Wednesday, February 19, 2014

UN praises work by Haiti, Dominican Republic

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Feb. 3 said he was encouraged by ongoing talks between the Dominican Republic and Haiti aimed at improving a historically tense bilateral relationship.

In a letter to Héctor Virgilio Alcántara Mejía, the permanent Dominican representative to the United Nations in New York, Ban said he is particularly pleased with efforts by the neighboring countries to renovate the bilateral Mixed Commission, an effort to improve economic and political relations.

Ban’s letter comes months after the Dominican Republic’s highest court handed down a decision that strips Dominican citizenship from tens of thousands of children of undocumented migrants, even if they were born on Dominican soil. The decision was retroactive to anyone born to undocumented immigrants since 1929.

Human rights groups have said the ruling threatens to denationalize tens of thousands of people, leaving them functionally stateless. The government has put the number affected at around 24,000 and said it’s rolling out a plan to help those people regularize their status.

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