August 4, 2000

OAS To Send Mission to Haiti

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) agreed today to send a mission to Haiti, at the invitation of the Haitian government, to explore ways to strengthen democracy in that country.

Under the terms of a resolution approved during a special session, the mission will be headed by OAS Secretary General César Gaviria and include representatives of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Group of Friends of Haiti. 

The OAS mission will explore, with the Haitian government and other sectors of the political community and civil society, options and recommendations for further strengthening democracy and for resolving, as expeditiously as possible, issues that have arisen from different interpretations of the Electoral Law. 

The resolución, approved by consensus, expresses the Permanent Council’s concern that the interpretations applied to determine elected members of the Senate, as well as other deficiences identified by the OAS Electoral Observation Mission, “could jeopardize the continuing implementation of the electoral process.” 

The resolution takes note of a a statement about the situation in Haiti, presented today by Jamaican Ambassador Richard Bernal on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). It also takes into account the conclusions of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission to Haiti, which were presented to the Permanent Council on July 13 by the head of that mission, Orlando Marville of Barbados, and remarks made at that same session by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Haiti, Fritz Longchamps. 

The resolution reaffirms the commitment of the OAS to continue contributing to the strengthening of democracy in Haiti, including the resolution of problems identified by the OAS Electoral Observation Mission. It instructs the OAS Secretary General to keep informed the Permanent Council or the member states’ foreign ministers on the development and results of its efforts. 

It also recognizes the interest of the international community, including the Group of Friends of the United Nations Secretary-General, in helping Haiti strengthen its democratic institutions.

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