Statement by Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs, At a General Assembly Plenary Meeting On the Situation in Central America

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
May 17, 2013




AS DELIVERED

Thank you, Mr. President. The United States is pleased to support the extension of the mandate of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, CICIG. This support reflects our deep commitment to help strengthen the rule of law. The United States remains a firm supporter of CICIG’s efforts to work with Guatemalan authorities to combat impunity. We welcome the progress that has been made to investigate and prosecute individuals engaged in criminal activities. Just as important has been CICIG’s programs to transfer capacity to the Guatemalan government.  

As we look to the final two years of CICIG’s mandate, we encourage continued emphasis on enhancing the Guatemalan government’s capacity to reduce the incidence of impunity, reassert state presence in the face of criminality, implement strategies to prevent the reappearance of clandestine organizations operating within state institutions, and disseminate information about the impact of impunity on a democratic society. In this regard, we welcome steps taken to strengthen institutions in support of the rule of law and the defense of human rights in Guatemala, and encourage continued focus in this area, to include providing security to judges, prosecutors, and witnesses. We also welcome recommendations from CICIG and Guatemalan authorities on steps that will be needed to support a sustainable process after CICIG’s mandate ends.

Moving forward, we look to CICIG and Guatemalan authorities to ensure its work plan focuses on the final phase of the program. In addition, the development of benchmarks by CICIG and Guatemala will provide measurable targets on CICIG's efforts to transfer its capacity to the government. These benchmarks, and the semi-annual reporting on these benchmarks, will enhance the joint work of the government of Guatemala and CICIG toward the transition of functions and promote a successful conclusion to CICIG’s mandate.

Continued collaboration between Guatemalan and CICIG authorities is critical for a smooth transfer of capacity and sustainable progress in the combat against impunity in Guatemala. The United States looks forward to continuing its engagement with Guatemala, CICIG and other donors in support of this endeavor.

I thank you.

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PRN: 2013/080