Originally: Statement by U.S. delegation at meeting of Permanent Council, December 3, 2003

From notes taken by Haiti Democracy Project at OAS meeting. The gist, not verbatim.

I  congratulate Assistant Secretary-General Einaudi, Special Envoy Terence Todman, and head of mission David Lee for a lucid report that “tells it like it is.” From the information in the report, we are deeply concerned at the deepening polarization in Haiti.

The truth of the situation is difficult to face. We were struck by the dearth of political will that was mentioned throughout the document. For example, on page 2, “the government showed little political will.” On page 6 a failing “mostly due” to lack of political will of the government. On page 7, security depends on “political will” of the government, including the national police.

The United States concurs with these report findings. Governments must govern. A democratic government must provide security and exercise political will. The government bears more responsibility than the opposition because it was elected and has power. The role of the opposition is to raise issues while acting within the constitution.

Haiti shed blood two hundred years ago for its freedom.

It is U.S. policy that the OAS should stay engaged. Resolution 822 remains the way ahead, we should stay the course. The United States supports the special mission and its mandate should be reprioritized. We agree to the working group headed by Amb. Joshua Sears.

Much work remains to be done in Haiti. We have to get on with the task.