News / USA

Clinton Urges Reform of OAS, Return of Honduras to Regional Grouping

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday appealed for the urgent financial and political restructuring of the Organization of American States.  She made the appeal in debate at the 40th OAS General Assembly meeting in Lima, marked by sharp differences over the status of Honduras after its coup last year.  

Clinton said the United States continues to support the Washington-based OAS as the foremost multi-lateral organization of the hemisphere.

But in a sharply-worded appeal to fellow OAS foreign ministers, she said the organization founded in 1948 is in urgent need of streamlining because of a "proliferation of mandates."

She said without a reform plan, hopefully in place by key budget meetings in September, the fiscal path of the OAS is "unsustainable."

The Secretary of State spoke in a general debate otherwise dominated by regional political issues, including lingering bitterness over last year's coup in Honduras.

A number of key Latin American states including Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela are not recognizing the results of elections last November won by new President Porfirio Lobo, because the interim government that preceded him refused to reinstate ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

But Clinton appealed for the return of Honduras, expelled from the OAS last July, saying the new government has met its reconciliation commitments.

"We saw the free and fair election of President Lobo," said Hillary Clinton. "And we have watched President Lobo fulfill his obligations under the Tegucigalpa-San Jose accord, including forming a government of national reconciliation, and a truth commission.  This has demonstrated a strong and consistent commitment to democratic governance and constitutional order.

Clinton drew support from among others, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Haroldo Rodas, who urged the prompt return of Honduras to the OAS along with creation of a high-level commission to verify its renewed democratic system.

But several other foreign ministers disagreed, among them Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, who said his government condemns the mistreatment of Mr. Zelaya, whom he termed the "legitimate" president of Honduras.  

"My government cannot recognize the new government in Honduras while there are violations committed against human rights," said Ricardo Patino. "And Zelaya has to be recognized in his true capacity, with guarantees in his country.  And those who are responsible for the coup, those who broke human rights and democratic guarantees - they have to be punished for this."

A controversial new law pending in the U.S. state of Arizona aimed against undocumented aliens in the United States also figured in the OAS debate and bilateral meetings here.

The law, to take affect at the end of next month, requires Arizona police conducting traffic stops and other routine duties to question people about their immigration status, if there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are in the country illegally.

Guatemalan Foreign Minister Rodas, also heard through an interpreter, said respect for the dignity and fundamental rights of the individual should be a condition for any migratory legislation.

"Guatemala condemns any law that criminalizes the migrant and his family, is a violation of his human rights and distorts the good neighborhood that should prevail between partners and nations," said Haroldo Rodas.

The Obama administration opposes the state law, but its defenders in Arizona and elsewhere say it only aims to enforce immigration laws already on the books.

OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza has called the law "an issue of concern to all citizens of the Americas, beginning with citizens of the United States."   

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid