Media Center

Press Release


  October 23, 2003

In a resolution its Permanent Council passed by acclamation Wednesday, the Organization of American States (OAS) reaffirmed its full support for the recent constitutional and democratic succession in Bolivia after President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada resigned. The Organization said it also fully supports the new government headed by Carlos Mesa Gisbert.

The resolution also underscored the OAS member states’ support for democratic institutional life in Bolivia through constructive dialogue, “which will preserve the legitimacy of the democratic process, the aim being to achieve consensus in the quest for social harmony and national reconciliation.”

Approved following Bolivian Ambassador María Tamayo’s update on the situation in her country, the Permanent Council resolution calls on the government and all the political, economic and social sectors to strengthen Bolivia’s democratic institutions, “through organized and purposeful participation.”

As well, the resolution urges international financial institutions to cooperate with the Bolivian government, “with the urgency that the situation warrants, to enable it to face, under adequate and sustainable conditions, the needs that must be met to reduce poverty and boost development in that country.”

Ambassador Tamayo told the member state representatives that while the recent crisis in Bolivia had “tested the country’s institutional system,” it also demonstrated Bolivians’ deep-seated commitment to democracy.

The Bolivian envoy also spoke about the new government’s commitment to holding a binding referendum on the export of Bolivia’s natural gas, noting “its outcome would determine the state’s permanent natural resources policy.” Opposition to the natural gas plans had been at the heart of nationwide demonstrations that led to the President’s resignation.

Several member state ambassadors expressed their respective governments’ solidarity with the Bolivian people, and reiterated the importance of the OAS resolution’s appeal for the international financial institutions to cooperate with the government of Bolivia

Reference: E-205/03