Amb. Roger F. Noriega

U.S. Representative to the OAS

Questions Haiti’s Commitment to Climate of Security


26 juin 2003

Statement on Haiti of U.S. Permanent Representative to the OAS Ambassador Roger F. Noriega to the Permanent Council Meeting

June 26, 2003

Just two weeks ago in Santiago, the General Assembly reaffirmed the vitality of Permanent Council Resolution 822, and urged the Government of Haiti to complete its obligations under that resolution and the points presented to it by the high-level OAS/CARICOM delegation. At that time, the June 2 letter from the Convergence Democratique to the Chair of the Permanent Council had not been distributed. That letter stated that “after evaluating any specific measures that Mr. Aristide takes to restore, as soon as possible, a climate of trust in Haiti,”it was prepared to fulfill its commitments under the framework of the draft Initial Accord and name a representative to the Provisional Electoral Council. We welcome this statement on the part of the opposition.

At the same time, the United States is looking ahead to the September assessment of the Special Mission called for by AG/RES 1959, mindful that Secretary of State Colin Powell invited our partners in this Organization to reevaluate the role of the OAS if the Haitian government has not created by that time a climate of security conducive to the creation of a credible, neutral, and independent Provisional Electoral Council.

As my delegation stated in Santiago, the United States viewed the appointment of a new Director General of the Haitian National Police as a potentially positive step toward creating that climate of security. Our delegation noted that the new Director General must be permitted independence of action to be truly effective in developing a professional and trustworthy police force. General Assembly resolution AG/RES 1959 also noted the appointment in a positive light.

The United States was, therefore, deeply disappointed to learn that the new Director General, Jean Robert Faveur, resigned on June 22, a mere two weeks after his appointment. The charges of political interference made in his letter of resignation are very serious and troubling. Mr. Faveur has made public documentation of efforts by the Haitian government which he says were intended to undermine the autonomy of his office, specifically by removing his authority over the police budget and ordering him to appoint and promote officers unqualified in his judgment.

Moreover, we understand that Mr. Faveur has chosen to leave Haiti, along with his family. One must ask, in all seriousness, if the government of Haiti cannot create a secure climate for the Chief of its National Police, how can it be said to be making strides toward security for anyone else in the country, particularly the democratic opposition to the ruling party ?

Mr. Chairman, these actions, once again, call into question the good faith of the Haitian government in meeting commitments made to the OAS, especially the creation of a climate of security. The government of Haiti has accepted the OAS’s call for a professional and independent police force, and it must comply with this obligation and others set forth in OAS resolutions. The United States strongly believes that professional police leadership, free of interference, is just one of the elements essential for a democratic resolution of Haiti’s political impasse.

Mr. Chairman, in light of the recent developments, my delegation will be consulting with other delegations to seek their views on next steps. While we have been going the extra mile, it appears we are walking in place and making no lasting progress.