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March 20, 2001


The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Cesar Gaviria,  condemns the current wave of violence and the climate of insecurity in Haiti, which do not contribute to a solution of the country’s problems but would only serve to further polarize the society.

In reiterating his conviction that the resolution of the crisis arising from the irregularities in the May 21, 2000 elections is essential to the strengthening of democracy and respect for human rights in Haiti, the Secretary General believes that the disturbances over the past few days demonstrate clearly the need for the creation of conditions to facilitate dialogue among all parties involved.

Following Foreign Minister Joseph Philippe Antonio’s presentation on March 14, 2001, the Permanent Council mandated the Secretary General to consult with the Government of Haiti, representatives of other political sectors and civil society, and, "as appropriate, to propose other measures that could contribute to the strengthening of the democratic process in Haiti."

The Secretary General therefore appeals for calm and for the cooperation of the political community and civil society in the country to create the necessary conditions for dialogue. The Secretary General further calls on all Haitians, and in particular political party leaders and their supporters, to refrain from actions or statements that could exacerbate tensions and jeopardize the search for a peaceful solution to the crisis.

As indicated previously, and in keeping with its Charter obligations, the OAS stands ready to collaborate in finding a solution to the difficulties being faced by Haiti.