Canada Supports Creation of Honduras Truth and Reconciliation Commission

(No. 134 – April 15, 2010 – 6:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today welcomed the announcement by Honduras that it would establish a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the events leading up to the country’s June 28, 2009, coup d’état. Minister of State Kent also congratulated former Canadian diplomat Michael Kergin on his appointment to the commission.

“Canada strongly supports the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” said Minister of State Kent. “The commission is essential to advancing the process of national reconciliation and dialogue across all sectors in Honduras. Its work will also help Hondurans regain confidence in their democratic institutions.”

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission will investigate the events leading to the 2009 coup, as well as the human rights violations that followed. President Porfirio Lobo has appointed former Guatemalan vice president Eduardo Stein coordinator of the commission. The Organization of American States will provide technical and administrative assistance to the commission.

Mr. Stein will be supported by four commissioners, two from Honduras, one from Canada and one from Peru. He announced Mr. Kergin’s appointment as an international member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in a news conference on Tuesday.

“We congratulate Michael Kergin on his appointment,” said Minister of State Kent. “Canadian participation in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a clear reflection of Canada’s commitment to the Americas. Mr. Kergin is a distinguished Canadian diplomat with extensive experience in the Americas and in the promotion of Canadian values of democracy and human rights. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission will greatly benefit from his contribution.”

Canada was deeply involved in all efforts to reach a peaceful, negotiated solution to the political impasse in Honduras, and has committed to assisting the country with its reconciliation process.

For more information, please visit Political situation in Honduras.

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A biographical note on Mr. Kergin follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Eleanor Johnston
Senior Special Assistant (Communications)
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Biographical Note

Michael Kergin is a senior fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa and serves on the President’s International Advisory Council at the University of Toronto. He is also a senior advisor at the law firm of Bennett Jones LLP, and a senior fellow of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. From 2000 to 2005 he served as Canada’s ambassador to the United States, and from 1986 to 1989 as ambassador to Cuba. He has also held various assistant deputy minister positions at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and has served as foreign-policy advisor to the prime minister and as assistant secretary to Cabinet for foreign and defence policy.