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Remarks by Dr Carla N Barnett, Secretary-General, CARICOM, at the Meeting between the Eminent Persons Group and Haitian Stakeholders, Kingston, Jamaica, 11 June 2023

  • The Rt Hon Philip Davis, Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, and Prime Minister of The Bahamas
  • The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister, Jamaica, and Host of our Meeting
  • Members of the Eminent Persons Group – Former Prime Ministers Perry Christie, Kenny Anthony and Bruce Golding
  • Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henri
  • Representatives from CARICOM’s International Partners
  • Haitian Stakeholders
  • Members of the media
  • Distinguished ladies and gentlemen

This meeting is being held under the auspices of the CARICOM Community’s Good Offices Initiative to support an inclusive Haitian-led solution to the alarming multi-dimensional crisis that has been unfolding in our sister country Haiti.

It builds on the Community’s other recent initiatives, including CARICOM’s Special Mission to Haiti on 27 February 2023 led by our host, The Most Honourable Prime Minister Andrew Holness.  We express sincere appreciation to you, Prime Minister, and the people of Jamaica, for your demonstrated solidarity with the people of Haiti, and to the Community’s commitment that our Region remains a Zone of Peace. We thank you too, for the excellent arrangements that are in place to facilitate this delicate consultative process. The warm welcome we have all received is very much appreciated.

Deliberations over these three days will be facilitated by CARICOM’s Eminent Persons Group to Haiti – Mr Bruce Golding, Former Prime Minister of Jamaica; Dr Kenny Anthony, Former Prime Minister of Saint Lucia; and Rt Hon Perry Christie, Former Prime Minister of The Bahamas – all leaders, whose remarkable breadth of experience and insight will support constructive, meaningful and inclusive dialogue, with a view to enabling a pathway to sustainable peace and security in Haiti. Members of the Eminent Persons Group, on behalf of the Community I express sincere appreciation to you for your service and commitment to the core values of the Community.  

We also acknowledge, with gratitude, the contribution towards logistical arrangements of our international partners, particularly, the governments of the United States and Canada towards this CARICOM-facilitated process. Our expectation is that this meeting will enable the dialogue necessary to develop a roadmap towards a Haitian-led solution to the protracted political impasse.

Let it be very clear, Haiti is important to CARICOM. Haiti is our single largest Member State. Haiti is the first free black Republic in the world, the first Independent State in the Caribbean and the second Independent State in the Western Hemisphere. CARICOM is approaching this initiative with full acknowledgment of the spirit of freedom and independence that the Haitian people hold so dear.

We are therefore pleased to note the diverse group of stakeholders who accepted the invitation of the CARICOM Chairman to attend this important conversation. We acknowledge and understand that while all Haitians could not be at this meeting, the representative group here brings the hopes and aspirations of every Haitian citizen to this room. We share a common goal, that the political, socio-economic and humanitarian situation will be resolved and our sister island, Haiti, can be supported towards sustained stability, growth and prosperity.

I therefore encourage your active participation, in the spirit of accord and good faith, in this process.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.

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