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Statement by the Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), His Excellency Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of Suriname, 21 September 2022

At High-Level Meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti with Caribbean Partners

  • Mister Chairman, H.E. Mr. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada;
  • Colleague Heads of Government,
  • Minister Victor Geneus, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
  • H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
  • Dr. Carla Barnett, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community,
  • Distinguished Ministers,
  • Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning to you all!

Mister Chairman,

I deeply appreciate, the invitation, to address this important, and timely High-Level Meeting of The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti.

Like other member states, CARICOM is deeply concerned, by the protracted multifaceted crisis, in Haiti. The crisis has an enormous impact, on the country’s socio-economic development, and public security.

The overall environment, in which the country functions is challenging, exacerbated by the dysfunction of the major institutions, of the state, political instability, deepening insecurity, a crashing currency and economy, a widening humanitarian crisis, natural disasters, and the unwillingness, of the protagonists, to come together, and compromise, in the interest of the country, and its people.

In an effort, to help its member state, the Caribbean Community, has taken a number of steps.

1.           A small committee, of Heads of Government, was established, in order to follow, more closely, the developments in Haiti.

This committee has held two meetings, with the Prime Minister of Haiti.

2.           The Community stands ready, to host in one of our member states, a meeting of stakeholders, at technical and political level.

3.           Caricom, also proposes a meeting, of international partners, to discuss funding and logistical support.

4.           Based on these activities, a roadmap, towards improving public security, must be developed. Subsequently, based on the fostered political stability, preparation can start, for the holding of free, fair and credible elections.

Mister Chairman, in all we do, we must be guided by a Haitian view and engagement of the relevant political stakeholders.  Change for the better must have a Haitian face.

The CARICOM Community has some of the mechanisms in place, that could assist Haiti. But agencies such as the Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), and the Regional Security System (RSS), would need considerable resources, to really make an impact.

Capacity building in negotiation, mediation process design, criminal justice, and electoral capacity building is also required.

The Community has long advocated the importance of a long-term development plan for Haiti. One of the best forms of security and stability is development – the creation of jobs, human capacity building, and the building of the institutions of the state.

As a community of small states, there are limits, to what CARICOM can offer Haiti, in the form of resources. It has, however, offered its assistance in areas where it has well-recognized institutional strength. These include the technical preparation and observation of the electoral process, the strengthening of the rule, of law and institution building.

Haiti requires the concerted effort, and assistance, of all its partners. We also must seek to reach out to other regional organizations, such as the International Organisation of the Francophonie and the African Union.

With the support of the international community, the CARICOM Community, stands ready, to support our member state Haiti, and its people.

I thank you and God bless you!

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