CARICOM accelerates strategies to quell Haiti’s situation – Chairman announces

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has underscored its commitment to a transitional governance arrangement that paves the way for a peaceful transition of power, continuity of governance, an action plan for near-term security, and free and fair elections.

On Monday, CARICOM engaged Haitian stakeholders as well as international development partners including Brazil, Canada, France, Mexico, the United Nations, and the United States of America to discuss Haiti’s multi-dimensional crisis.

CARICOM’s Chairman, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, and regional leaders in a preparatory meeting with the USA on Haiti’s situation

The meeting followed a series of discussions over a period of time, including those facilitated by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), which engaged a wide range of actors, including Haitian politicians, political parties, the religious community, the private sector, the diaspora, and civil society.

Following the high-level consultation, CARICOM’s Chairman, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, along with several Caribbean leaders engaged journalists, where they collectively underscored that Haiti must be governed by the rule of law.

President Ali said CARICOM’s commitment reflects hard compromises among a diverse coalition of actors who have put their country above all differences.

To this end, he acknowledged the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry ahead of the establishment of a transitional Presidential Council and the naming of an interim prime minister.

“I want to pause and thank Prime Minister Henry for his service to Hati, for his service to the Haitian people, and for his personal commitment to the furtherance of the development of Haiti and advancement of the people of Haiti,” the Guyanese head of state stressed.

Going forward, CARICOM has agreed to the creation of a transitional Presidential Council comprised of seven voting members and two non-voting observers.

President Ali highlighted that the council will exercise specified presidential authorities during the transition, operating by majority vote.

The exclusion from the council includes anyone who is currently on a charge, indictment, or has been convicted in any jurisdiction, persons under UN sanction or intends to run in the next election in Haiti, and anyone who opposes the UN Security Council resolution 2699.

Moreover, the council will swiftly select and appoint an interim prime minister, and together with the interim prime minister, the council will appoint an inclusive council of ministers, among other things.

“The international community stands ready to partner with Haiti to achieve these goals. Haitians must now fully implement their commitments. Haitians deserve a country where children can go to school and their parents know they will be safe. We commend the willingness and courage of Haitian stakeholders to commit to putting Haiti back on a path towards democracy, stability, and prosperity,” the CARICOM chairman posited.

He proffered that with a framework in place that illuminates a path forward, it is important for all Haitians to allow the agreement to work.

“This process requires patience, let us be patient…Let us sacrifice a bit, and give this agreement a chance to work to enter into a process of national dialogue, and to lay the groundwork for transition that is based on inclusivity, encourages participation by all stakeholders, and paves the way for elections as soon as possible,” President Ali added.

He believes that the move is the only sustainable path for a future of strong democratic institutions, peaceful resolution of conflict, and the security and prosperity of all Haitians.