to be streamlined.
Meetings were also held with MINUSTAH and the International community.
Currently, the OAS is engaged in several development projects in Haiti ranging from the civil registry, to education initiatives, a youth orchestra program and projects to assist persons with disabilities. The OAS has also expressed interest in providing further support to Haiti through the development of a land registration project.
Assistant Secretary General Ramdin was accompanied by the Chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board, Leuitenant General Guy Thibault, who was on an orientation visit to the OAS Member State. The new OAS Special Representive to Haiti, Frederic Bolduc, was also officially introduced.