Subject: [Report] OAS
OAS election monitoring in Nicaragua contributed decisively to the fairness of the February 25, 1990 elections. The presence of impartial OAS observers throughout the registration and balloting gave voters confidence and assured that the results would be respected. The OAS also monitored the 1996 elections which saw a successful transition from one elected president to the next.
During the 1989-90 election process, the OAS and the UN set up the joint verification and support commission (CIAV) called for by the Central American presidents to verify compliance with the Central American peace accords. Under CIAV auspices, the OAS assisted more than 100,000 people (former combatants and their families) and monitored and sought to protect their human rights. In response to a Nicaraguan Government request, the June 1993 General Assembly extended CIAV activities and expanded its mandate to include all displaced persons and former members of the Nicaraguan army. Months later, CIAV played a leading role in obtaining the release of hostages taken by rebel groups in two separate but simultaneous incidents. At the request of the newly-elected government, CIAV has been extended through mid-1997.
OAS support for the peace process and democracy in Suriname began in 1991 with the fielding of a 40-person delegation to observe the National Assembly elections. In 1992, the OAS assisted in the negotiations between the government and illegally armed groups. In line with a settlement reached in August 1992, an OAS mission helped collect and destroy weapons from armed groups that had operated throughout Suriname's rural areas. In 1993 and 1994, the OAS monitored compliance with the peace accord and assisted in the removal of land mines.
A February 23, 1992, agreement signed in Washington called for the deployment of an OAS civilian presence in Haiti to facilitate the restoration of democracy in that island nation. Further talks in September 1992 resulted in the deployment to Haiti of a small civilian mission tasked with working with democratic institutions in the country. That presence was greatly expanded when former Argentine Foreign Minister Dante Caputo, serving as a special envoy of the OAS and the UN, attained agreement for a joint OAS/UN International Civilian Mission (ICM). In 1993-94, the OAS deployed over 100 human rights monitors throughout Haiti, with permanent offices in each of Haiti's nine provinces. They, together with a small number of UN observers, investigated and reported on incidents of abuse of human rights, and also carried out civic education programs. Their very presence had the effect of easing tensions, particularly in rural areas. While continuing to monitor the human rights situation, the ICM and the OAS are supporting a number of initiatives to strengthen democratic institutions and promote development. The OAS also observed the 1995 elections in Haiti, the first time in that country's history that one elected president succeeded another.
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Met dank aan Albert Buys
Met dank aan Albert Buys