Organización de los estados americanos oea/Ser. G consejo permanente cp/acta 1257/00



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EL FUNCIONAMIENTO DEL FONDO DE PAZ:

SOLUCIÓN PACÍFICA DE CONTROVERSIAS TERRITORIALES



(CONTINUACIÓN)
El PRESIDENTE: I would like to return to item 2 on our order of business, the draft resolution on the “Guidelines for the Operation of the Fund for Peace: Peaceful Settlement of Territorial Disputes.”
I give the floor to the distinguished Representative of El Salvador.
La REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE EL SALVADOR: Gracias, señor Presidente. Agradezco a usted y a este Consejo el tiempo que me otorgaron para leer las propuestas. Estamos listos para adoptar estos lineamientos en la forma como le he hecho llegar a usted el texto, si la Secretaría es tan amable de leerlo. Gracias.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you, Ambassador, in which case I would ask the Secretariat to read in Spanish and in English the language that has been the subject of some consultation here.
La SECRETARÍA: Con gusto, señor Presidente. El párrafo leería: [Lee:] “El Secretario General, en consulta con los Estados concernidos en la controversia…”, y queda lo demás igual. En inglés, leería: [lee:] “The Secretary General, in consultation with the states involved in the dispute…”, y todo lo demás queda igual. La palabra “concernidos” solamente afecta al idioma español, de acuerdo con la información que tengo de la División de Servicios de Idiomas. Es todo, señor Presidente.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you. Is that clear enough for delegations, or shall we do it again? It appears that it is clear. If there are no comments, we will consider that amendment as accepted and we will approve the draft resolution and the attached guidelines. Approved.3/
I offer the floor to delegations. The distinguished Representative of Honduras has the floor.
La REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE HONDURAS: Gracias, señor Presidente.
Quisiera hacer uso de la palabra para expresar la satisfacción del Gobierno de Honduras por la aprobación, finalmente, por parte del Consejo Permanente, de los lineamientos que han de poner en funcionamiento el Fondo de Paz: Solución Pacífica de Controversias Territoriales.
Los Estados del Hemisferio nos hemos comprometido a rechazar cualquier uso de la fuerza para imponer soluciones, en aplicación de los medios pacíficos contemplados en la Carta de la Organización de los Estados Americanos. El día de hoy, mediante la puesta en marcha de este Fondo, la Organización ha establecido un mecanismo de apoyo a la aplicación de las normas del derecho internacional, en pleno respeto a los principios de la no intervención e igualdad jurídica de los Estados.
Mi país, señor Presidente, se siente satisfecho de haber resuelto sus delimitaciones fronterizas pacíficamente y en aplicación de los medios que el derecho internacional establece: la negociación directa, el arbitraje, la mediación y el procedimiento judicial. En todos los casos Honduras ha honrado y respetado los resultados de los mismos, tanto los favorables como los desfavorables. Honduras es uno de los países en donde la observancia del derecho internacional, los laudos arbitrales y las decisiones de tribunales internacionales, se ha elevado a rango de norma constitucional. La historia de mi país muestra su estricta vocación pacifista y voluntad integracionista.
En tal sentido, reitero nuestra satisfacción al ver concretada la iniciativa de poner en funcionamiento este Fondo en el seno de la Organización de los Estados Americanos. Ello contribuirá a fortalecer el diálogo como mecanismo de entendimiento entre nuestros pueblos, dentro de la aspiración por una coexistencia pacífica y armoniosa en todo el Hemisferio.
Muchas gracias señor Presidente.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you, Ambassador Núñez. The distinguished Representative of El Salvador has the floor.
La REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE EL SALVADOR: Muchas gracias, señor Presidente. También mi Delegación quiere expresar su satisfacción por la aprobación por parte del Consejo Permanente del Fondo de Paz: Solución Pacífica de Controversias Territoriales. Mi Delegación ha apoyado su creación como un aporte más a la integración y el desarrollo de nuestros pueblos con el objeto de que el uso de los recursos del Fondo y los subfondos sea transparente e integrador y se eviten así situaciones en que su uso pueda ser concebido de una manera distinta al propósito para el que fue creado. Esta es la visión que tenemos sobre la letra y el espíritu del proyecto de resolución que acabamos de aprobar.
Desde ahora el Fondo es de todos y corresponde a los Estados utilizarlo con responsabilidad y transparencia para hacer honor a su nombre y objetivo primario que es la paz. Así se evitará que jamás pueda ser mal interpretado como un mecanismo financiero que reduce los costos de entablar diferendos o controversias entre los Estados Miembros de la gran familia americana.
Nuevamente, señor Presidente, deseo expresar nuestro agradecimiento a todas las delegaciones. Con ellas trabajamos estos textos con seriedad y comprometidos verdaderamente con la paz de nuestro hemisferio. Muchísimas gracias, señor Presidente.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you, Ambassador Escobar. I recognize the distinguished Representative of Nicaragua.
El REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE NICARAGUA: Muchas gracias, señor Presidente.
En representación del Gobierno de Nicaragua, deseo expresar nuestra gran satisfacción por la aprobación en esta sesión del proyecto de resolución que establece los lineamientos para el funcionamiento del Fondo de Paz: Solución Pacífica de Controversias Territoriales, en armonía con la resolución AG/RES. 1756 (XXX-O/00). Nos alegramos sinceramente y queremos expresar nuestra gratitud hacia todos los Estados que brindaron su apoyo a este proyecto de resolución. Muchas gracias.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you, Ambassador Sevilla. I now give the floor to the Assistant Secretary General.
El SECRETARIO GENERAL ADJUNTO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I wanted to add a few comments to those already made by the representatives of Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua about our satisfaction with the approval of the Peace Fund guidelines. I believe this fund and the Belize-Guatemala subfund that we approved as the first item today are, in effect, a bet on modernity, on progress, and on the fact that international cooperation can work specifically in helping to clear away some of the historic underbrush that hampers the process of full integration in the Hemisphere.
I think it is important to note that our difficulties in adopting these guidelines did not come about because the negotiators or the participants in these discussions were being difficult or obstinate. Neither did they have ulterior motives in hopes of somehow opposing the process. It is because these problems are quintessentially, extraordinarily difficult. They affect questions of sovereignty that are vital to all of our states and respect for which is fundamental to our cooperation. They are often problems that are therefore not admitted.
It is interesting that a small project was conducted at the Columbus Memorial Library recently, inspired by the adoption in Windsor of resolution AG/RES. 1756 (XXX-O/00). The project covered just an index of references to disputes between 1948 and June 2000, and they’re all of the OAS. It is an extraordinary fact that this is a pervasive though often undiscussed problem in our relations; therefore, in my view at least, the adoption of these funds constitutes a demonstration of political will and provides a vehicle through which the international community can respond by channeling support for dispute resolution processes.
If you will indulge me, I just want to make two points: a historical note and a direct appeal to the donor community, including many of our observer states.
El triángulo temático de los fundadores de la Carta de Bogotá —paz, seguridad y solución pacífica de controversias—no se ha desarrollado fácilmente en la práctica. La Comisión Interamericana de Paz, así como la Comisión Interamericana de Soluciones Pacíficas incorporada a la Carta mediante el Protocolo de Buenos Aires suscrito en 1967, llevaron indirectamente al congelamiento de las posibilidades políticas de considerar temas de esa naturaleza en el ámbito de la OEA. A ello se sumó el proceso incompleto de ratificación del Pacto de Bogotá, así como las dudas permanentes y crecientes con el pasar de los años, asociadas con el papel del Tratado de Río de Janeiro de 1947 y el sistema de cooperación militar.
Sin embargo, el Protocolo de Cartagena de Indias aprobado en 1985, tomando en cuenta los excelentes resultados que habían tenido las comisiones ad hoc integradas en 1978 para resolver el conflicto fronterizo entre Costa Rica y Nicaragua, flexibilizó el sistema de solución pacífica de controversias y lo despojó de su tradicional rigidez, tanto en lo que respecta a la integración, como al mandato.
Asimismo, los procedimientos políticos y diplomáticos han evolucionado hacia formas eficientes que en los últimos años han aportado soluciones realistas a diferendos territoriales que, más allá de la mera disputa fronteriza, tienen dimensiones particulares también en el ámbito económico. Varios ejemplos recientes nos indican que una dosis de buena voluntad de las partes puede superar las complejidades de la historia y la disputa, y conducir a un desenlace equitativo.
Es importante reconocer que el debate que hemos tenido en esta Organización, tanto en la preparación de la presente resolución como en los lineamientos, ha contado con la participación positiva de cerca de la mitad de los Estados Miembros. He tomado nota, muy rápidamente, de aquellos que han participado en forma sustantiva en esos debates: Brasil, Canadá, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, México, Guatemala, Belice, Chile, Estados Unidos, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Costa Rica y Antigua y Barbuda. Esto representa, efectivamente, un compromiso común en la búsqueda de soluciones pacíficas.
I would like to end by saying, by way of appeal, something very simple on the importance of contributions to this fund. We all know that where conflicts exist in the areas affected, the border provinces in particular are held back and punished, historically and often by their own central authorities, for nothing more than being in the way of a possible attack from another country. We are all aware of situations where roads cannot be built because the road could be used by a neighbor to invade.
Today, in this hemisphere, that is increasingly less the case. Border peoples are willing and eager to cooperate to resolve disputes, and central governments are increasingly aware of the costs of unsettled disputes.
The real issue today, it seems to me, is that for various reasons of indifference, we in the international community who are not parties to the dispute will allow these conflicts and potentials conflicts to fester. Then once agreements have been reached, we allow them to be orphaned and left without the support that they deserve.
I have spent 45 years working on U.S. relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, and in those years I have seen some extraordinary things happen, as have all of you. There are things that we often forget. We have seen the end of military dictatorship in Latin America. We have seen the end of colonialism in the Caribbean. More recently, we have seen the end of armed conflicts in Central America. Yet in our discourse, we are still often filled with doubts as to whether we can achieve irreversible progress or whether the details of our political lives and of our integration can be made to work.
I believe that we are showing that the details can work. However, we cannot be absent; we must create a mutual support mechanism, an engranaje of integration, cooperation, and mutual responsiveness that will ensure that peace will last and that the problems that still exist can be resolved so that we can together reap the benefits of the 21st century.
I am sorry for that slightly excessive end, but this is what I believe.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you, Ambassador Einaudi, for that very eloquent conclusion to the study of an important and complex issue. The Council wishes to thank you for your remarks.

INFORME SOBRE EL ESTADO DE EJECUCIÓN DE LAS RECOMENDACIONES



FORMULADAS POR LA OFICINA DEL INSPECTOR GENERAL EN 1999
El PRESIDENTE: We move on to item 5, the status of the implementation of recommendations issued by the Office of the Inspector General in 1999, document CP/doc.3374/00. The Chair suggests that this issue be forwarded to the Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (CAAP) for its consideration. If there are no objections… The Representative of the United States has the floor.
El REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS: No, I have no objection. I like the way you move this meeting, so I will be very brief.
You are on item 5, correct? I have lost track of the changes back and forth. The Assistant Secretary for Management was going to make an oral…
El PRESIDENTE: The Assistant Secretary for Management will speak to item 5. The Chair’s recommendation is that we forward the document to the Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (CAAP) for its consideration before this issue comes back to the Council.
El REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS: When the Inspector General’s report was presented, I raised considerable concern on behalf of my delegation and, I am sure, many others, about the financial management of the Organization.
In other words, there was a gap between the information given by the Inspector General and the Assistant Secretary for Management. You will recall vividly that some substantial deficiencies were highlighted, and there was no opportunity to hear the countervailing arguments on how far we’ve come. I would hope that from now on, as a matter of process and of fairness to both sides, the Assistant Secretary for Management will have the opportunity to address this body concurrently with the presentation of the Inspector General and that that would be the practice henceforth.
I am addressing this, I imagine, to the Assistant Secretary General.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you, Ambassador. Ambassador Einaudi, would you wish to respond?
El SECRETARIO GENERAL ADJUNTO: Would you allow me a minute of consultation, please? [Pausa.] Mr. Chairman, I am going to defer to Mr. Harding on this question. Thank you.
El SUBSECRETARIO DE ADMINISTRACIÓN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
No. I think it is a very reasonable request, and I am delighted to comply with it. It is a very common practice in many other organizations. It’s not a we-they sort of thing; it’s about the differences in the times in which things are done, and I am glad the Ambassador brought it up.
We would be delighted to coordinate with the Inspector General. As you may note, the report we provided on the 1999 recommendations was prepared in consultation with the Inspector General. We are in agreement with what has been said here, so I welcome the opportunity.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
El PRESIDENTE: Ambassador Lauredo, do you find those responses satisfactory? We have here the Assistant Secretary for Management and the Inspector General, and the Council can take note of your recommendation and the response. You have the floor.
El REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS: I am just delighted that they accepted. I think it is a fair thing to do. I think that when all of us have very strong points of view regarding financial management, we would like to be able to hear both sides of the argument at the same meeting. We have a lot of other responsibilities, and the gap between the presentations is not fair. But I accept the procedure, and I think it more efficiently manages the Secretariat’s and the Assistant Secretary’s responsibilities to keep us informed in an intelligent way.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you. I would add that the points have been noted and that the issue will be forwarded to the Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (CAAP). In terms of the consistency that you requested, the next two chairs of the Permanent Council are here; we are in consultation with the ambassadors of Chile and Colombia. If there are no other comments, we will move to item 6.

INFORME DE LA SECRETARÍA GENERAL SOBRE EL ESTADO DE CUOTAS Y CONTRIBUCIONES AL FONDO REGULAR

AL 31 DE OCTUBRE DE 2000
El PRESIDENTE: We will now consider the report of the General Secretariat on the status of contributions and quotas to the Regular Fund as of October 31, 2000, document CP/doc.3373/00. I give the floor to the Assistant Secretary for Management, Mr. James Harding.
El SUBSECRETARIO DE ADMINISTRACIÓN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I won’t go into detail on the report on quota payments as of October 31, but I would like to add, as I normally do, the payments received since the report was prepared. There have been three. Barbados paid $15,700 on November 7 and is now paid in full. It has moved from category 2 to category 1, and the categories are on the attachments to the report. Costa Rica paid $13,218.70 on November 13, some of which is applied to next year. Jamaica paid $50,000 on November 6 and is now paid in full. It changes status from category 2 to category 1 and, as indicated at another time, it has also been paying a little bit towards 2001.
A number of states have already responded to the General Secretariat with payment plans covering the 2001 quota payments, and we are very grateful for this. These states include Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Nicaragua, and we look forward to receiving payment plans from other member states so that we can work the cash flow.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you. I offer the floor now to delegations wishing to comment on the report in document CP/doc.3373/00 corr. 1. If there are no comments, we will move on to the next item.

INFORME SOBRE LA SITUACIÓN DE LIQUIDEZ DEL FONDO REGULAR


El PRESIDENTE: We will now consider the report on the cash situation of the Regular Fund and the draft resolution contained in document CP/doc.3378/00. I give the floor again to the Assistant Secretary for Management.
El SUBSECRETARIO DE ADMINISTRACIÓN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It seems as though every year at this time of the year, we return to the issue of the cash balances of the Regular Fund.
I mentioned at the outset that we are speaking of the Regular Fund. The Organization has considerable resources and is fully liquid in all its other funds, but because we handle the Regular Fund uniquely, I am addressing solely the cash balances of the Regular Fund. This problem was identified, as you may recall, by the Board of External Auditors in a number of their reports, more recently on March 31 of this year, in which they highlight the fact that shortfalls in quota collections are the primary cause of deficits in the fund balances of the Regular Fund.
The General Secretariat, in coordination with the member states, developed a rather aggressive cash management plan for the year 2000. In fact, we saw a marked improvement in our status up until almost October of this year, by which time we had received $6.5 million more than we had received by that same time in the previous year. This, I think, was the result of the very aggressive efforts of member states to pay their arrears and assessments, to reduce arrears, and in some cases to even make future payments.
However, the evidence now indicates that this trend will reverse in this last month. The plan, based on both verbal and written payment plans of member states, showed that we would have a reasonable cash balance of roughly $2.5 million at the end of December. But we now believe that, perhaps for reasons internal to some of the bigger donors, their payments in the last month may not be received in a timely manner, and that might create certain difficulties in the cash management of the Organization.
The bottom line is that unless we receive additional, significant cash contributions, the Organization will be short a little over $6 million at the end of December. That does not provide a balance as we move into January when bills and other things are paid.
The Secretary General has reported to the General Assembly on cost- saving measures, such as the reduction of posts and a number of other things that have been done to conserve resources, but the bottom-line problem is the shortfall of incoming quota receipts.
The paper that we presented to you, Mr. Chairman, has six options. We think only the first two have value at this point in time. The first one, of course, is the most desirable—that members states make payments of $8.5 million, as they had planned to do. The difference between the $8.5 million and the $6 million is to allow us to move into January with some cash. At the end of December, we need $6 million as a reserve before we start receiving payments in January.
The second option is the establishment of credit with a commercial bank, which would not be necessary if we received payments. It takes about ten business days to establish the line of credit, according to the bankers I spoke to in my most recent discussion, and they are not interested in sitting down at the table to discuss this until the proper people in the General Secretariat have the authority to negotiate—to establish a line of credit. If we want to follow this option, and as ten business days are really two weeks, we are talking about starting the process of the approval to move forward by December 10. In that way, I can have it in place in time for the end of the month, if you choose to go that route.
The other options are possible, but we do not think that it is reasonable to assume that they may be achieved in the time left.
What are the consequences? Beside our concern about the credit rating of the Organization, we have stopped paying any bills that we possibly can postpone. Clearly, the resources will not be there to pay salaries and other benefits at the end of the year, nor in December, nor would we have the resources to pay stipends, fellowships, tuition, and other things that are part of the normal course of business at the end of December.
The bottom line, Mr. Chairman, is that we would be very grateful if member states could see their way to provide the necessary cash of arrears of approximately $8.5 million or provide us another alternative in order to overcome this short-range difficulty. We suggest the line of credit.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you, Mr. Harding, for your sobering presentation.
I open the floor to those who wish it. I recognize the distinguished Representative of Mexico.
El REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE MÉXICO: Muchas gracias, señor Presidente.
Agradezco al señor James Harding su presentación. Ella está plenamente respaldada por la documentación que nos ha sido remitida y que demuestra la gravedad de la situación por la que atravesamos, especialmente tomando en cuenta el incumplimiento de pagos y los atrasos de varios años de países muy importantes dentro de nuestra Organización. Debemos analizar con toda seriedad esta situación y esperar claras manifestaciones de voluntad política por parte de los Estados Miembros.
Creo al mismo tiempo, señor Presidente, que no estamos en condiciones de adoptar una resolución en este momento. El camino más adecuado es continuar con las consultas informales, como las que iniciamos esta mañana. La solución prevista en este proyecto de resolución enfrentaría dificultades para la Delegación de México así como para otras delegaciones.
Sin embargo, al mismo tiempo que continúen las consultas informales sobre este tema buscando las mejores alternativas, proponemos que el Secretario General formule una declaración pública haciendo un llamado a los Estados Miembros para que cumplan con el pago de sus cuotas ordinarias, tomando en cuenta la grave situación financiera por la que atraviesa la Organización de los Estados Americanos y que pone en duda su credibilidad, adecuado funcionamiento y el cumplimiento de los mandatos encomendados por la Asamblea General.
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