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From: MKarshan@aol.com


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 institutions.

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 Haiti.

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


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


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


Belize City, Belize

05 February, 2002