Wednesday, July 31. Meeting of OAS Permanent Council.
To discuss draft proposal of government of Haiti contending it has complied with relevant OAS resolutions and that funding agencies should be encouraged to renew lending. Just the gist, not verbatim. From notes taken by project staff.
Click here to see the OAS’s video of this debate. On arriving at the OAS website, click on the drop-down menu, then on “Haitian situation.”
The U.S. representative said that this was not the time for the OAS to abandon its principles on democracy. The United States could not accept the resolution.
First, there was an inconsistency in the draft resolution proposed by Haiti. In its July 9 letter the Fanmi Lavalas said it was accepting the OAS initial accord. In this resolution it is accepting its subsequent counterproposal.
Paragraph 3 of this draft resolution congratulates Haiti for accepting its own counterproposal.
Second, there were compliance problems. Haiti indeed had taken some steps. It is not yet clear that it has met the standard of Resolution 806. It has yet to comply with some parts of it.
The secretary-general should provide a document showing clearly what in Resolution 806 has been complied with and what not.
Third, the resolution calls for funding agencies to disburse. The OAS General Assembly resolution 1841 urged the international financial institutions to initiate discussions with Haiti. This process has begun. The Inter-American Development Bank currently has a mission in Haiti. It would be premature for the council to make further decisions on this before this visit is concluded. The council could ask the secretary-general to offer his good offices for the successful conclusion of these talks.
The OAS may well need to reevaluate its approach to Haiti. It should only take interims steps until it has completed this reevaluation.
The OAS report conveys the commitment of the Democratic Convergence to continue negotiations. Therefore, the OAS must not be seen as taking sides against it.
Also, the resolution proposed by Haiti does not contemplate further OAS involvement.
Guyana, speaking for CARICOM
We fully accept Haiti’s draft resolution. However, we note that by Haiti’s own suggestion, the resolution will go to a working group where it can be modified so as to be accepted by all delegations.
His delegation agreed with the OAS’s being a fair broker, at the same time it must understand, not punish Haiti. There was a legal government in Haiti, elected by the people, it has a representative voice. There was also an opposition, so there should be dialogue, and we have to keep urging them to meet on their problems. It was important that the opposition not constantly move the goal posts everytime both sides neared an agreement. The message to the opposition must be that it play by the rules of the game.
The OAS should keep up its position for democracy. Humanitarian aid was being provided to Haiti. The political class in Haiti ought to respect dialogue and human rights, and redouble its efforts to resolve the crisis. We note progress in recent weeks in implementation of Resolution 806, particularly the report of the Mission of Inquiry.
However, it was imperative that Resolution 806 be implemented in its totality. We don’t have to redefine our goals today. Links between the social and political situation were under continual review. A deterioration in the political situation impacted on the already grievous economic and social situation. We cannot discuss the economy separate from politics.
Canada remains committed to working with all delegates. We need to lock in the progress on the initial accord. We need to keep the OAS engaged and support the democracy mission.
Haiti should uphold the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
Only if it wants to.
The charter should be seen as an opportunity, not something imposed by the OAS. We all saw it so last September when we adopted it.
Roger Noriega, president pro-tem of the Permanent Council
Since Haiti has presented this proposal, it can have the proposal further debated and voted on now. However, it has indicated its willingness to have the proposal further worked on in order to seek consensus. Without objection, the General Committee (committee of the whole) will work on this resolution Friday, August 2 at 9:30 a.m. and the Permanent Council will take it up again at 3 p.m.