Media Center

Press Release


  March 17, 2003

Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgar Gutiérrez has urged the Organization of American States to set up an early-warning system to alert citizens ahead of any potential crisis. Under the mechanism, the OAS would also provide assistance to prevent crises.

Addressing a special Permanent Council meeting in Washington today, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister said “the OAS is well-placed to help governments and leaders alert their citizens on trends that point to a looming crisis.”

Under the proposal, the OAS would act in a “discreet advisory role” helping government leaders take decisions, avoid others, or facilitate dialogue with interested parties on common objectives around preventing a destabilizing crisis. The proposed system would be geared towards dynamic governance by generating systematic and up-to-date information on the economic, social, political and institutional process of each country. “This early-warning system would also produce specific proposals for decision-oriented action by the Executive Branch in member countries.”

Foreign Minister Gutiérrez also touched on ongoing crises in the Americas, and noted that the problems surrounding democratic governance are top priority on the hemispheric agenda.

Citing the campaign against impunity and recurring human rights violations in his country, the Foreign Minister said that this past March 13 President Portillo’s government signed an agreement with the Human Rights Prosecutor to establish a committee to investigate illegal and underground security groups and networks.

Welcoming the Guatemalan dignitary, the OAS Permanent Council Chairman, Guatemala’s Ambassador to the OAS Víctor Hugo Godoy Morales, commended Minister Gutiérrez’ foreign policy leadership, the cornerstone of which he underscored as fully honoring the nation’s international commitments.

Godoy Morales continued: “Other issues involve fostering processes and action to advance peace agreements, the obvious concern over respect for human rights, and improved security for citizens.”

Reference: E-059/03