December 5, 2000
OAS APPROVES GUIDELINES FOR FUND FOR
The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) passed a resolution on Friday, December 1, containing the guidelines for the operation of the "Fund for Peace: Peaceful Settlement of Territorial Disputes."
The Fund for Peace was established by the OAS General Assembly in Windsor, Canada, last June, as a demonstration of the political will that exists in the hemisphere to help member States resolve border disputes. The Fund provides a vehicle through which the international community can support dispute resolution processes which not only contribute to the strengthening of peace and security, but also foster development and integration.
César Gaviria, Secretary General of the OAS, noted that with this initiative, "the governments of the Hemisphere have a new mechanism to facilitate dispute resolution, one which is based on the concept of mutual support and which recognizes that the international community has a responsibility to accompany States who decide to work together to solve their territorial disputes".
OAS Assistant Secretary General Luigi Einaudi applauded the approval of the Fund, noting that it represented, "in effect, a bet on modernity, on progress, on the fact that international cooperation can work, and specifically that it can work in helping to clear away some of the historic[al] underbrush that hampers the process of full integration in the Hemisphere."
The Fund was conceived by Ambassador Laura Nuñez, Honduras Permanent Representative to the OAS, following a resurgence of border disputes in Central America and the Caribbean Basin beginning in November 1999.
The Fund, which has hemisphere-wide applicability, will be open to voluntary contributions from OAS member- and observer states, other interested states, international financial institutions, other organizations and individuals.
El Salvador's Ambassador to the OAS, Margarita Escobar, welcomed the Council's approval as "reaffirmation of the principle that international conflicts arising between [and among] states should be resolved through peaceful means." She also expressed her hope that the new Fund would be used to "foster integration, peace and development for the hemisphere's people."