Media Center



  June 9, 2003

Colin L. Powell, the United States Secretary of State, announced today that his government is contributing another $1 million to help the Organization of American States (OAS) Special Mission in Haiti.

He said this added support is further sign of the U.S. commitment to efforts to bolster democracy in the French-speaking Caribbean country, explaining that the funds would help improve the security climate “for what we hope will be free and fair elections in Haiti.

“The United States has increased our humanitarian assistance to $70 million in the current fiscal year,” the Secretary of State added.

“The people of Haiti have waited a long time—too long—for their leaders to meet their obligations under OAS Resolutions 806 and 822,” declared Powell, addressing the OAS General Assembly, which ends Tuesday. He noted that, “If by this September the government of Haiti has not created the climate of security essential to the formation of a credible, neutral and independent Provisional Electoral Council, we should re-evaluate the role of the OAS in Haiti.”

He lauded efforts led by OAS Assistant Secretary General Luigi Einaudi and the OAS Special Mission as well as the international community in providing “substantial support for strengthening Haiti’s institutional capacity and civil society.”

Bahamian Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell felt that “engagement with Haiti is preferable to disengagement,” and added that both the government of Haiti and civil society in that country have a responsibility to work to solve the political problems.

Reference: GA-09-03