||Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM
States and Permanent Observer countries of the Organization of
American States (
OAS) made individual commitments this week during a
meeting of the
OAS Group of Friends of Haiti to assist the Electoral
Observation Mission (EOM) that will accompany the Caribbean nation’s
electoral process culminating in General Elections scheduled for
The United States and Spain made specific offers of
financial assistance while other Member States and Permanent
Observers pledged to support the effort through contributions in
kind or financial resources towards covering its costs, which are an
estimated $5.3 million.
The purpose of the EOM is to
accompany the electoral process and help guarantee transparency in
the elections by deploying more than 175 observers throughout the
country to work with local observation teams on the day of the
voting itself. Haitians expect to elect a president, 10 senators and
89 members of Congress beginning with a first round of voting
scheduled for November 28.
The EOM is a joint effort by the
OAS and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), a first of its kind.
OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza highlighted the
Organization’s continuing commitment of support to Haiti after the
January 12 earthquake. “We are moving forward in a process of
solidarity with Haiti,” he said. “In spite of the terrible tragedy
suffered in January this year and of the clear situation of
emergency in the country, Haitians have decided to hold elections,
as every democracy should even in difficult times. And this is very
important for us, and we think therefore that we have to support
them at all costs.”
OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert R.
Ramdin, who also chairs the Group of Friends of Haiti, thanked the
Organization’s Member States and Permanent Observer countries for
their support, encouraged others to act swiftly and recalled the
Haitian people’s courageous commitment to democracy.
Mission will be a long-term presence on the ground and will provide
much-needed assistance to Haiti’s electoral process,” he said. “We
saw during the last elections in Haiti the commitment of the people
to democracy. I was there myself, I saw the long lines and I saw
Haitians eager to exercise their right to vote. We would like to see
a continuation of that process. This year’s elections are important
not only in the context of creating the best environment for social
and economic recovery but to see a continuation of the democratic
process, a deepening and strengthening of that
Ambassador Ramdin also said the
OAS will provide
the Haitian Office of National Identity with 850,000 national ID
cards to facilitate the new registration process, beginning next
week when a core EOM group is expected to be on the
OAS Group of Friends of Haiti will meet next
during the third week of August.
For more information, please
OAS Website at www.
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