His Excellency Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of Suriname has stated that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) must do all it can to assist Haiti to overcome the challenges it is facing.
Speaking during a courtesy call on the new CARICOM Secretary-General Her Excellency Carla Barnett at the CARICOM Secretariat’s Georgetown, Guyana Headquarters on Wednesday, the President emphasised that Haiti must not be left behind. Haiti was struck by a catastrophic earthquake last Saturday which has claimed close to 2,000 lives and a tropical storm on Tuesday that hampered recovery activities.
President Santokhi said that CARICOM must work with hemispheric and wider international partners as to ensure that democracy, democratic institutions and the rule of law is maintained in Haiti.
He expressed his country’s full support to the integration movement and to the new Secretary-General, Dr Barnett who took up the post on Monday. The President who was accompanied by Suriname Foreign Minister His Excellency Albert Ramdin took the opportunity to invite Dr Barnett to Suriname.
Secretary-General Barnett welcomed the President to the Headquarters and agreed that Haiti was a priority for the Community and described the situation there as “very painful”. The Secretary-General informed the President that the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) was already engaged with its counterpart in Haiti to assist in the recovery.
She also agreed with the other priorities which President Santokhi had put forward which included the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for vaccination, the pursuit of post pandemic economic recovery and climate change.
Dr Barnett indicated that the Community recognised the importance of the upcoming United Nations climate change conference, COP26 in the United Kingdom, and was organising to ensure that it would be well prepared for the negotiations.