Apr 30, 2014 - 8:22:48 PM
The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today approved a declaration in support of the government of Haiti following the country's decision to hold legislative and municipal elections before the end of the year, during a regular meeting held at the headquarters of the hemispheric institution in Washington, DC.
The Council welcomed the will of the executive branch of Haiti and other political stakeholders to hold legislative and municipal elections in 2014 under the terms of the El Rancho Accord. In the declaration, the Council expressed its "solidarity with the Haitian people and their right to take part in periodic, free, and fair elections."
The Council also expressed its support for "the process of national dialogue underway, which contributes to the stability of democratic institutions and the consolidation of the rule of law in Haiti." The declaration also urges all branches of government and stakeholders to continue said process of national dialogue and to implement as a matter of urgency the provisions of the El Rancho Accord. The full text of the statement can be read here.
The Interim Representative of Haiti, Edmond Bocchit, thanked to OAS General Secretariat and all member states for adopting this declaration. "President Michel Martelly and the Haitian cabinet have supported a process of dialogue in an inclusive and democratic manner to act accordingly. Today's support of the electoral process is something we value," said the Haitian diplomat.
In another agenda item, the Council took note of the report of the Alternate Representative of Venezuela and Chair of the Informal Working Group on the review of the mandates of the General Committee, Carmen Velasquez. The representative of Venezuela said that the Working Group received a total of 171 mandates and of those it decided, after two meetings and various consultations with the different areas of the Organization and the member state delegations, that 122 current mandates and five procedural ones fell within the purview of the General Committee. Of the remaining 44, the Working Group determined that they were repetitive or duplicative or that they had expired or been fulfilled.
The Council also approved a series of reports related to the classification process of mandates and agreed to transmit them to the Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (CAAP) in order that this committee develop a single set of recommendations to guide future processes of political prioritization and the Strategic Vision on the mandates of the Organization.
The Council also agreed to designate the U.S. citizen Christopher Flaggs to fill a vacancy on the Board of External Auditors until December 2014, after the departure of James Millette. Currently, Flaggs serves as Deputy Chief Financial Officer of the State Department.
At another point on the agenda, the body approved the invitations presented by the General Secretariat to more than 500 organizations of various kinds to participate in the 44th Meeting of the General Assembly to be held in Asuncion, from june 3 to 5.
For his part, the Permanent Representative of Mexico, Emilio Rabasa, made mention of the Third-CARICOM-Mexico Summit, and the Fourth Summit of the Association of Caribbean States, held in the Mexican city of Mérida, noting that this "will allow for the promotion of integration processes and regional cooperation" and recalling that the OAS is being represented at the meeting by its Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza.
During the meeting, representatives from Haiti, Guyana (on behalf of CARICOM), Argentina, Venezuela, Canada, Bolivia, and Mexico took the floor. In addition, the Permanent Observer of France, and a representative of the Observer Mission of Spain spoke.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.