Washington, DC

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States delegation is pleased to support this resolution.

In the view of our delegation, it sends an unmistakable signal of continued OAS engagement in promoting democracy, the rule of law, free and fair elections, and political dialogue in Haiti. It broadens and strengthens the role of the OAS Special Mission, with the specific responsibility to monitor and report on developments there. The resolution is consistent with the spirit and letter of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, reflecting the commitment of member states in the Hemisphere to promote democratic practices.

We are pleased that the resolution reaffirms both the commitments of the Government of Haiti under previous OAS resolutions and new commitments, especially those related to holding free, fair and technically feasible legislative and local elections, to developing a disarmament plan and ensuring a climate of security essential for those elections, and the formation of an autonomous, independent, credible, and neutral Provisional Electoral Council. We urge all sectors of Haitian society to participate fully in this electoral process.

My delegation joined consensus on the language in the resolution supporting normalization of economic cooperation between the Government of Haiti and the international financial institutions. We hope that the technical and financial obstacles that preclude such normalization can be resolved by those parties. The United States, of course, reserves the right to make decisions on international financial institution projects in Haiti on the merits of each individual proposal.

Mr. Chairman. The OAS’s commitment to democracy is well-established. This resolution, however, outlines a still stronger role for it. To carry out its responsibilities, it is essential that the Special Mission to Haiti have adequate resources. This is an urgent need * a clarion call to member and observer states for both immediate and sustained support.

In this regard, Mr. Chairman, the United States is pleased to contribute an additional $500,000 to the OAS Special Mission, an amount which we intend to be an advance on further U.S. contributions to follow.

Finally, my delegation wishes to state what we all know to be true. Adopting this resolution does not resolve the political crisis in Haiti. Words can never do that. Only concrete actions taken to implement the commitments and mandates set forth in this resolution can help resolve the crisis and put the country on the path to strengthening democracy.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.