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From: Antoine Blanc <amprblanc@yahoo.fr>


CARICOM's Special Mission to Haiti 28-31 January 2002 presented its Report
to the Caucus of Heads of Government through the Hon. Julian R. Hunte,
Leader of the Team of five. The CARICOM Mission was granted audience with
President Aristide and with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and their
respective advisors. It met with representatives of the Group of Friends of
Haiti, the diplomatic and donor communities, the Press and a wide
cross-section of Haitian Society, representing the major political parties,
the churches, the business community, the media and youth. Among the
recommendations approved by Heads of Government are that (a) an independent
International Commission of Inquiry be established, sufficiently broad-based
to engender confidence in its evaluation of the events of 17 December 2001,
and the necessary action to be taken; and
(b) CARICOM, in collaboration with other international agencies to assist
Haiti's efforts to strengthen the democratic process, particularly as it
relates to the independence of the judiciary, the professionalism of the
police force and the rule of law in Haiti. It was agreed that CARICOM will
work with the OAS under whose leadership a series of initiatives has been
developed and designed towards the resolution of the ongoing impasse
affecting the society. Heads of Government supported the recommendation of
the Team that every effort should be made to ensure that the two major
political groupings, Fanmi Lavales and Le Convergence Democratique be
persuaded to resume negotiations on the OAS Resolution on the elections and
the electoral process, once the independent international Commission has
been established and commences its work. The Conference also urged President
Aristide to appoint a Prime Minister urgently, and thereby facilitate more
normal functioning of the system of Government. They also stressed the
importance of the honouring of the eight (8) commitments by Haiti to the
former US President as a condition for resolving the political impasse.
CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Belize at the Thirteenth
Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government at which
the Government of Haiti was represented by its Minister of Foreign Affairs,
His Excellency Joseph Phillipe Antonio, received the Report of the CARICOM
Special Mission to Haiti, which took place on 28-31 January 2002 under the
leadership of the Hon. Julian R. Hunte, Minister of External Affairs,
International Trade and Civil Aviation of Saint Lucia.
Heads of Government recalled that the Special Mission was sent to Haiti by
the Bureau of the Conference with a view to assessing the situation in Haiti
and report to the Conference on its findings.
Heads of Government commended the Mission for the work it had completed and
the wide cross-section of groups with whom it had held discussions.
They welcomed and accepted the recommendations of the Mission that an
independent international commission of inquiry be established, sufficiently
broad-based, to engender confidence in its evaluation of the events of 17
December 2001 and the necessary remedial actions to be taken; that CARICOM
be represented on that Commission and that CARICOM should play an active
role in efforts to strengthen the democratic process, particularly as it
relates to the independence of the judiciary, the professionalism of the
police force, and the maintenance of the rule of law in Haiti.
Heads of Government CARICOM urge the international community to release
funds to Haiti in view of the steps taken by the Government of Haiti to
establish an environment of confidence in that country; and that these funds
should initially support the strengthening of the democratic pillars of
governance as well as provide humanitarian relief to the people of Haiti,
particularly in the areas of education and health.
They welcomed the positive response of the Government of Haiti to the
provisions of the OAS Resolution on Haiti which called on the Government of
Haiti to extend an invitation to the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights to conduct an on-site visit to Haiti and one to the OAS to send
representatives to Haiti to investigate and assess the situation and to
assist the Government of Haiti in strengthening its democratic system and
Heads of Government called on the political parties in Haiti to respond
positively to these initiatives by the Government of Haiti by resuming
negotiations and signing the Accord. Heads of Government believe that it is
essential that a fully functioning Government is appointed to conduct the
affairs of Haiti. To that end, they urged the President of Haiti to move
quickly to appoint a Prime Minister who is capable of securing the
confidence of all parties.
They also commended the Organisation of American States for the critical
role it continues to play in resolving the political situation in Haiti and
in supporting that Government in strengthening the democratic process in
Heads of Government noted the observation by the Team that press freedom and
the independence of the media were areas which needed to be addressed, and
in which CARICOM could play a role.
They agreed to continue to monitor the situation in Haiti through regular
visits to that country, subject to the concurrence of the Government of
Haiti, with a view to providing timely technical assistance, as required.
Heads of Government also noted that it was expected that elections of all
Parliamentarians elected in May 21, 2000 in Haiti, would be held prior to
the end of 2002. Elections for the local officials would be held prior to
Haiti's bicentennial celebrations, in January 2004.
They urged both parties to allow the CEP to play a positive role in the
determination of the date.
They also accepted the invitation of the Government of Haiti to CARICOM, to
be part of the international observer mission to Haiti's elections when they
are held.
Belize City, Belize
05 February, 2002


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