Caricom puts spotlight on Haiti in talks

GEORGETOWN – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders began their first full day of deliberations today hoping to “point the way forward” on the situation in Haiti as well as on other issues of relevance to the 15-member regional integration movement.

Guyana’s President and CARICOM chairman, Dr Irfaan Ali, speaking at the start of the plenary session, said “our agenda is an incredible one, for this meeting, a lot of weighty issues..

“We will spend a lot of time in this meeting in retreat format to review our progress, self-evaluate, to have very frank discourse, very open and transparent discourse from heads so that we can make strong interventions and make a strong commitment to resolving the issues that are before us,”Ali said.

He said the discussions began over two days ago with the regional leaders focused on the political, economic and social situation in Haiti, a member CARICOM country, where criminal gangs have been causing widespread security concerns and where calls for fresh elections have been made ever since President Jovanel Moise was assassinated in July 2021.

“CARICOM heads met on Saturday and commenced discussions on the challenges we have with Haiti. This morning with the Friends of Haiti, an expanded grouping that included all the stakeholders and partners working with Haiti,” Ali said.

“We are hopeful that some time today we will be able to point the Haitian people, the region and the global community in the direction through which we believe long-lasting sustainable solutions can be achieved.

“Of course this requires all stakeholders in Haiti, especially to give a bit, to compromise a bit and to express a collective willingness to achieve the outcomes that we are setting ourselves to achieve,” Ali told the meeting which is also being attended by Haiti’s Prime Minister
Dr Ariel Henry.

Ali said that the regional leaders would also be discussing updates regarding the CARICOM Single Market and Economy that is intended to allow for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the region. (CMC)

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