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Press Release


  September 4, 2002

The Organization of American States (OAS) today adopted a resolution establishing a new framework of support for the strengthening of democracy in Haiti. When implemented, the resolution should enable all democratic forces in Haiti to express themselves and to participate in the political process.

At the end of a special session of the Organization’s Permanent Council, which heard statements, inter alia, from the Ambassadors of Haiti, Canada, Guyana, on behalf of CARICOM, Brazil, on behalf of the ALADI group, Costa Rica, on behalf of the Central American Group, and the United States, the Chairman of the Permanent Council, U.S Ambassador Roger Noriega, said that "In the spirit of the Inter-American Democratic Charter , this resolution outlines a broad role for the OAS Special Mission in supporting free and fair elections, encouraging a secure environment in which all Haitians can participate in national and local politics, and promoting national dialogue and consensus-building between the Government of Haiti, political parties, and civil society."

The Ambassador of Haiti affirmed the urgent need for the Government of Haiti to be assisted in undertaking the necessary reforms to which it has committed in several OAS resolutions.

The resolution called for the formation of an "autonomous, independent, credible and neutral" Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) within two months and the holding of free, fair and technically feasible legislative and local elections on a date in 2003 to be established by the CEP.” Under the terms of the resolution, the OAS Special Mission will coordinate efforts of the international community to provide technical and other assistance for those elections.

The resolution also expressed concern for the effect of the continuing deterioration of the socioeconomic situation on the Haitian people, supported “the normalization of economic cooperation between the Government of Haiti and international financial institutions” and urged them to resolve the technical and financial obstacles that preclude such normalization.

The US Deputy Permanent Representative announced a $500,000 contribution and urged member and observer countries to provide "immediate and sustained support" for the efforts of the OAS Special Mission in Haiti.

Reference: E-174/02