TO SEND SPECIAL MISSIONS TO HAITI
Reacting to the recent
violence and worsening political situation in Haiti, the Organization of
American States (OAS) has established a new permanent mission that will
work on the ground in that country to help resolve the crisis.
In a resolution approved by consensus late Tuesday evening, the
OAS Permanent Council condemned the violence stemming from the December
17 attack on the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince and called for a
full and independent investigation of the attack and the violence
against opposition parties and leaders that followed. The resolution
calls for the prosecution of any person found to be complicit in the
violence and reparations for those who suffered damages as a result.
Permanent Council, which is made up of representatives of the 34
democratic countries of the Americas, also asked the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights to visit Haiti, consult with all sectors of
society and report on current human rights conditions, including events
related to December 17.
In comments to the Permanent Council before the resolution was
passed, OAS Secretary General CÚsar Gaviria said the recent violence
had set back OAS-led efforts to resolve the political impasse in Haiti
resulting from the disputed May 2000 legislative elections. He expressed
his hope that this new mandate would ultimately allow the political
negotiations to get back on track.
Ambassador Raymond Valcin of Haiti, for his part, stressed the
importance of reestablishing a "climate of trust" between the
government and opposition. Welcoming members of the opposition in
attendance at the session, he said his government was interested in
"building bridges rather than walls."
The resolution notes the willingness of the Haitian government to
cooperate with the international community to end the crisis and calls
for the OAS mission to work "in the spirit of the OAS Charter and
the Inter-American Democratic Charter." The Democratic Charter,
adopted last September, spells out basic democratic principles and
establishes a framework for action when democracy is perceived to be at
risk in member countries.
The Secretary General was instructed to report back to the
Permanent Council as soon as possible, but no later than March 31, on
measures taken to implement the resolution and to issue a full report to
the General Assembly in June.
Attached is a copy of the Permanent