From Tue Feb 4 20:00:17 2003
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 17:34:37 -0600 (CST)
From: Bob Corbett <>
To: Haiti mailing list <>
Subject: 14688: Karshan: Haiti's representative to the OAS speech to OAS Jan. 17, 2003 (fwd)


Intervention of the Permanent Representative of Haiti, Ambassador Raymond Valcin

At the occasion of the oral presentation of the second report on the implementation of Resolution 822, Washington, D.C., 17 January 2003

Mr. President,

My first words are to salute your accession to the presidency of the Permanent Council, and, at the same time, the performance of your predecessor, Ambassador Denis Antoine. In offering its cooperation and support, my delegation is convinced that, under your leadership, the Council will continue to be oriented toward the promotion, defense and advancement of the Inter-American Agenda.

I would also like to salute the arrival into our ranks of the Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago, Ambassador Marina Annette Valere.

Finally, I would like to thank Ambassador Luigi Einaudi for the oral report he has presented on the implementation of Resolution 822. In light of the first elements of information provided, I would like to offer some observations regarding the oral report presented by the Secretary General, as mandated by Resolution 822.

Mr. President,

My delegation expresses some uneasiness with the approach and the tone used to describe the current situation in Haiti. As a matter of fact, a curious inversion is produced in the attribution of blame regarding the true authors of the present crisis and the lack of progress in the implementation of Resolution 822. Certainly, I have noted that some expectations havent been met but the lack of any basis in attempting to seek to blame the Government in this current imbroglio is blatant.

Mr. President,

Resolution 822 states that the realization of elections is inescapable to normalize the national socio-political scene. The Government keeps reiterating its call to the different sectors constitutionally habilitated to participate in the forming of the Provisional Permanent Council. No pre-condition had been established nor seems timely to accomplish.

Instead of holding to this requirement, the main sectors of the opposition promoted and applied the zero option policy, i.e. the overthrow of the Government. This way of acting constitutes a blatant violation of the national constitutional framework and of the provisions of Resolution 822. In doing so, they found indulgent support from sectors of the International community, which contribute to the deterioration of an already-alarming situation.

Indeed, nowhere in the Resolution nor in any other instrument agreed upon by the hemispheric community, is it indicated that the legitimate opposition of a regularly-constituted State leadership should lead to the overthrow of a duly-elected government. The right to demonstrate ones opposition does not provide any group with the ability to change the expression of the sovereign popular vote.

Mr. President,

So far, the positions expressed by the Haitian Government are clear. The willingness to find an agreement with the opposition remains firm and the organization of the elections is one of the main objectives. It has been confirmed by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister during a parliamentary session last January 13. Indeed, the next six months will be used for the implementation of this process and the opposition is invited, once again, to cooperate with the realization of this objective. Unfortunately, it persisted in maintaining a hard line based on its willingness to block the electoral process, and to condition its eventual participation on an endless list of prerequisites and a spiral of requests to which practically no concession can put an end to.

Allow me, Mr. President, to recall the main steps that have marked this unfortunate process that is still unfinished up to today because of the boycott posture of the Provisional Electoral Council by the opposition. This sabotage followed three steps:

Step 1: On November 4 of last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following the Presidents instructions, sent a letter to all relevant sectors to invite them to appoint their respective representatives to the Council. Said sectors welcomed this invitation by indicating their willingness to collaborate in the creation of this body, if and only if -, the government was willing to ask the OAS for technical assistance. On October 29, 2002, the Prime Minister, on behalf of the government, made this very request to the OAS Special Mission.

Step 2: Once the hemispheric institution responded positively to this request, the five sectors expressed higher expectations by demanding, in lieu of their participating, that the terms of reference for the technical assistance be implemented. In less than a week, the said terms of reference were established and signed by both parties. Surprised, the institutions of Civil Society, despite this positive response, placed the bar even higher and indicated that their respective members, whose names had been revealed in the meantime, would not take oath and start working unless the reparation issue and other pending matters could find a satisfying and final settlement.

Step 3: Then, suddenly, when the coordinator of the OPL officially confirmed the signing of an agreement on the reparation issue with the Government, the sectors of Civil Society did not hesitate to announce their participation with a group of 184 organizations that were engaged in a frontal dispute with the Government. They also presented an ultimatum the deadline being January 15, 2003- to solve some matters as complex and time consuming as security, the professionalization of the Police, judicial reform, among others...

Mr. President,

The Government of the Republic of Haiti deeply regrets that the ambiguity maintained by the International Community contributes to strengthen the obstruction to set up the CEP and to all electoral activities. It seems inappropriate to unilaterally condemn the Government of Haiti. Inappropriate because paragraph 4 of the Resolution explicitly acknowledges that some measures that are foreseen will need more time and more resources, and will require a particular technical assistance. At the same time, the approach taken by the International Community is pernicious in the sense that it supports and hides the refusal by the Opposition to adhere to the electoral process. On this basis, it contributes to a large extent, to ignite the generators of instability and violence on the socio-political stage. It seems complacent to repeat, with some sectors that are both judge and party, that the Government has not complied with the provisions of the electoral process, which is deliberately sabotaged by said sectors.

In fact the reparation issue is almost settled. In accordance with July 9, 2002 agreement, 86 million gourdes have been released or will be paid at the right time. MOCHRENA has already received a fair and just settlement of 12 million gourdes, meanwhile KID has already received 4 millions gourdes. An agreement has been reached with OLP, MOCHRENA and KID. Under the basis of this accord, 70 million gourdes have been allocated to the central committee of OPL which has produced claims on behalf of thirty entities, 50 million gourdes of which have been deposited in an escrow account and a the balance will be paid out in four equal installments of 5 million gourdes. The chair of OPL has officially admitted that such a transaction took place. In this context it seems incongruous and imprudent to say that the reparation issue has not been completed.

With regard to security, the government has been working in concert with the OAS Special Mission to address this complex issue. In this vein, it is important to mention the creation by the government of a technical committee to follow through the implementation of Resolution 822, particularly in the realm of justice. This committee is composed of three members appointed by the government and two representatives of the OAS. They are at their third working session and a fourth one is scheduled for January 17th. This constitutes a mechanism to enhance dialogue that should ease the collaboration between the government and the hemispheric organization. Its main task consists of evaluating step by step the results obtained with regard to the decision adopted, and presenting to the relevant players all recommendations judged appropriate. According to both parties, they are performing satisfactorily.

Mr President,

Resolution 822 did not create obligations solely for the government, as stipulated by one of the previous speakers. The opposition and the international community have their own obligations in finding an end to the political crisis. Good will is expected from these sectors. The economic stranglehold imposed on our country is indeed deadly.

The rapid loss of value of the national currency, the negative impact stemming from the efforts to respect the conditions imposed by the international financial institutions, among other things the elimination of the governmental subsidies to petroleum products with the potential charge of social turmoil associated therewith, the many movements of disturbance fomented by people well equipped with material resources and techniques of low intensity war, the reiterated appeals to overthrow the political order, the refusal to look for and explore reasonable solutions, all that indicates an urgent need for appeasement for the sake of an undertaking oriented toward the renewal of confidence and hope for the eight million men and women in this country.

In such a context, it proves difficult for the Haitian people to welcome the scandalous imposition of a financial embargo as a gesture of friendship. However, the partnership for cooperation with Haiti is an imperative to which the international community does not have the right to dodge after the enormous material and human burdens imposed on our ancestors to build a modernity which the developed Western World is so proud of. The Haitian people nourish rightful expectations with the restitution of part of these resources in the framework of a cooperation imbued with dignity and humanism.

In spite of the somber picture presented in the oral report, my government holds and reiterates its unwavering optimism about a positive end to the long and painful quest of our people for peace and happiness. In this context, it is encouraging to learn that an encounter took place last Sunday between President Aristide and two leaders of the Convergence Démocratique, Mr. Evans Paul and Serge Gilles. These discussions would have related to the issue of elections and the opening of the government. It is the first time that such encounter took place among Haitians without direct foreign mediation.

In a time when the eyes of the whole international community turn to the upcoming celebration of the bicentennial of our independence, and in the threshold of a new year, we wish that such an initiative lead to building a large platform for a patriotic gathering with the aim of rehabilitating the Haitian man and space. We invite the hemispheric community to relay with all its strength this call by President Aristide to our sisters and brothers from the opposition.

It is time to show fair play, harmony and solidarity on behalf of transcendental and concordant interests of our country and those of humanity. In fact, beyond its deadly impact on the Haitian people, the current crisis in our country threatens the most shining affirmation of human rights that the Haitian revolution represented. Despite all kinds of vicissitudes that accompany its history at the same time glorious and tragic, Haiti remains an inescapable reference for the universal heritage of human rights. In this spirit, my government reiterates its conviction for the prevalence of a burst of patriotism and solidarity to maintain and bear to fruition this legacy of the universal patrimony. The OAS, the international community and the Haitian people have all the necessary tools, which enable them to overcome the numerous misunderstandings that jeopardized the realization of this grandiose common undertaking. In this view, they must strive whatever the price to not miss the rendezvous of the rehabilitation that 2004 must be, by choosing the optimism of the will instead of the pessimism of reason.