News / USA

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

TEXT SIZE - +

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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid