Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Tuesday reiterated the call for calm and cessation of violence in Haiti, as he charged that the shadows cast by those issues, could not weaken the Community’s development trajectory.
In that context, he said progress in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, regional transportation and security architecture, were paramount in strengthening the integration movement, and importantly, improving the lives of citizens of the Community.
The Secretary-General, speaking at the opening of the 30th Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government, in Frigate Bay, St Kitts and Nevis early Tuesday 26 February 2019, said that CARICOM stood ready to assist “in any way possible” to end the disturbances which were destabilising Haiti.
“The Community reiterates its call for calm and a cessation of the violence, and appeals to all involved to engage in constructive dialogue, to respect the Constitution, the rule of law and democratic processes so that issues can be resolved in a peaceful atmosphere and allow for the return to a state of normalcy,” he stated.
As seek CARICOM strengthen those mechanisms for development, he said the Councils of the Community have been addressing the mandates set by Heads of Government at its Special Session on the CSME in December 2018.
“The momentum which started last year must be maintained to continue to give ourselves every chance of making integration a lived reality for the people of CARICOM.” the Secretary-General stated.
He informed there have been three meetings of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), two of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), one of the Community Council and one of the Legal Affairs Committee (LAC) resulting, among other things, in the finalisation of an Agreement on Public Procurement, and an Agreement on the Return or Sharing of Recovered Assets, which are ready for adoption by the Conference.
It is anticipated that the public procurement agreement would open the regional market for goods and services procured by public entities, while the Agreement on the Return or Sharing of Recovered Assets from criminal activities will improve the regional security architecture.
In an encouraging tone, he told the meeting:
“We have shown time and again that CARICOM can accomplish great things when we work as a unit, whether it is regionally or internationally. The leverage of our 14 votes in international fora must continue to be used to our advantage. That unified force must be the vehicle to propel us to build a Community that is prosperous and caters to the needs of its people. It should guide us in our deliberations here in St. Kitts and Nevis.”