Organization of American States

Press Release                                                                                                                     (E-203/01)

October 2,  2001



            Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General, Cesar Gaviria, announced today the establishment of a Group of Friends on Haiti to assist in efforts to resolve the difficulties in Haiti.

The formation of the Group of Friends was mandated by the 31st Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly in Costa Rica, which invited “the Secretary General to establish a Group of Friends on Haiti from interested OAS member states and permanent observers.…”

An informal grouping of friends strongly supported the last round of negotiations in Port au Prince in July.  Subsequent consultations at OAS Headquarters have led to the formation of the Group of Friends consisting of the following OAS  member states: Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States and Venezuela, as well as France, Germany, Norway and Spain in their role of Permanent Observers.

The Group of Friends on Haiti will be an informal advisory group to the Secretary General.  It will provide support for the various activities explicitly mandated in the General Assembly Resolution, (AG/RES. 1831/(XXXI-0/01)), such as those relating to the strengthening of democracy, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the social and economic development of Haiti. The Group of Friends will also help to represent views and issues to the political authorities in Haiti and to the Haitian people, and in this regard, would help prepare resolutions or proposals to be presented to OAS political bodies.

Consultations continue in Haiti regarding the resumption of negotiations to resolve the current difficulties in Haiti.  The establishment of the Group of Friends should accelerate this process.