12 julio 2006
ACTA DE LA SESIÓN ORDINARIA
DEL CONSEJO PERMANENTE DE LA ORGANIZACIÓN
CELEBRADA EL 12 DE JULIO DE 2006
Esta transcripción corregida se somete a la aprobación del Consejo Permanente. Una vez aprobada, constituirá la versión final del acta.
Nómina de los Representantes que asistieron a la sesión 1
Aprobación del proyecto de orden del día 2
Homenaje a la memoria de la señora Susana Ramsburg,
Jefa de la Sección de Idiomas, Oficina de Conferencias y Reuniones 2
Presentación del Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Guyana 3
Palabras del Representante de Suriname
al asumir la Presidencia del Consejo Permanente 9
Homenaje a la memoria del Embajador Eduardo Ritter Aislán,
ex Representante Permanente de Panamá ante la Organización 10
Bienvenida al nuevo Embajador Representante de Chile 11
Entrega de un mallete al Representante de San Vincente y las Granadinas,
Presidente saliente del Consejo Permanente 15
Palabras del Representante de San Vicente y las Granadinas
al llegar al término de su mandato como Presidente del
Consejo Permanente 15
Intervención del Secretario General Adjunto sobre el
trigésimo sexto período ordinario de sesiones
de la Asamblea General 17
Informe preliminar de la Misión de Observación Electoral de la OEA
sobre las elecciones generales realizadas en el Perú el 4 de junio de 2006 19
Informe preliminar de la Misión de Observación Electoral de la OEA
sobre las elecciones generales realizadas en Colombia
el 28 de mayo de 2006 32
Informe preliminar de la Misión de Observación Electoral de la OEA
sobre las elecciones legislativas realizadas en la República Dominicana
el 16 de mayo de 2006 36
Aprobación de acta 47
Información acerca del Observatorio Parlamentario
sobre la Cuestión de las Islas Malvinas 47
Conferencia Regional de las Américas sobre los
Avances y Desafíos en el Plan de Acción contra el Racismo,
la Discriminación Racial, la Xenofobia y las
Formas Conexas de Intolerancia, a celebrarse en Brasilia, Brasil,
del 26 al 28 de 2006 48
Anuncios de la Delegación de los Estados Unidos 50
CONSEJO PERMANENTE DE LA ORGANIZACIÓN DE LOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS
ACTA DE LA SESIÓN ORDINARIA
CELEBRADA EL 12 DE JULIO DE 2006
En la ciudad de Washington, a las diez y cuarenta de la mañana del miércoles 12 de julio de 2006, celebró sesión ordinaria el Consejo Permanente de la Organización de los Estados Americanos. Presidió la sesión el Embajador Henry Lothar Illes, Representante Permanente de Suriname y Presidente del Consejo Permanente. Asistieron los siguientes miembros:
Embajador Ellsworth I. A. John, Representante Permanente de San Vicente y las Granadinas y
Vicepresidente del Consejo Permanente
Embajador Joshua Sears, Representante Permanente del Commonwealth de las Bahamas
Embajadora Lisa Shoman, Representante Permanente de Belice
Embajador Michael I. King, Representante Permanente de Barbados
Embajador Jorge Valero Briceño, Representante Permanente de Venezuela
Embajador Izben C. Williams, Representante Permanente de Saint Kitts y Nevis
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
Embajador Francisco Villagrán de León, Representante Permanente de Guatemala
Embajadora Abigaíl Castro de Pérez, Representante Permanente de El Salvador
Embajador Gordon V. Shirley, Representante Permanente de Jamaica
Embajador Aristides Royo, Representante Permanente de Panamá
Embajador Duly Brutus, Representante Permanente de Haití
Embajador Javier Sancho Bonilla, Representante Permanente de Costa Rica
Embajador Osmar Chohfi, Representante Permanente del Brasil
Embajador Roberto Álvarez, Representante Permanente de la República Dominicana
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
Embajador Pedro Oyarce, Representante Permanente de Chile
Ministro Consejero Jorge A. Seré Sturzenegger, Representante Interino del Uruguay
Consejera Patricia Bozo de Durán, Representante Interina de Bolivia
Consejera María Guadalupe Carías, Representante Interina de Honduras
Primer Secretario Henry Leonard Mac-Donald, Representante Alterno de Suriname
Ministra Elisa Ruiz Díaz, Representante Alterna del Paraguay
Primera Secretaria Ann-Marie Layne Campbell, Representante Alterna de Antigua y Barbuda
Consejera Patricia D. M. Clarke, Representante Alterna de Grenada
Ministra María Clara Isaza Merchán, Representante Alterna de Colombia
Embajador Timothy J. Dunn, Representante Alterno de los Estados Unidos
Ministra Consejera Glenice Jerome, Representante Alterna de Santa Lucía
Consejero José María Borja, Representante Alterno del Ecuador
También estuvo presente el Secretario General Adjunto, Embajador Albert R. Ramdin, Secretario del Consejo Permanente.
APROBACIÓN DEL PROYECTO DE ORDEN DEL DÍA
El PRESIDENTE: Mr. Assistant Secretary General, Your Excellency Ambassador Ramdin; colleague permanent representatives; alternate representatives; permanent observers; ladies and gentlemen:
I am pleased to call to order this regular meeting of the Permanent Council, my first as Chair of this venerable body. I will make brief remarks later and share with you my area of focus for the next three months.
This meeting has been convened to consider the items on the draft order of business, document CP/OD.1555/06.
[El proyecto de orden del día contiene los siguientes puntos:
Presentación del excelentísimo señor Samuel Rudolph Insanally, Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Guyana
Intervención del Secretario General Adjunto sobre el trigésimo sexto período ordinario de sesiones de la Asamblea General
Informe preliminar de la Misión de Observación Electoral de la OEA sobre las elecciones generales realizadas en Perú el 4 de junio de 2006
Informe preliminar de la Misión de Observación Electoral de la OEA sobre las elecciones generales realizadas en Colombia el 28 de mayo de 2006
Informe preliminar de la Misión de Observación Electoral de la OEA sobre las elecciones legislativas realizadas en la República Dominicana el 16 de mayo de 2006
Aprobación del acta de la sesión ordinaria del Consejo Permanente celebrada el 23 de febrero de 2005 (CP/ACTA 1466/05)
If there are no observations, the draft order of business is approved.
HOMENAJE A LA MEMORIA DE LA SEÑORA SUSANA RAMSBURG,
JEFA DE LA SECCIÓN DE IDIOMAS,
OFICINA DE CONFERENCIAS Y REUNIONES
El PRESIDENTE: Before going to item 1 on our order of business, I would like to give the floor to the Assistant Secretary General to make an announcement. I ask for your attention. Assistant Secretary General, please.
El SECRETARIO GENERAL ADJUNTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Illes, distinguished permanent and alternate representatives; distinguished permanent observers; colleagues at the Organization of American States:
I have the sad duty, on behalf of the Council, Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, and on my own behalf, to express our deepest condolences to the family, colleagues, and friends of Mrs. Susana Ramsburg, who passed away last night.
Susana Ramsburg served as a staff member of the Organization for the past 40 years. She was the Coordinator of the Language Services Section of the Office of Conferences and Meetings (OCM), and for the past two years she managed the interpretation and translation services that are so critical to the effective functioning of this organization and especially of this Council.
We understand that this is a difficult moment for those who worked directly with her; namely the translators and the interpreters, so we crave your understanding, representatives, with regard to the situation under which the interpreters will have to work today and in the coming days.
This is the announcement we wanted to make. Thank you.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you, Mr. Assistant Secretary General. May I invite the members to stand and observe one minute of silence in honor of Mrs. Susana Ramsburg.
[El Consejo, de pie, observa un minuto de silencio.]
The Representative of Uruguay has the floor.
El REPRESENTANTE INTERINO DEL URUGUAY: Gracias, señor Presidente.
Quería manifestar a usted y al Secretario General Adjunto nuestro agradecimiento por sus palabras. En nombre del Gobierno uruguayo quiero expresar también nuestro más sentido pésame y nuestro dolor a la familia de Susana.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you.
PRESENTACIÓN DEL MINISTRO DE RELACIONES EXTERIORES DE GUYANA
El PRESIDENTE: Item 1 on our order of business is the presentation by His Excellency Samuel Rudolph Insanally, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guyana.
Your Excellency, let me express a warm welcome, on behalf of the Council and on my own behalf, to this House of the Americas. For me, as a citizen of Suriname, I am especially honored and proud to chair the Council today and to have you as our special guest.
Minister Insanally has had a long and distinguished career in his country’s foreign service, serving in numerous capacities, including Permanent Representative to the United Nations; High Commissioner to Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Eastern Caribbean; nonresident Ambassador to Colombia; Permanent Representative of Guyana to the European Economic Community (EEC); Ambassador to Belgium, Sweden, Norway, and Austria; and Ambassador to Venezuela with concurrent accreditation to Peru and Ecuador. He also served as head of the Political Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guyana.
In recognition of his distinguished service to his country, Mr. Insanally was awarded the Golden Arrow of Achievement and the Cacique Crown of Honour. He also holds the Order of the Liberator (Gran Cordón) conferred by the Government of Venezuela.
I consider Mr. Insanally, whom I knew as Rudy Insanally––not Rudolph––as a personal friend of mine. We have a saying in my country that it is better to rely on a close neighbor than on a distant friend, because when you are in need, your neighbor will come to help you. Minister Insanally is a good neighbor, and he is also a good friend.
Minister Insanally, I am happy to give you the floor to you to address us.
El MINISTRO DE RELACIONES EXTERIORES DE GUYANA: Mr. Chairman of the Permanent Council, your Excellency Henry Illes; Mr. Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Ramdin; your excellencies permanent representatives and permanent observers to the Organization of American States; alternate representatives and observers; ladies and gentlemen:
Buenos días, bom dia e bonjour!
Let me say how delighted I am to see you, an old friend and neighbor, serving as the distinguished Chair of the Permanent Council of the OAS and to congratulate you on the assumption of the chair. You are, indeed, right: I am Rudy to you, and I prefer Rudy to Rudolph. I’m also glad to see another good friend and neighbor, Ambassador Ramdin, whom I have had the pleasure to know for many, many years.
Allow me, on a different note, to extend Guyana’s sympathy to the Organization on the passing of a member of your staff. You have our deepest condolences.
I am especially pleased to be able to address this Council following my President’s visit last year and so soon after the conclusion of the thirty-sixth regular session of the General Assembly in Santo Domingo, where I saw some of these familiar faces before me today.
At that Assembly session our countries, guided by the theme “Good Governance and Development in the Knowledge-based Society,” renewed the commitment made in Fort Lauderdale to bring the benefits of democracy to all peoples. We pledged to work more assiduously for improved popular representation, increased access to social rights, and the expansion of economic opportunities. We resolved to promote greater social inclusiveness and cohesion through the increased use of technology. We also agreed to elaborate a new Social Charter of the Americas that would consolidate the basic rights of our citizenry.
Undoubtedly, ladies and gentlemen, a most fundamental right of all our citizens is the right to choose the system by which they wish to be governed. This democratic entitlement is enshrined not only in the Charter of the United Nations, to which all our countries subscribe, but also in the Charter of our own Organization of American States. Democracy is, therefore, a cardinal principle in our hemispheric relations and one which, I believe, we are all committed to preserve and to promote.
It is a paradox of our times, however, that while the strengthening and deepening of democracy are at the forefront of the OAS’s agenda, democracy itself continues to be challenged in many places in our hemisphere. Even though entrenched in our respective constitutions and continually tested in periodic elections, democracy is not infrequently diminished by a lack of respect for the popular will and, sometimes, a resort to illegality to bring about a change in government.
As a country that knows only too well the danger of authoritarianism, Guyana has firmly embraced the democratic system, its values, and its ideals, and will spare no effort to protect its burgeoning democracy from the threat of retardation.
It may be recalled that Guyana was one of the last countries of this hemisphere to return to the democratic fold after the historic general elections of 1992, which were won by the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) alliance.
In the course of the 14 years of democratic rule since then, the county has made important progress in cementing the foundation for sustained social and economic development. As President Jagdeo reported when he addressed this august body, the Government of Guyana has succeeded in making some significant advances through the reduction of the debt burden, the provision of improved social services to the population, and the development of physical infrastructure. Significant advances have been made in such areas as housing, health care, education, and social development. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita doubled during that 14-year period, while the percentage of the population living in poverty has been reduced by half.
On the foreign policy level, we are fully committed to democracy. We have played major roles at the United Nations, occupying not only the presidency of the General Assembly but the chairmanship of the Group of 77. We are now a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). We try to pursue an active, democratic foreign policy because we believe that democracy in internal affairs, if it is to succeed, has to be matched by democracy in international affairs. Today, Guyana chairs the Rio Group, in which we are trying to bring together the Caribbean and the rest of Latin America so that we can have a coherent and cohesive hemisphere.
After the elections in 1997, which the OAS and other international bodies certified to be free and fair, the Government of Guyana undertook substantial constitutional reforms to advance the process of inclusive governance. Among the reforms enacted were a reduction of the powers of the presidency and the establishment of six commissions on human rights, rights of children, rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, ethnic relations, and procurement, in order to address any allegations of impropriety that could arise.
Several standing committees have also been created in Parliament to review Government’s policy in the social, economic, and natural resources sectors, as well as in foreign affairs. The membership of these bodies is fully reflective of the parties in the Parliament. It is not controlled by the party in power; all parties are involved, and some of them cochair these bodies. These forums provide a useful instrument for dialogue and consensus building. It is a matter of great national pride that both the Constitution and the Parliament in our country are now considered to be among the most progressive in the region.
No doubt greater progress would have and could have been achieved had Guyana not been so deeply affected recently by several external shocks in the form of natural disasters. A flood destroyed almost 60 percent of our GDP two years ago. Europe withdrew its preferential trade terms. We faced low commodity prices—a phenomenon that some of our countries in this region face—and, of late, rising fuel costs. It is very difficult to talk about development in these circumstances.
To complicate things, crime and political instability have taken their toll just as much. Arms and drug trafficking have spread dangerously throughout our small and open society, leaving murder and mayhem in their wake. Not surprisingly, unscrupulous elements seek to make political capital from this climate of insecurity and do not hesitate to sow suspicion and distrust within the society. As may be imagined, such a climate of uncertainty is not conducive to rapid economic and social progress, and I think most of you can testify to this.
Mr. Chairman, in September of this year, Guyana is scheduled to hold its third general elections since the restoration of democracy in 1992. As on previous occasions, electoral observation missions from the Organization of American States, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Commonwealth, and local bodies will monitor the elections. In the past, OAS observation missions to Guyana’s elections have played a vital role in verifying the outcome of the process. We are therefore very pleased that at the instance of the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General, an advance observer team is already in Guyana to ensure that adequate arrangements are in place to guarantee free, fair, and transparent elections.
On behalf of the Government and people of Guyana, I wish to thank those countries here represented that are supporting the Mission and to urge others to contribute to its enlargement. Full and impartial observation of our elections will undoubtedly lend greater credence to the electoral process and endow the results with greater legitimacy.
For its part, the Government of Guyana has provided maximum support to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to ensure that the elections are properly and successfully conducted. In preparation for the event, the Government has continuously sought consensus with all stakeholders—political parties; the Commission; the people, most importantly—and has cooperated closely with the donor community on the way forward. It is the view of the Government that the best way to preserve, strengthen, and advance Guyana’s democracy and the democratic rights of the Guyanese people is for elections to take place on time, without delay, and with the free and full participation of our people. It will therefore do all in its power to generate confidence in the electoral process so that it might be seen as fully free, fair, credible, and in conformity with the highest international standards.
Ladies and gentlemen, in addition to the necessary political and technical arrangements, the Guyanese authorities have also taken concrete steps to address the security situation and to thwart any politically motivated violence in the approach to the elections. As is well known, certainly by many of you, elections in Guyana have often been marked by the repudiation of the results, followed by acts of arson, looting, and violence by discontented opposition parties. These actions have traumatized ordinary citizens in our country, causing them to fear for their very lives and their future. Following the brutal assassination of the Minister of Agriculture—a good friend of mine—in April, the nation’s security forces have been put on high alert to counter any further threats to public peace and security.
You can see from what I am saying that the challenges are many and daunting. I dare say, however, that the situation that I have described is not unique to Guyana but obtains in several other member states represented around this table.
At the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Rio Group, which Guyana now has the honor to chair, and just a few days ago at the 27th Regular Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government in Saint Kitts and Nevis, our countries expressed their grave concern at the rising levels of instability and insecurity that now jeopardize our economic and social progress. Small states, like Guyana and those of the Caribbean, are especially vulnerable to the vast array of threats that can damage our best efforts to achieve peace and development. We are determined, therefore, in Guyana that we will cooperate fully with each other through the sharing of intelligence and other resources with the rest of the Community to respond collectively to the onslaught on our security.
In the upcoming period, as our CARICOM friends know, with the World Cup Cricket, we will be particularly exposed, and we need to ensure that we are ready to preserve security and stability during that critical time. But one has to admit that our combined efforts may not be enough to ensure our survival. We will therefore look to the international community and relevant organizations and agencies to reinforce our defenses against any threatened encroachment.
In our hemisphere, the OAS has an important role to play in safeguarding democracy as our chosen form of government. As the Organization’s Charter states, “Representative democracy is an indispensable condition for the stability, peace, and development of the region.” “The maintenance and the strengthening of the rule of law,” states the Declaration of Quebec City, “are at the same time a goal and shared commitment.”
Further, at its thirty-second regular session in Barbados, the General Assembly, in reaffirming its commitment to the principles of democracy, stated that we have to assign the highest priority to developing programs and activities to promote democratic principles and practices in the work of the Organization. We have to comply with those mandates if we are to have the democracy that we are all seeking to instill in our hemisphere.
Although my focus today has been on democracy––for obvious and understandable reasons; we are having elections soon in Guyana—I cannot omit a reference, however fleeting, to the two other major mandates of the OAS; namely, the pursuit of integral development and the promotion of multidimensional security. The three form what I would call a tripod on which the welfare of our countries rests. If any one of them is missing or displaced, our efforts to promote the comprehensive development of our societies will, in our view, collapse and fail. It is imperative, therefore, that the OAS hold fast, despite its many difficulties, to the responsibilities in this triad of interlinked and interdependent areas.