Media Center

Press Release


  March 31, 2003

As he handed over his country’s second contribution to the work of the Organization of American States’ (OAS) Special Mission for the Strengthening of Democracy in Haiti, Sweden’s Permanent Observer to the OAS, Jan Eliasson, said today that the one million Crown (US$116,000) support was earmarked to promote disarmament initiatives in Haiti.

He emphasized that his country very much appreciates the OAS leadership on democracy and human rights promotion, and especially lauded the Organization’s disarmament efforts as vital “at this crucial point in the history of Haiti.”

OAS Assistant Secretary General Luigi Einaudi responded that the timeliness of the contribution was evident in the fact that arising out of an October 2002 OAS seminar on disarmament in Haiti, the Organization has been working with the Haitian government to engage in the first public destruction of weapons seized on April 7.

In expressing appreciation for Sweden’s “extraordinary contributions” to a variety of OAS programs, Einaudi said the spread of illegal guns was a major challenge to Haiti and a number of other countries in the Hemisphere. He stressed that confronting this gun-running challenge “has become a notable priority” for the Organization not only in Haiti, but in the Hemisphere through the implementation of the Inter-American Convention Against the Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA).

Reference: E-072/03