On 28 April 1965, following the collapse of the Government and the outbreak of civil war in the Dominican Republic, the United States dispatched troops to the country in order, as the United Nations Security Council was informed, to protect Americans there and escort them to safety. At the request of the United States, the Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) met to consider the situation. On 29 April, it adopted a resolution calling for a ceasefire. On 23 May, OAS established an Inter-American Peace Force in the Dominican Republic (IAPF). [As of 26 June 1965, IAPF was composed of 1,700 troops from six Latin American countries and 12,400 from the United States.]

The United Nations Security Council considered the situation in the Dominican Republic during several meetings in the first half of May and adopted a resolution in which it called for a strict ceasefire in that country. It also invited the Secretary-General to send a representative there for the purpose of reporting to the Council on the situation.

UN Mission established

The Secretary-General appointed Mr. Jose Antonio Mayobre, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America, as his Representative. Together with his Military Adviser and a small team of military observers, the Representative observed and reported on the developments in the Dominican Republic. His functions were to observe the situation there and to report to the Secretary-General on breaches of the ceasefire called by the Security Council or any events which might effect the maintenance of peace and order in the country. In this connection, he reported on the signing of an Act of Reconciliation by the contending factions, the establishment of a provisional Government and preparations for the national elections. The Council also received detailed communications during that period from OAS.

On 1 June 1996, general elections were held in the Dominican Republic, as a result of which a new President was elected and a Government led by him was installed. On the basis of information from his Representative, the Secretary-General reported on the subsequent withdrawal of IAPF, completed on 21 September 1966. In a letter to the Secretary-General dated 13 October 1966, the Dominican Foreign Minister expressed his country’s appreciation to the United Nations for its interest in the restoration of peace and harmony in the Dominican Republic and stated that, in the view of his Government, the objectives of the Security Council having been achieved, it would be advisable to withdraw the United Nations Mission. On the next day, in his last report on this question, the Secretary-General informed the Council that he had initiated arrangements for the withdrawal of the United Nations Mission. The withdrawal was completed on 22 October 1996.

Secretary-General’s observations

The Secretary-General, in the introduction to his annual report on the work of the Organization covering the period from 16 June 1964 to 15 June 1965, discussed the problems and character of the United Nations role in the Dominican Republic situation. He described the task of his Representative there as a Anew United Nations mission in the peacekeeping category.

The situation, the Secretary-General wrote, was of unusual complexity and had considerable international repercussions, particularly with regard to the unilateral military involvement of the United States in the initial stage and to the later role of the Inter-American Peace Force. While his Representative's mandate had been a limited one, the effect of his role had been significant, since he had played a major part in bringing about a cessation of hostilities on 21 May 1965, and had supplied information as to the situation both in Santo Domingo and in the interior of the country.

His presence had undoubtedly been a moderating factor in a difficult and dangerous situation, the Secretary-General said, adding that this had been the first time a United Nations peace mission had operated in the same area and dealt with the same matters as an operation of a regional organization, in this instance OAS.

Further, the Secretary-General maintained the view that these developments should stimulate thought by everyone concerning the character of the regional organizations and the nature of their functions and obligations in relation to the responsibilities of the United Nations under the Charter.


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