Originally: OAS Reschedules High Level Delegation Visit and Announces Additional Support for the Special Mission in Haiti

Organization of American States (OAS) Assistant Secretary General Luigi R. Einaudi announced today that the High-level Delegation visit to Haiti, originally scheduled from February 16 to 19 (but postponed because of the inclement weather in the US at that time) will now assemble in Miami March 18 and visit Haiti from March 19 to 21, 2003.


The delegation will be led jointly by Senator the Hon. Julian Hunte, Minister of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation of St. Lucia and Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Foreign and Community Relations, and Organization of American States (OAS) Assistant Secretary General Luigi R. Einaudi.


The delegation is expected to be virtually identical to the originally scheduled one, including Bahamas? Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Frederick Mitchell, the United States Presidential Envoy for Western Hemisphere Initiatives, Ambassador Otto J. Reich and the Chairman of the OAS Permanent Council and representatives from Mexico and France. The European Union will be represented and the international financial institutions will be present as observers.   Should Canada?s Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and Francophonie, the Hon. Denis Paradis, be unable to participate this time.  Canada would be represented at a senior level in any case.


The Assistant Secretary General indicated that the situation in Haiti remains troublesome.  He reiterated the sentiments expressed in a statement issued on February 19 by the OAS Special Mission for Strengthening Democracy in Haiti, which stressed ?firm support for the rapid implementation of Resolutions 806 and 822 of the Permanent Council of the OAS, by all sectors involved.?


Einaudi underscored that urgent implementation of these Resolutions, including improved security and credible elections this year, remains the optimal route for tackling the political, economic and social development problems confronting Haiti.  This will be the goal of the High-level Delegation when it visits Haiti.


The Assistant Secretary General also welcomed new contributions to the Special Mission from the Government of Argentina ($6,000) and from the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians, Inc. (NOAH) ($10,000) to assist the Mission?s efforts to help achieve a lasting peace and establish a solid foundation of democratic institutions in Haiti.