July 11, 2001
OAS SECRETARY GENERAL REPORTS
Secretary General CÚsar
Gaviria today reported progress in the joint effort by the Organization of American States
(OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to facilitate dialogue towards settling the
political crisis in Haiti.
The Secretary General was
reporting to the OAS Permanent Council on the joint OAS/CARICOM Mission to Haiti from June
29 to July 3. Apart from Mr. Gaviria, the joint mission involved OAS Assistant Secretary
General Luigi R. Einaudi and CARICOM
Assistant Secretary-General Albert R. Ramdin. Gaviria went to Haiti with a mandate
from the OAS General Assembly resolution approved at the San Jose, Costa Rica,
session last June 5.
In his update on developments
surrounding the central issue of a new Provisional Electoral Council, Mr. Gaviria said
negotiations have been complex but progress towards an agreement had been reached
among the Haitian parties on important elements to form a Provisional Electoral Council
that will be independent, credible and neutral. Stressing that the new
electoral body would need resources and training for its staff, the OAS chief called on
the international community to assist.
According to Mr. Gaviria, among
important issues yet to
be finalized are the mandate of the Electoral Council; guarantees for the new
elections; and safety and security.
Speaking for the CARICOM delegations in the Permanent Council, Ambassador Joshua Sears of
The Bahamas thanked the OAS for its ongoing engagement. He also circulated a
statement that the CARICOM heads of government had issued at the recent summit in the
Bahamas, reiterating their support for the Joint OAS/CARICOM Mission and urging the
international community, "especially the international financial institutions, to
accompany this process of strengthening democracy."
The United States Interim Permanent Representative to the OAS, Ambassador Thomas Shannon,
expressed his government's support for the joint mission and noted that the progress
reported was a demonstration of the willingness
of the Government of Haiti, the political parties and civil society to compromise and make
sacrifices for the benefit of the Haitian people.