Caricom foreign ministers told to work collectively to deal with Haitian situation


Overshadowed by the ongoing political and socio-economic situation in Haiti, Caribbean Community (Caricom) foreign ministers underwent a two-day meeting in Jamaica.

Antigua and Barbuda Foreign Affairs Minister, EP Chet Green, the outgoing chairman of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (CAFCOR), said the “grim situation” in the French-speaking country, has presented a challenge not only to that member state, but for the entire region.

“I am one of those who are are of the firm believe that we must work collectively to devise solutions and address the situation. Ultimately, the decision and direction that Haiti will forge depends primarily on its citizens,” he said. “Therefore there must be national consensus within Haiti while those of us in the wider region are called upon to demonstrate patience and corresponding or parallel support to allow for the self-determination of the Haitian people,” Greene told the 26th COFCOR meeting.

On Monday, United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, described Haiti as a “tragic situation” and appealed to the international community to do more to help the country overcome its present situation.

Guterres, who held talks with Prime Minister Andrew Holness as he wrapped up a two-day visit to the island, told a news conference that Haiti faces dramatic humanitarian needs, a political system that is paralyzed and levels of violence by gangs “that are absolutely appalling.”

Last week, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Volker Türk, said Haiti needs “urgent” support from the international community to stop the suffering of people at the hands of violent gangs who have been shooting people at random and burning them alive.

The UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) said in the month of April alone, more than 600 people were killed in violence in the country’s capital. This follows the killing of at least 846 people in the first three months of 2023.

BINUH said that overall, the number of victims of killings, injuries and kidnappings increased by 28 per cent in the first quarter of the year, with a total of 1,634 cases reported.

Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith, who is taking over the chairmanship of COFCOR, said following the Caricom mission to Haiti in February, the regional grouping “has remained in engaged in the search for sustainable Haitian-led solutions and is committed to keeping Haiti on the international agenda at the highest levels”.

She said only yesterday, Prime Minister Holness held discussions with Guterres “and reaffirmed the region’s commitment to actively supporting the cause of Haiti.

“We must acknowledge that the global pace of delivery of support does not match the urgency of the situation and must assure our colleagues and sister country that we are agreed as CARICOM that we will not allow Haiti to be forgotten in its time of greatest need.”

Johnson Smith said the COFCOR will discuss the next steps as CARICOM continues to fulfill its good offices role “and explore options for technical and security assistance.”

“In order to accomplish this, we must continue to utilize existing mechanisms and candidly acknowledge that new framework and approaches are required,” she added.


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  1. Chet Greene wan’ bring he backside back home and address the rising crime rate here in Antigua & Barbuda.

    Is this another case of another ABLP Minister dancing abroad?

    If he and the CARICOM officials can put a constructive end to the disastrous situation in Haiti 🇭🇹 then by all means stay out dey.


    But I have feeling like many of these other overseas meetings, this is more like a TALKING shop!

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