As the February 7 date for general elections in Haiti approaches, various preelection situation reports are being prepared. The six-nation group that has assumed responsibility for stabilizing the country, Brazil, Argentina, the United States, Canada, Chile and France will send an evaluation team this Sunday.
And Brazil will send its own, consisting of José Eduardo Martins Felício, a diplomat, and professor Ricardo Seitenfus, an expert in International Relations.
According to Seitenfus, Haiti has to be rebuilt from the ground up. "It is one of the world’s poorest nations and a regular succession of crises and problems just makes it poorer year by year. This perverse cycle must be broken. What Haiti needs is social and political peace, and a legitimate government," he says.
The professor goes on to emphasis that Haiti is going to need long-term assistance, especially from Brazil and other Latin American countries.
"After the election the international community must realize that the new government will need a helping hand with infrastructure, from telecommunications to urban garbage collection."
Brazil and the United Nations have signed a memorandum of understanding that will result in the creation of Economic and Social Development Councils (CDE) throughout Latin America based on the Brazilian experience with such councils over the last three years.
The UN calls the CDEs "A new democratic institution for promoting dialogue and participatory governance…" According to Fernando Schimidt, a special aide for international relations at the Palácio do Planalto, the presidential office in Brazilian capital Brasília, the memorandum is recognition by the UN of the efficiency of the Brazilian CDEs.