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a676: CARICOM STATEMENT ON HAITI (fwd)
STATEMENT ON CARICOM SPECIAL MISSION TO HAITI
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