Remarks by Ambassador Alejandro Wolff, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Situation in Honduras

Alejandro Wolff
Deputy Permanent Representative 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
October 28, 2009




AS PREPARED

Mr. President, we thank the Secretariat for the report on the activities of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala and express our strong support for CICIG.  We are pleased to be a co-sponsor of the resolution presented today by the delegation of Guatemala.

We would also like to recognize the excellent work of CICIG’s Commissioner Carlos Castresana.  Guatemala is indeed well-served to have an official of his caliber leading the efforts of the CICIG.

Mr. President, I would like to address my remarks to the situation in Honduras.

The United States, like most Member States, is firmly committed to the restoration of democratic order in Honduras.

We believe that the situation in Honduras needs to be resolved through peaceful dialogue quickly for the well-being of the people of Honduras and the stability of the Hemisphere. Accordingly, the United States is fully engaged in the ongoing efforts of the Organization of American States (OAS), the competent regional body to resolve this issue.

This is also the reason that senior U.S. government officials are in Honduras this week to continue to urge the parties to resolve the situation in a way that maximizes the ability of the Honduran people to determine their country’s future and advance national reconciliation.

We have clearly and consistently expressed our concern about the situation in Honduras within the OAS, and, as appropriate, in the United Nations, and have worked hard to find a solution that restores democracy and peace to Honduras. Along with other members of the OAS, we supported mediation by President Arias of Costa Rica between representatives of President Jose Manuel Zelaya and the de facto regime. President Arias worked intensively during July and part of August to facilitate a solution and we commend his efforts. The proposal he circulated to both sides, the San Jose Accord, has been used by both sides as the negotiating document during talks earlier this month launched by an OAS Mission of member state Foreign Ministers. The United States also strongly supported this Mission's work.

Although currently broken off, the talks launched by the OAS Mission achieved significant progress. Representatives of the de facto regime and President Zelaya reached agreement on most of the text of the Guaymuras Accord, the updated version of the San Jose Accord, to resolve the crisis. Unfortunately, both sides have not resolved the most critical issue, namely the restoration of President Zelaya.

Mr. President, the United States remains intensively engaged with representatives for both sides, with OAS mediators and other member states to bring the parties back to the table to resolve the remaining outstanding issues. Our efforts continue to be guided by the General Assembly resolution 63/301 adopted on June 30, 2009.

Mr. President, the Honduran people clearly want a functioning democracy and the opportunity to express their will in free and fair elections. This comes across clearly by the presidential candidates’ actions to support a dialogue to resolve the crisis. These democratic candidates were chosen by their respective political organizations well before the events that led to the June 28 coup; these candidates did not participate in the coup, and have earned their positions thanks to the trust of voters, Honduran voters.

We should continue our efforts to promote a dialogue to solve the crisis so that the November 29 elections can proceed in a calm environment.  Free, fair, and transparent, elections reflecting the will of the Honduran people would be a key step in an outcome that the Honduran people and the international community can accept as legitimate

Mr. President, we recognize the troubling situation at the Brazilian Embassy. We want to assure our Brazilian friends that the United States will continue to help in any way possible. Our Embassy in Tegucigalpa has worked closely with the Brazilian Embassy to ensure it has food, water, electricity, and its diplomatic rights respected by the Honduran de facto regime. We were successful in getting the de facto regime to stop the loud noises targeted at the Embassy. We continue to remind the de facto regime that its behavior must be consistent with its obligation under the Vienna Conventions to respect diplomatic premises and personnel, and those under their protection.

Mr. President, the United States will continue to work to expand opportunities for the people in Honduras and a negotiated solution is the best way out of this crisis. In our view, the United Nations should support the efforts of the OAS and others to re-establish democratic life in Honduras and helping ensure its viability.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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PRN: 2009/246