AGREEMENT

 BETWEEN

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF HAITI

AND

THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

ON THE SPECIAL MISSION

OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

TO STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY IN HAITI

 

 

 

 

            The Government of the Republic of Haiti (the Government of Haiti) and the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (GS/OAS), (‘’the Parties’’) have agreed as follows:

ARTICLE 1

PURPOSE

 

 

            1.1.            The purpose of this Agreement is to establish terms and conditions to enable the OAS Special Mission to Strengthen Democracy in Haiti (the Mission) to carry out its work adequately, in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and in accordance with AG/RES. 1831 (XXXI-O/01) and CP/RES.806 (1303/02) corr.1 of January 16, 2002.

 

            1.2.            The Mission’s work shall cover the areas of security, justice, human rights and the development of democracy, good governance, and institution-building.  The document detailing the balanced distribution of the Mission’s work in those areas, which is being consulted with CARICOM, other OAS member states, including Haiti, and Permanent Observers, will be incorporated into this Agreement, once that document has been adopted by the duly authorized representatives of the Parties. 

 

            1.3.            The Mission’s work is directed at investigating and assessing the situation and assisting the Government and people of Haiti in strengthening their democratic system and institutions.

 

ARTICLE II

GUARANTEES AND INFORMATION

 

2.1.             In fulfillment of this Agreement, the Government of Haiti guarantees

the Mission and its members free and safe access to all elements of Haitian politics and civil society, including the press and the opposition parties.  Likewise, the Government of Haiti, within the framework of Haitian law and in accordance with the Charter of the OAS, shall provide the Mission and its members with all facilities to exercise their functions including free movement throughout Haitian territory and full access to all governmental organs, agencies, and entities and to their records and documents.

 

            2.2.            Among the activities to be carried out by the Mission and its members are the following:

 

a.                   To conduct the investigations and evaluations that they deem necessary;

 

b.                   To make the recommendations and to provide the assistance they consider relevant; and

 

2.3.                                            The GS/OAS shall report periodically to the OAS Permanent Council and to the Government of Haiti on  the activities of the Mission.  The GS/OAS will keep the public appropriately informed through the media.

 

 

ARTICLE III

MEMBERS OF THE MISSION

 

            3.1.            The GS/OAS shall inform the Government of Haiti of the names of the individuals making up the Mission, who shall be duly identified by an OAS identification card specially prepared for the Mission, in accordance with Article 9.1 of this Agreement.

 

            3.2.            The OAS Secretary General shall appoint the members of the Mission, who shall perform the functions necessary for the satisfactory implementation of this Agreement.

 

 

ARTICLE IV

PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF THE MISSION

 

            4.1.            The privileges and immunities of the Mission and its members shall be those accorded to the OAS, to its organs, and to their staff, pursuant to Articles 133, 134, 135, and 136 of the OAS Charter, the instrument of ratification of which was deposited by the Government of Haiti on March 28, 1951, the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Organization of American States, the instrument of ratification of which was deposited by the Haitian Government on March 13, 1952, and the Agreement on the Operations of the Office of the GS/OAS in Port-au-Prince, signed by the Government of Haiti and the GS/OAS on March 8, 1972.

 

            4.2.            The property and effects of the Mission in any part of Haiti and in the possession of any person shall enjoy immunity against any type of judicial proceeding, save in those specific cases for which said immunity is expressly waived.  However, it is understood that said waiver of immunity shall not have the effect of subjecting such property and effects to any type of execution measure.

 

            4.3.            The premises occupied by the Mission shall be inviolable.  Moreover, their property and effects, in any part of the territory of Haiti and in the possession of any person, shall enjoy immunity against search and seizure, confiscation, expropriation, and against any form of intervention, be it executive, administrative, judicial, or legislative.

 

            4.4.            The files of the Mission and all documents pertaining thereto or in its possession shall be inviolable, wheresoever they are located.

 

            4.5.            The Mission shall be: (a) exempt from any type of internal taxation, it being understood, however, that they may not claim any type of tax exemption that is in fact a remuneration for public services; (b) exempt from any type of customs duty and of prohibition and restriction in respect of articles and publications that they import or export for their official use. It is understood, however, that the articles they import duty free may only be sold within the country in accordance with the conditions agreed upon with the Government of Haiti; and (c) exempt from ordinances, regulation, or moratoria of any kind. Moreover, they may have currency of any type, carry their accounts in any foreign currency, and transfer their funds in foreign currency.

 

            4.6.            The Mission may set up and operate in Haitian territory an autonomous radiocommunications system for the purpose of providing a permanent connection among the members of the Mission and the vehicles used by the Mission and its offices, between the offices and central headquarters, and between the central headquarters and the headquarters of the GS/OAS in Washington, D.C., and to that end the Government of Haiti shall provide all technical and administrative collaboration deemed necessary.  This provision is subject to authorization by the Conseil National de Télécommunications (CONATEL), which authorization shall not be unreasonably delayed or denied.

 

 

ARTICLE V

MEMBERS OF THE MISSION

 

            5.1.            For the period during which they exercise their functions and during their trips to and from Haiti, the members of the Mission shall enjoy the following privileges and immunities:

 

(a)            Immunity from personal detention or arrest; and immunity from any type of legal proceeding in respect of their actions and statements, be they oral or written, done in the performance of their functions;

 

(b)            The inviolability of any paper or documents;

 

(c)        The right to communicate with the GS/OAS via radio, telephone, telegraph, satellite, or other means, and to receive documents and correspondence through messengers or in sealed pouches, enjoying for that purpose the same privileges and immunities accorded to diplomatic mail, messengers, or pouches;

 

(d)        The right to utilize for their movements, any means of transportation, be it airborne, waterborne, or overland, throughout the national territory;

 

(e)        Exemption, in respect of their persons and those of their spouses and children, from any type of immigration restriction and registration of aliens and any type of national service in Haiti;

 

(f)        They shall enjoy the greatest possible freedom in the transfer of funds and in the negotiation anywhere and in any form of foreign currency, checks, cash, or foreign coins or bills that they receive as compensation or benefits for their services, without their being subject to limitations, restrictions, or inspection or control measures that may be established in this regard; and

 

(g)        The same immunities and privileges in respect of their personal effects as are accorded to diplomatic envoys.

 

 

 

ARTICLE VI

SAFETY OF THE MEMBERS OF THE MISSION

 

 

            6.1.            The Government of Haiti undertakes to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of the members of the Mission, as regards both their physical safety and that of their possessions.

 

            6.2.            The members of the Mission undertake to cooperate with the civilian and police authorities charged with their safety and protection.

 

 

ARTICLE VII

COOPERATION WITH THE AUTHORITIES

 

            7.1.            The members of the Mission shall cooperate with the competent Haitian authorities to prevent any occurrence of abuse in respect of the specified privileges and immunities. Similarly, the competent authorities shall do whatever is possible to supply the cooperation requested of them by the Mission.

 

            7.2.            Without prejudice to the immunities and privileges accorded, the observers shall respect the laws and regulations in effect in Haiti.

 

            7.3.            The Government of Haiti and the GS/OAS shall take any measures necessary to procure an amicable arrangement in the proper settlement of:

 

(a)            Any disputes that arise in contracts or other questions of private law;

 

            (b)            Any disputes to which the members of the Mission may be party in respect of matters in which they enjoy immunity.

 

 

ARTICLE VIII

NATURE OF THE PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES

 

            8.1.            The privileges and immunities are granted to the Mission and its members in order to safeguard their independence in the exercise of their functions of investigating, evaluating, and assisting the Government and the people of Haiti to strengthen their democratic systems and institutions, and not for personal gain or to perform activities in violation of Haitian law.  Therefore, the OAS Secretary General shall waive the privileges and immunities of these in the event that, in his judgment, the exercise of those privileges and immunities obstructs the course of justice and when they may be waived without harming the interests of the OAS.

   
 

 

ARTICLE IX

IDENTIFICATION

 

            9.1.            The GS/OAS shall supply each member of the Mission, as well as the local contract staff, with a numbered identification card, which shall show the full name, date of birth, position or rank, and a photograph. Further, the members of the Mission shall be obliged to present that identification card when the Haitian authorities so request.

 

 

ARTICLE X

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

 

            10.1.            The Government of Haiti recognizes the "official travel document" issued by the GS/OAS as a valid and sufficient document for purposes of travel by the members of the Mission. The Government of Haiti shall issue to the members of the Mission the corresponding diplomatic visa allowing them to enter, remain, and leave the country as often and for as long a period as necessary until the end of the Mission.

 

            10.2.            This Agreement may be amended by mutual consent by the Government of Haiti and the GS/OAS.

 

            10.3. This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of its signature and shall remain in force for one year thereafter, and may be renewed upon the written agreement of both Parties.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the representatives of the Government of Haiti and the GS/OAS, duly authorized for that purpose, sign this Agreement in two originals in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on this 1st day of March of the year two thousand and two.

 

 

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE                            FOR THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT

REPUBLIC OF HAITI                                           OF THE ORGANIZATION OF

                                                                                    AMERICAN STATES

 

 

Joseph Philippe ANTONIO                                          Luigi R. Einaudi

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship                     Assistant Secretary General