Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised the inauguration of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Honduras as “an important first step” toward binding the wounds in the Central American country opened by last year’s ouster of President José Manuel Zelaya.
“The commissioners have a grave responsibility before them, but theirs is only one small part of the effort needed to heal the Honduran nation,” he said in a message sent to the Government and the head of the commission.
“We encourage all of those in leadership in Honduras to take a sensitive, comprehensive and sustained approach to the task ahead. Truth-telling is a necessary but not sufficient basis for reconciliation.
“Bringing the Honduran nation together will also require sustained efforts to strengthen democratic institutions, promote respect for human rights, and provide social and economic opportunity for all Hondurans.”
The commission, headed by former Guatemalan vice president Eduardo Stein, was set up by Honduran President Porfirio Lobo after his election in November to investigate the events leading up to last June’s coup which ousted Mr. Zelaya seven months before the end of his term.
“Honduras has gone through a difficult and divisive period in its history and the process of national healing must now begin,” Mr. Ban said. “I am heartened that Hondurans today are taking an important first step toward reconciliation. I am hopeful that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will contribute to mending the wounds of the recent past and to bringing the people of Honduras together once again.”