MIAMI – The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert R. Ramdin, has called for a new and holistic development paradigm that combines democracy, integral development and multidimensional security.
That was part of the message Ramdin delivered as he hosted a select group of the hemisphere’s private-sector leaders for a “breakfast dialogue” during the just-concluded Miami Conference on the Caribbean and Latin America.
The Assistant Secretary General challenged companies to support riskier but equally important initiatives in trade, security and the promotion of democracy.
The dialogue featured a range of success stories of public-private sector collaboration pursued under the auspices of the OAS.
Entitled “Building Effective and Sustainable Public-Private Partnerships for Development,” the event also focused on effective strategies linking corporate social investment with sustainable local development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Ramdin surveyed the challenges the region faces, such as poverty, dissatisfaction over democracy’s failure to benefit a majority of the hemisphere’s citizens, and signs of tension evident in relations between and among the hemisphere’s countries, including persistent borders disputes. “Economic growth is not trickling down in society and income inequality in the Americas remains one of the highest in the world,” he added. The Assistant Secretary General also pointed to “increasing migratory flows from the poorer to the richer countries, with the inevitable loss of the most precious human resource of countries, their people.”
Meanwhile, James Moss-Solomon, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Grace Kennedy Ltd. and President of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce, in his welcoming remarks emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships and the invaluable role of the OAS in promoting the importance of corporate social responsibility. Microsoft’s Robert Ivanschitz, Director of Law and Corporate Affairs, Caribbean and Central America, talked about his company’s collaboration with the OAS. He said the OAS was the best organization for putting together a regional agenda and helping companies to understand governments, thereby realizing efficiencies and providing a valuable service to countries and sub-regions.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how best the OAS can develop programs with corporations and local businesses to create jobs, provide skills training, improve education and health access, protect the environment, and carry out disaster assistance projects.