President sounds alarm of need for tough CARICOM action to address situation in Haiti

President sounds alarm of need for tough CARICOM action to address situation in Haiti

By Svetlana Marshall

Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), President Irfaan Ali believes “tough measures” are needed to restore peace and stability in Haiti. He made that statement while addressing the opening ceremony of the 46th Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government on Sunday at the National Cultural Centre.

Haiti, which is a member of CARICOM, continues to experience a surge in violence with killings, kidnappings, and other forms violence increasing dramatically over the past few years.

President Ali said tough decisions are now needed to help Haiti out of its current state of social, political and economic turmoil. 

“Sometimes as a region, [when] we are in tough positions, we have to take tough measures. But always, the region’s toughness is always in the interest of the region’s people; that is fundamental for the region,” the Chair of CARICOM said. 

In May, 2023, CARICOM appointed an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) to represent the Heads of Government in a Good Offices’ process, which now sees the Regional Bloc lending support to the Government of Haiti in the areas of security, governance, electoral process, and long-term development planning and advocacy. 

President Ali said CARICOM will continue to advance its work in the interest of the people of Haiti. 

“We are committed as a region in ensuring that the people of Haiti can also realize their full potential in peace, security and with good governance. We owe this to the people of Haiti,” he said. 

Outgoing Chairman of the CARICOM and Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit said the time for action is now. 

“Haiti needs the support of everyone in this world; every country in this world, and I do not believe we have the time or the luxury of time to continue talking about helping Haiti, we need to help Haiti yesterday,” Prime Minister Skerrit urged. 

The Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry and Chair of CARICOM’s Eminent Persons Group for Haiti, former Prime Minister of St Lucia, Dr. Kenny Anthony are among officials attending the CARICOM Meeting in Guyana.

The United Nations (UN) Security Council has long approved a multi-national force to assist the under-resourced police force in Haiti, in response to a request from the Government to restore peace in the country ravaged by crime and violence.

In response, Kenya agreed to lead the mission to Haiti with the deployment of 1,000 of its own Police Officers, but that move was blocked by a Kenyan Court.

The situation in Haiti is among the top issues to be discussed at this week’s CARICOM Meeting.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login