Media Center



April 22, 2005 - WAshington, DC

Mr. Chairman:

As we have heard from the representative of Ecuador, the situation in that country is stabilizing.

Until matters become clearer we need to proceed with caution. However, there are several constants:

The United States has been a friend of Ecuador for many years. Our peoples share a common vision based on democratic values.

We work together to make sure that every citizen has the right to vote and the freedom to express their views in a peaceful manner.

We work together to generate economic opportunities for our peoples, to alleviate poverty and to create a hemisphere free from the threats posed by terrorists and narcotraffickers.

Ecuador is known as a nation of great natural beauty, a nation of tremendous natural resources, a country of peace whose peoples and diverse cultures are its greatest strength.

This has been a difficult time for the people of Ecuador and we want to find every opportunity to help them strengthen their democratic systems, and create the stability and rule of law so critical to producing prosperity.

We will continue to work with the Ecuadorian people to make democracy serve every citizen more effectively and justly.

We deplore the deterioration of constitutionality and democratic institutions in Ecuador that culminated in President Lucio Gutierrez’s removal from office.

We urge Ecuador to address the underlying causes of the crisis, including the need for an independent, credible, and effective judiciary.

We are following developments closely and continue to urge that the people of Ecuador engage in a peaceful, inclusive and constructive dialogue to find solutions that strengthen Ecuador’s democratic institutions in a manner consistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

Secretary Rice has called on all Ecuadorians to reject violence and urged reliance on a constitutional process.

We appeal to all Ecuadorians to respect civil rights and protect all life and property.

We hope that Ecuadorians can work together to create a dialogue that is respectful, peaceful and productive.

Such a dialogue, we hope, could lead to a strengthening of democratic institutions so that changes of government outside the electoral process no longer occur and so that Ecuador can create the conditions necessary for economic growth and alleviation of poverty.

Ecuador is a longstanding, valiant and active member of the OAS. When a member state suffers, we must all look for ways to help them return to a path of peace, growth and stability. Ecuador has many friends in this hemisphere who stand ready to work together to help fortify Ecuador’s institutions of democracy.

My delegation thinks that this Council must act in the spirit of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and would support measures under the Charter, including article 18, to assist Ecuador in working toward a peaceful, democratic and constitutional solution to its problems. We believe that this should include an official visit to Ecuador by the Acting Secretary General to analyze the situation.

My delegation believes that such a visit could shed light on the root causes of the crisis, help facilitate an inclusive, respectful dialogue and would contribute to restoring stability, and lead to the strengthening and preservation of Ecuador’s democratic system.

We understand from yesterday’s comments by Ecuador’s alternate Permanent Representative that his government would welcome OAS assistance and we hope that such assistance can be provided promptly.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.