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95/06/04 Remarks: Haiti Police Academy Graduation Ceremony

                       U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                        Office of the Spokesman 
      (En Route from Washington, D.C. to Port-au-Prince Haiti) 
Text As Prepared for Delivery        Embargoed Until 1:40 p.m. 
                          Presidential Palace 
                         Port-au-Prince, Haiti 
                              June 4, 1995 

President Aristide, Minister Exume, graduates of the Academy:  It gives 
me great satisfaction to join you on this memorable day.  This ceremony 
provides concrete proof of the dramatic progress that has been made 
toward overcoming the bitter legacy of the past and building a better 
future for the Haitian people. 

I wanted to speak with you today because few contributions are more 
important to Haiti's future than the work you are about to begin.  
Honest and honorable law enforcement is no less essential to lasting 
freedom than an elected parliament and a democratic constitution.  The 
world is counting on you to uphold the law and to show the Haitian 
people that in a free nation, no one--including the police--is above the 

Since last year, the international community has tried to give Haiti the 
time and the tools to develop new professional and civilian institutions 
for justice and security.  From the start, the National Police Training 
Center has been a vital part of our effort.  The United States is proud 
to have worked with France, Canada and the UN to help Haiti select and 
train cadets, and to equip you with the skills you need to undertake 
your solemn responsibilities to the people of Haiti. 

President Aristide has asked us to accelerate this training process so 
that at least 6,000 new National Police are deployed when UN 
peacekeeping forces depart next February.  I am pleased to report that 
in consultation with the UN and other donors, we are undertaking a 
program to double the number of cadets graduating each month from the 

Eight months ago, I stood with President Aristide on these same steps on 
his return to his country.  I will always remember how he began his 
speech that morning by repeating two words -- honor and respect -- over 
and over again.  Those words symbolized Haiti's democratic rebirth.  Let 
them be the watchwords of Haiti's democratic police force. 

It will be your great honor to serve as the first members of Haiti's new 
civilian police force.  Only a small percentage of the applicants to the 
training course were selected.  You earned your positions by meeting the 
highest standards. 

It will be your great honor to protect the communities where you were 
born from brutality, corruption, and injustice.  You know from your own 
experience how much ordinary Haitians suffered when the security forces 
were nothing more than thugs in uniform.   

Now you are the police.  It is up to you to ensure that the  institution 
you have joined never again abuses its authority, and that terror never 
again haunts the lives of your families and your nation.   

You will also have the opportunity and the responsibility to promote 
respect for the law, and its evenhanded application to the government's 
supporters and opponents alike.  And you will have the chance to promote 
respect for the dignity and the rights of the people you serve. 

Today's graduating cadets will be deployed to Cap Haitien and here in 
Port Au Prince.  In the coming months other graduates will be sent to 
cities and towns throughout the country. 

I know that the Haitian government is sparing no effort to reform and to 
modernize the other vital elements of the justice system --  the courts, 
the prosecutors, and the prisons.  The United States and other donors 
will continue to do our part to help.  But in the long run, it will be 
up to the Haitian government and people to ensure that all institutions 
have the resources and support they need.  

The road ahead will not always be easy.  But the ultimate reward will be 
great:  a nation where freedom endures; a country where people are safe 
on the streets and in their homes; and a stable environment for economic 
growth and investment.  Working together, the Haitian people and the 
international community have already made a real difference.  I am 
confident that when you begin your service, you will ensure that our 
joint efforts will make a lasting difference, as President Aristide said 
-- to achieve honor and respect. 

Thank you very much. 
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