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Costa Rican President and UN Secretary-General discuss turmoil in Haiti

Costa Rican President and UN Secretary-General discuss turmoil in Haiti

Annan (R) with President Abel Pacheco de la Espriella
The tumultuous situation in Haiti was high on the agenda of talks in New York today between the President of Costa Rica and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

At a press conference following their meeting, President Abel Pacheco de la Espriella said, "every day that goes by is another bloodbath" and expressed hope that a multinational force under UN auspices would be dispatched to Haiti as soon as possible.

He stressed the need for an agreement, voicing confidence that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide would realize that "something has to be done" in response to the violence.

[Yesterday, the Secretary-General named John Reginald Dumas of Trinidad and Tobago as his Special Adviser for Haiti, while the Security Council adopted a presidential statement pledging to urgently consider options for international engagement, including sending an international force to support a political settlement.

A spokesman for Mr. Annan today said the Secretary-General supports the diplomatic efforts, including those of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to resolve the crisis. "Ultimately it is the Haitians that have to make hard decisions," Fred Eckhard said.]

The talks between Mr. Pacheco and Mr. Annan also touched on the issue of human cloning, the President told reporters. Costa Rica is taking the lead in pushing for the early adoption of an international treaty banning the practice.

The President, who was joined at the press briefing by Costa Rica's Foreign Minister, Roberto Tovar, stressed that such a prohibition, far from being a radically religious position, is an "elementary humanistic approach."

He added that stem cell research made human cloning unnecessary from a therapeutic perspective.


Video of the press briefing [26mins]