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Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, during their 22nd Conference, engaged in an exchange of views on the political crisis in the Republic of Haiti, which emanated from the 21 May 2000 elections in that country.

The CARICOM leaders took note of the information presented by the President of Haiti, His Excellency Jean- Bertrand Aristide, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States, Dr Cesar Gaviria and OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Luigi Einaudi, and the Assistant Secretary General, Foreign and Community Relations of CARICOM, Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin, on the outcome of the recent Joint CARICOM/OAS Mission to Haiti from 29 June to 02 July, 2001.

The CARICOM Heads of Government reiterated their support for the Joint Mission, and acknowledged that it had proven to be an effective mechanism in achieving progress towards the facilitation of a resolution to the political crisis in Haiti.

Heads of Government also welcomed and expressed strong support for the progress towards an understanding between the Government of Haiti, Fanmi Lavalas, Convergence Democratique and the civil society. They urged all stakeholders to continue and increase their efforts in this regard.

CARICOM leaders were pleased to note that all involved parties in their effort to reach a pre-agreement relating to the 21 May 2000 electoral difficulties, have already agreed on the composition of the Provisional Electoral Council, the mechanism for the process of a National Dialogue and the establishment of a “Commission for Electoral Guarantees”.

They exhorted all parties to continue their consultations towards finding consensus on the mandate of the new Provisional Electoral Council.

CARICOM leaders urged President Aristide to continue his efforts to enhance the democratic space for this process and to provide the necessary accompanying measures leading to a climate in which a definitive resolution to the political crisis can be found.

CARICOM leaders welcomed the steps taken thus far by the Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Democratique. They urged all political parties to constructively contribute to this process of reconciliation and resolution.

CARICOM leaders emphasized the role of civil society organizations in this process and called upon them to continue remain engaged and contribute the process of developing a Haitian solution to the political crisis.

The People of Haiti are the main victims of this political crisis. The CARICOM leaders expressed their grave concern with respect to the rapidly deteriorating social and economic situation in Haiti and the social misery this has brought to the majority of the Haitian society.

In this light, CARICOM leaders called upon the international community, especially the international financial institutions, to accompany this process of strengthening of democracy, by supporting the social and economic development with all means available to them in the form of technical and financial assistance, without further delay.

CARICOM leaders also instructed the CARICOM Secretariat, under the guidance of the Prime Minister with the responsibility for Justice and Governance, to continue its collaborations with the General Secretariat of the Organisation of American States, in facilitating the process of dialogue and resolution.

Grand Bahama
The Bahamas
5 July 2001

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