DE LA SESIÓN ORDINARIA
EL 12 DE ABRIL DE 2006
Aprobada en la sesión del 8 de abril de 2009
Página Nómina de los Representantes que asistieron a la sesión 1
Aprobación del proyecto de orden del día 2
Aprobación de actas 2
Informe verbal del Secretario General Adjunto
sobre su visita a Guyana 3
Presentación de la Presidenta del
Foro Interparlamentario de las Américas 10
Informe del Presidente de la Comisión sobre Gestión de Cumbres
Interamericanas y Participación de la Sociedad Civil
en las Actividades de la OEA mediante el cual transmite
las recomendaciones de la Comisión sobre solicitudes
de organizaciones de la sociedad civil 17
Remisión de informes a comisiones 18
Cooperación entre los Estados Miembros de la OEA
para asegurar la protección a los derechos humanos y
la lucha contra la corrupción y la impunidad
(proyecto de resolución presentado por la Delegación del Perú) .18
Remisión de informes a comisiones (continuación) 20
Elecciones en el Perú 20
Vigésimo séptimo período extraordinario de sesiones
de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos,
realizado en Brasilia, Brasil, del 28 al 31 de marzo de 2006 21
Vigésimo octavo período extraordinario de sesiones
de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
realizado en Buenos Aires, Argentina, del 3 al 7 de abril de 2006 22
Cooperación entre los Estados Miembros de la OEA
para asegurar la protección a los derechos humanos y
la lucha contra la corrupción y la impunidad
(proyecto de resolución presentado por la Delegación del Perú)
DOCUMENTO CONSIDERADO EN LA SESIÓN
(SE PUBLICA POR SEPARADO)
CP/CISC-234/06, Informe del Presidente mediante el cual transmite las recomendaciones de la Comisión sobre solicitudes de organizaciones de la sociedad civil para participar en las actividades de la OEA de conformidad con el artículo 6 de las Directrices [(CP/RES. 759 (1217/99)]
CONSEJO PERMANENTE DE LA ORGANIZACIÓN DE LOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS
ACTA DE LA SESIÓN ORDINARIA
CELEBRADA EL 12 DE ABRIL DE 2006
En la ciudad de Washington, a las tres y quince de la tarde del miércoles de 12 de abril de 2006, celebró sesión protocolar el Consejo Permanente de la Organización de los Estados Americanos. Presidió la sesión el Embajador Ellsworth I. A. John, Representante Permanente de San Vicente y las Granadinas y Presidente del Consejo Permanente. Asistieron los siguientes miembros:
Embajador Esteban Tomic, Representante Permanente de Chile
Embajador Jorge Valero Briceño, Representante Permanente de Venezuela
Embajador Paul D. Durand, Representante Permanente del Canadá
Embajador Rodolfo Hugo Gil, Representante Permanente de la Argentina
Embajadora Marina Valère, Representante Permanente de Trinidad y Tobago
Embajador Bayney R. Karran, Representante Permanente de Guyana
Embajadora Abigaíl Castro de Pérez, Representante Permanente de El Salvador
Embajador Aristides Royo, Representante Permanente de Panamá
Embajador Osmar Chohfi, Representante Permanente del Brasil
Embajador Mario Alemán, Representante Permanente del Ecuador
Embajador José Luis Velásquez Pereira, Representante Permanente de Nicaragua
Embajador Fernando de la Flor Arbulú, Representante Permanente del Perú
Embajador Alejandro García-Moreno Elizondo, Representante Permanente de México
Ministro Consejero Jorge A. Seré Sturzenegger, Representante Interino del Uruguay
Tercer Secretario Jorge Eduardo Contreras, Representante Alterno de Guatemala
Ministra L. Ann Scott, Representante Alterna de Jamaica
Primer Secretario Ricardo Kellman, Representante Alterno de Barbados
También estuvieron presentes el Secretario General de la Organización, doctor José Miguel Insulza, y el Secretario General Adjunto, Embajador Albert R. Ramdin, Secretario del Consejo Permanente.
APROBACIÓN DEL PROYECTO DE ORDEN DEL DÍA
[Ocupa la presidencia la Representante de Trinidad y Tobago.]
La PRESIDENTA: I am pleased to call to order this regular meeting of the Permanent Council, which has been convened to consider the items in the draft order of business, document CP/OD.1545/06.
[El proyecto de orden del día contiene los siguientes puntos:
Aprobación de las actas de las sesiones ordinarias, sesiones extraordinarias y de la sesión conjunta del Consejo Permanente y la CEPCIDI, celebradas el 6 de octubre de 2004, 29 de septiembre de 2004, 17 de octubre de 2004 y 7 de octubre de 2004, respectivamente (CP/ACTA 1448/04, CP/ACTA 1445/04, CP/ACTA 1452/04 y CP/ACTA 1449/04)
Informe verbal del Secretario General Adjunto sobre su visita a Guyana
Presentación de la Senadora Céline Hervieux-Payette, Presidenta del Foro Interparlamentario de las Américas (FIPA)
Informe del Presidente de la Comisión sobre Gestión de Cumbres Interamericanas y Participación de la Sociedad Civil en las Actividades de la OEA en que transmite las recomendaciones de la Comisión sobre solicitudes de organizaciones de la sociedad civil conforme al artículo 6 de los lineamientos [(CP/RES. 759 (1217/99)] (CP/CISC-234/06)
Transmisión de informes a las comisiones:
Informe sobre captación de fondos: Observadores Permanentes (CP/doc.4102/06)
Proyecto de resolución: Cooperación entre los Estados Miembros de la OEA para asegurar la protección a los derechos humanos y la lucha contra la corrupción y la impunidad (Presentado por la Misión Permanente del Perú) (AG/CP/SUB.TP-107/06 y CP/doc.4103/06)
If there are no observations, the draft order of business is approved as presented. Approved.
APROBACIÓN DE ACTAS
La PRESIDENTA: The first item on the order of business is the approval of the minutes of the regular meeting held on October 6, 2004 [CP/ACTA 1448/04]; the special meetings held on September 29, 2004 [CP/ACTA 1445/04] and October 17, 2004 [CP/ACTA 1452/04]; and the joint meeting with the Permanent Executive Committee of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CEPCIDI) held on October 7, 2004 [CP/ACTA 1449/04]. The Chair has been informed by the Secretariat that the changes suggested by delegations have been duly incorporated. Therefore, if there are no objections, the minutes of these meetings are approved.
INFORME VERBAL DEL SECRETARIO GENERAL ADJUNTO
SOBRE SU VISITA A GUYANA
La PRESIDENTA: The next topic on the order of business is the oral report by the Assistant Secretary General on his visit to Guyana, which took place in response to an official request from the Government of Guyana for an Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organization of American States amid preparations for national elections, which are expected to be held in Guyana later this year.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Albert Ramdin, Assistant Secretary General.
El SECRETARIO GENERAL ADJUNTO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
Secretary General Insulza, distinguished representatives, and distinguished permanent observers, ladies and gentlemen:
The electoral process of 2006 stands at a crucial point in history as Guyana seeks to consolidate its democracy and promote a culture of peace and tolerance.
Yesterday, I completed a visit to Guyana from April 6 to 11 to prepare for the long-term Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) to Guyana. On this visit, I was accompanied by representatives from my office and from the Department for the Promotion of Democracy of the Secretariat for Political Affairs (SPA).
The mission met with political parties, members of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and its technical secretariat, as well as with civil society, including representatives of trade unions, the private sector, and the Elections Assistance Bureau (EAB), a nongovernmental organization that will field national observers. The mission also met with government officials, the international donor community, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) officials, and the media.
On Monday of this week, the mission met with His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo, President of the Republic of Guyana, and separately with the Foreign Minister, the Honorable Rudy Insanally, as well as with the Secretary General of the CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Edwin Carrington. During this visit, the mission signed the agreement of privileges and immunities with the Government of Guyana and an agreement on the electoral observation process with GECOM.
A date for the elections has yet to be set. As previously reported to the Permanent Council, the constitutionally due date for elections in Guyana is August 4. The Constitution further stipulates that Parliament must be dissolved three months prior to the date of elections. Therefore, on May 4, approximately three weeks from now, Parliament is scheduled to be dissolved. The Elections Commission Chairman informed me that he will notify the President of Guyana and the Guyanese people in an address to the nation tomorrow, April 13, that the August 4 deadline will not be met due to a number of outstanding technical issues. Chief among them is the finalization of the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE).
The Elections Commission will use as a starting point the list voters utilized for the general elections in 2001. While this list is imperfect, a number of steps are being taken to ensure that eligible voters are guaranteed their franchise, including a claims and objections period and the cross-checking of fingerprints to identify possible duplicates. The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) is providing assistance for the fingerprinting exercise. It is incumbent upon GECOM to communicate these steps and their results to the general public and political parties in a clear and timely manner.
One of the principal challenges to holding elections in Guyana is the lack of trust among the political parties and the absence of consensus-building mechanisms. In addition, public confidence in the electoral authorities is low. In the current context, the Electoral Commission and its chairman must make every effort to regain public confidence through strong leadership, effective and timely decision making, and efficient and regular communication on the state of preparedness and on the way forward regarding outstanding issues.
In the coming three weeks, distinguished representatives, three important decisions have to be made:
The dissolution of Parliament or the extension thereof. This will require dialogue in Parliament between the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the collective opposition.
The establishment of a firm date for the holding of general and regional elections in Guyana. While this decision has many technical elements, it ultimately depends on decisions that reflect political considerations.
The formula for governance after August 4, including legal mandates and restraining elements.
These critical decisions will necessitate constructive dialogue, induce intensive debate, and influence developments in the country in the coming weeks and months.
You may recall that in my last report to the Council, I noted that many individuals, from all segments of society, expressed concern about the security situation in Guyana. That level of concern continues to be apparent. Individuals involved in the electoral process informed the mission of threats that have been made against their lives. While seemingly not directly related to the electoral process or the political uncertainty, a prominent businessman was murdered last Thursday. As is the case throughout the Caribbean, increasing crime and violence have made for an anxious citizenry.
In the current electoral environment, the appropriate officials must assure the public that they can and will provide adequate security and law enforcement measures to protect citizens, maintain stability, and facilitate the electoral process by allowing candidates to campaign and voters to cast their ballots on election day in a nonthreatening atmosphere. As one of the current members of Parliament noted, it is critical to have elections that are “free and fair, but also free of fear.” The OAS EOM will continue to pay particular attention to security throughout this process.
The imminent arrival of the EOM in Guyana has been welcomed by all parties concerned. The leaders and citizens of Guyana believe that the presence of the EOM will facilitate the flow of information from GECOM to the political parties and the general public and will provide a neutral assessment of preparations. Likewise, it is hoped that the presence of international observers will serve as a deterrent to violence and encourage peaceful, democratic dialogue in an environment of respect and tolerance.
Three critical stages of the electoral process will be closely monitored by the OAS Electoral Observation Mission.
The first stage concerns electoral preparation. In addition to completing the voter registry, an array of other tasks needs to be completed, including the registration of candidates, identification of polling stations, and recruitment and training of poll workers. As in other elections, the Mission will lend its good offices during the pre-electoral process; serve as a conduit for the political parties, media, and civil society on the developments of the pre-electoral process; and continuously assess the technical preparations for elections.
It is worth mentioning that a primary obstacle to completing these tasks is the very structure of the Election Commission, which is comprised of individuals selected by the main political parties. The Commission has a particular responsibility to rise above political considerations and to make technically sound and timely management decisions. This was the message that we conveyed on several occasions during our visit.
Second, the EOM will closely monitor the legal and political situation between the August 4 constitutional deadline for elections and election day itself. After the dissolution of Parliament on May 4, there appears to be juridical ambiguity regarding the mandate of the Government and Parliament. The opposition asserts that consideration should be given immediately to extending the life of Parliament beyond May 4, given the election date delay. Extension of Parliament would require a “yes” vote by a two-thirds majority. Alternatively, the ruling party and the President of the Republic believe that an extension of Parliament’s mandate is unnecessary, particularly if elections were to be held in September or October 2006.
Regarding the relationship between the main political party and the opposition, President Jagdeo informed the Mission that he has invited the leader of the opposition to meet. To date, this encounter has not taken place. In our view, such a meeting should take place sooner than later. Continuous and constructive dialogue between the leadership of the ruling PPP/C and of the main opposition party, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), and efforts at consensus building will be critical in resolving current political issues, as well as in contributing to an environment of peace and stability.
The Inter-Religious Organization of Guyana is currently drafting a peace pact and code of conduct, which it is asking the political parties contesting the 2006 elections to sign. This document was submitted this week to the various stakeholders for their consideration, and a public signing ceremony is programmed for mid-May.
It is hoped that the period of uncertainty regarding when elections will be held will be of brief duration and that there will be clear political will to hold elections as expeditiously as possible. The mission registered its concern that the positions of the two main political parties will harden and that the space for dialogue and consensus will become more limited should there be a protracted period of uncertainty. If so requested, and if appropriate, the EOM will offer its assistance in facilitating the lines of communication between the political actors.
Third, the postelectoral period must be dedicated to achieving consensus on national priorities, especially political and electoral reform. Absent in recent years has been sustained dialogue among political parties and between political parties and the general public. While the responsibilities of the postelectoral process go beyond the mandate of the EOM, it is important to make this observation.
In 1992, when Guyana embarked on its transition to democracy, President Jimmy Carter advocated that the Elections Commission include divided representation between the ruling and opposition political parties, with an independent chairman. This formula was important then, as it ensured the inclusion of parties and provided a modicum of self-regulation. Now, it is the opinion of many that this multiparty electoral structure has impeded the decision-making process. Management decisions, which should be technical, have become political. In the postelectoral process, the establishment of an independent, professional, nonpartisan Elections Commission should be a priority.
Dialogue and consensus building need to begin immediately. Formal mechanisms already exist in Parliament and should be utilized. However, there is a need for established mechanisms for sustained dialogue beyond parliamentary provisions.
The OAS Electoral Observation Mission will be comprised of long- and short-term components. During the last week of April, the Mission will deploy a small group of experts, who will establish an office in the capital, Georgetown. The work of this core group will be complemented by periodic visits by Secretary General Insulza or me, accompanied by specialists from the Department for the Promotion of Democracy.
I would like to recognize the valuable contributions of the governments of Brazil, Canada, and the United States of America, which have made this important effort a reality through their current contributions. I also wish to thank the Government of Guyana, the political parties, and the general population of Guyana for their confidence and trust in the Organization of American States.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you very much, Assistant Secretary General, for that very informative report. I now give the floor to Ambassador Karran of Guyana.
El REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE GUYANA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
I would like to begin by thanking the Organization of American States for making a second visit to Guyana in such a brief span of time, which demonstrates the commitment of the Organization to the spirit of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
As we heard, Madam Chair, the visit was very useful in providing the mission with direct information and impressions about the state of preparations for elections and the positions of the various stakeholders and actors. Guyana is of the view that a long-term OAS Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) will play an important role in monitoring the lead-up to the polling and in assessing the validity of the electoral process.
My delegation welcomes the information that necessary agreements to establish the Observation Mission have been signed, and we hope that the Mission will be in place as soon as possible.
The information from the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) that it is not in a position to carry out the elections by the constitutionally due date of August 4 has been a disappointment to the Government of Guyana. A mere few weeks ago, it was the view of the Government, as well as of the donor community, that all technical arrangements were in place to hold elections in a timely manner. It should be noted, however, that this is not the first occasion in Guyana’s recent history when elections are being held beyond the constitutional deadline. The President has stated that in this eventuality, the relevant constitutional provisions would apply: the Government would continue in office in the interim.
Since some stakeholders were not satisfied with the state of preparations, Madam Chair, especially in relation to the integrity of the list of voters, it is expected that the additional time will now serve to allay those concerns and will contribute to an increased climate of security and stability going into the elections.
Madam Chair, there is a draft statement in circulation for the approval of the Permanent Council. My delegation welcomes the initiative and supports the idea that the Council should make a statement on this occasion in support of the electoral process in Guyana, after the pertinent consultations have been completed.
Guyana values highly the role that the OAS has been exercising and will be able to exercise in the electoral process in Guyana. The agreements that have been signed between the Organization and Guyana so far relate to the observance of the elections. Should the situation warrant it, the Government of Guyana will consider extending an invitation to the Organization, at the appropriate time, to fulfill any necessary political role.
The Government will also address, as effectively as necessary, the security situation and the political and technical requirements for holding elections, and it will do all it can to ensure that the period between August 4 and the elections will be as brief and uneventful as possible.
Madam Chair, it would be remiss of me not to express thanks and appreciation to the countries that have provided resources for the EOM; namely, Brazil, Canada, Chile, and the United States. My delegation also wishes to thank the members of the team that went to Guyana, especially the Assistant Secretary General. We extend assurances of my delegation’s cooperation in the days ahead.
La PRESIDENTA: Thank you very much, Ambassador Karran. It is my understanding that Guyana has expressed a need for further consultation with headquarters. As a result, the statement that you just referred to has not been circulated. It will be circulated at a later date. Thank you.
I now give the floor to the Ambassador of Brazil.
El REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DEL BRASIL: Muito obrigado, Senhora Presidenta.