Media Center

Press Release


  March 28, 2008

Jacques-Édouard Alexis, the Haitian Prime Minister, today reassured the members of the Organization of American States Permanent Council that the general situation in the country “has significantly improved.”

Addressing a protocolary session of the Permanent Council, called in his honor, Prime Minister Alexis delivered a wide-ranging speech to the member state ambassadors, observers and representatives of other international organizations, touting his government’s initiatives to reform the police force and the justice system, “with special emphasis on training, professionalization, discipline and development of a police force that works closely with the community.”

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin and Permanent Council Chairman Ambassador Cornelius A. Smith of the Bahamas welcomed the Haitian Prime Minister, with whom they had met for private discussions prior to the Permanent Council’s public session that Ambassador Smith chaired.

Thanking the OAS for its ongoing support on a wide array of programs, the Prime Minister also lauded the “remarkable work” by the police force, in collaboration with MINUSTAH, leading to an overall improvement in security and socio-political stability. He also highlighted President René Préval’s leadership role in last year’s regional summit on drugs and his stance in combating drug traffickers.

The Prime Minister told the Permanent Council members that all the provisions are in place to ensure partial elections are held to “renew” one third of the Senate. In addition, he made reference to a bill on the operations of the Provisional Electoral Council that has been sent to Parliament. Other areas of notable progress in Haiti as outlined by Alexis include initiatives on gender equality, and marginalization of persons with disability.

Alexis also staunchly defended Haiti against characterizations from certain quarters that it is “a country wracked by instability and descending into chaos and anarchy.” In that regard, he asked the OAS member states to help rectify this situation, which he described as potentially very damaging to the future of Haiti’s fragile democracy. Pointing to OAS Permanent Council’s special mission to Haiti last month and the OAS Haiti Task Force, the Prime Minister stressed that member states involved in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) can attest to how false such claims against Haiti are.

However, he acknowledged job-creation through large-scale investment as a major challenge while the government seeks to consolidate the gains of the past two years. He also noted that the government has just adopted a document that sets out the strategic framework for growth and poverty reduction. He spoke of plans by his governments to host an international conference April 25 to discuss implementation of activities and projects identified in the strategic framework document under reference. Prime Minister Alexis stated that international aid ought to be based on priorities defined by the government.

In welcoming the Prime Minister to the Permanent Council session, Secretary General Insulza praised the economic and social development that Alexis’ government has implemented, despite enormous challenges. “Today, Haiti has a solid, legitimate government and institutions that work,” said Insulza, noting improvements in the judicial system and in the country’s public security climate. These areas of progress are all the more remarkable “for a country that experienced the tremendous difficulties that Haiti has experienced in the recent past,” Secretary General Insulza stated

Permanent Council Chairman Smith introduced Prime Minister Alexis to the Permanent Council, emphasizing his leadership in government and his accomplishments in other professional endeavors such as in agriculture and academia.

The Prime Minister hosted a press conference after the Permanent Council session, following which he was the guest of honor at a luncheon hosted by the OAS Secretary General.

Reference: E-101/08