The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Wednesday said it remained committed called to working with the international community in the development of Haiti, still recovering from a 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people and left more than a million others homeless.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Rodney Charles, told the United Nations Security Council debate on Haiti that the 15-member regional grouping was appreciative of the work done so far in the re-development of the French-speaking CARICOM country.
“For us, in CARICOM, the stability and economic development of Haiti is inextricably linked to the wider development agenda of our sub-region. Consequently, CARICOM lauds the efforts of MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) which has facilitated increased stability in Haiti,” Charles said in his address on behalf of the CARICOM grouping.
He said CARICOM also welcomed the decision of the Security Council to renew MINUSTAH’s mandate until October 15th, 2013, and support the recommendation of the Secretary General that the mandate be extended until 2014.
“CARICOM further welcomes plans to encourage investment which will play a critical role in spurring the social and economic development of Haiti”
But the Trinidad diplomat said that CARICOM countries “submit that international assistance must be aligned with Haiti’s national priorities to ensure that there is appropriate national ownership of programmes intended to benefit the Haitian people”.
He said CARICOM was also welcomed the strides made by the Haitian government to achieve certain political milestones which are indicative of progress.
“We remain optimistic that the forward momentum achieved thus far will be sustained and that all parties involved in the political process would be able to rise above the differences that exist between them and, in the spirit of compromise, work together to put in place the machinery for the holding of the overdue partial senatorial, municipal and local elections.”
He said CARICOM had also taken note of the progress made in upholding the rule of law in Haiti as exemplified in the government’s “5 E” policy programme which lists the rule of law as one of its pillars.
“We are heartened by the reduction in civil unrest and the incidences of homicides and kidnappings and encouraged by the fact that the political and security situation in the country has remained relatively stable with a notable decrease in major crimes.
“We are encouraged by the appearance in court in February of this year of two former presidents. We view these as positive signals of an emerging trend towards stability and evidence of an increasing acceptance of the judicial process, which is an indispensible ingredient for the maintenance of the rule of law.”
Charles said that CARICOM countries were also encouraged that the performance of the Haitian
National Police has continued to improve since it assumed increasing responsibility for the provision of internal security.
But he told the UN Security Council that the region notes “however that the targets of the National Police Development Plan requires continued commitment by the government as well as Haiti’s partners in order to ensure that adequate resources are available to support its viability”.
Charles said there have been a number of other positive developments in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010 and the further destruction caused following hurricane Sandy last year.
He said these advancements include the establishment of the inter-Ministerial Committee on human rights, the resettlement of a number of formerly displaced persons, and efforts to address the cholera epidemic, including those undertaken in line with the initiative of the UN Secretary General to support national plans in this regard.
“The efforts made by Haitian authorities to propel socio-economic development, including strides made by President (Michel) Martelly to attract foreign direct investment are also noteworthy,” Charles said, noting however that CARICOM “remains gravely concerned about the declining international aid to sustain the rehabilitation work in Haiti.
“This situation is unacceptable in the midst of the hurricane season when Haiti remains vulnerable to the effects of devastating storms. We therefore urge all parties to pay outstanding contributions to ensure the timely execution of the mandates of United Nations Peacekeeping Missions whose work is crucial to the fostering of peace, security, stability, the protection of human rights and the promotion of development in respective States.”
Charles said that CARICOM remains committed to working together with other partners in the international community in support of the agenda of the Haitian Government and MINUSTAH’s efforts in this regard, to facilitate lasting stability as well as the social and economic development of Haiti.