OAS urge UN for assistance in Haiti

[image1_right]The Organisation of American States (OAS) Permanent Council today urged the United Nations Security Council to take the necessary and appropriate urgent measures to address the crisis in Haiti.  In a resolution adopted by consensus during the second special session convened within the last few days to address the crisis, the Permanent Council again condemned the violence in Haiti, saying it was concerned about the deteriorating situation and its effects on the civilian population.

The member states renewed their support for Caribbean Community (CARICOM) initiatives to help resolve Haiti’s political crisis, and expressed “profound regret” that the Haitian opposition has not accepted the CARICOM Plan, “which offers the best prospects for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis.” The countries expressed hope that the opposition “will reconsider” its position.

Chaired by Canada’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, Ambassador Paul Durand, the Council reaffirmed its support for the OAS Special Mission for Strengthening Democracy in Haiti. The Organisation’s second highest decision-making body also asked the Secretary General to remain in close contact with his UN counterpart and his representatives to ensure “coordination and complementarity in the roles of the two organisations, in particular taking into account the activities of the OAS Special Mission in Haiti.”

OAS Secretary General C├ęsar Gaviria welcomed the resolution, underscoring the risk of a humanitarian crisis in Haiti. He said the resolution strengthens the role of the OAS and its Special Mission and assured the Council that he would coordinate closely with the UN to find an urgent solution.

The OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Luigi Einaudi, updated the Council on efforts by the OAS Special Mission and reiterated its commitment to remaining engaged in Haiti. He thanked the member and observer states as well as international institutions for their financial contributions to the Special Mission, which has 40 full-time staff in Haiti, about half of them devoted to matters related to the professionalisation of the police force and security system. 

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The Permanent Council Chairman updated the member state representatives on his visit to Haiti this past weekend as part of a United States-led mission.
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