[Marxism] CARICOM Statement on the situation in Haiti

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Mar 4 09:24:54 MST 2004


STATEMENT ON THE SITUATION IN HAITI

CARICOM Heads of Government met on 2 and 3 March 2004 in
Kingston, Jamaica, in an emergency session to consider the
situation in Haiti.

The Heads of Government expressed dismay and alarm over the
events leading to the departure from office by President
Aristide and the ongoing polítical upheaval and violence in
Haiti. They called for the immediate return to democratic
return and respect for the Constitution of Haiti.

The Heads recalled that the CARICOM Prior Action Plan had
been developed with the full involvement of the United
States, Canada, the OAS and the European Union and fully
endorsed by the international community. This initiative
was guided by the need to preserve the rule of law and
predicated on the precepts of shared government, binding
both President Aristide and the legitimate opposition to
specific commitments which would lead to a peaceful
resolution of the polítical impasse respectful of the
constitution and promoting the democratic process.

Heads of Government were disappointed by the reluctance of
the Security Council to take immediate action in response
to appeals for assistance by the Government of Haiti.

On Sunday 29 February, the Security Council adopted
Resolution 1529 endorsing the disappointed of a
Multinational lnterim Force to Haiti. This was what CARICOM
had sought in the first place, but the decision was taken
in circumstances quite different to those conceived in the
CARICOM Plan since ¡t followed immediately the departure
from office of President Aristide.

They expressed the view that the circumstances under which
the President demitted office set a dangerous precedent for
democratically elected governments everywhere as ¡t
promotes the unconstitutional removal of duly elected
persons from office.

Reaffirming the fundamental tenets of governance within the
Caribbean Community based on the Charter of Civil Society
as well as the principles enshrined in the Quebec
Declaration and the lnter-American Democratic Charter,
Heads of Government stressed that these obligations must be
used to determine the democratic nature of governance in
Haiti. In this regard, no action should be taken to
legitimize the rebel forces nor should they be included in
any interim government. The Heads of Government also agreed
that the íssue of relations with the interim administration
would be the subject of urgent review at the upcoming
lnter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference.

Heads of Government were deeply perturbed at the
contradictory reports surrounding the demission from office
of the constitutionally elected President. These concerns
were heightened by public assertions made by President
Aristide that he had not demítted office voluntarily. Heads
of Government called for an investigation under the
auspices of the United Nations to clarify the circumstances
leading to his relínquishing the Presidency.

When CARICOM agreed to admit Haiti as a member of the
Community, ¡t was based on its determination to end years
of isolation and bring Haiti into the Caribbean family to
which ¡t belongs by geography, history and common ancestry.
Heads of Government reiterated their commitment to the
people of Haiti and their intention to remain
constructively engaged in the efforts to create the
conditions considered necessary for their long term safety,
well-being and progress.

That commitment was most recently demonstrated in the
initiative the Caribbean Community launched in January this
year, with international support, to heip resolve the
long-standing impasse which has polarized the country.

In this regard they stressed that the Community would
continue to support the política¡, economic and social
development of its Member State. Accordingly, Heads of
Government mandated the CARICOM Secretary-General to
establish a Task Force to coordinate CARICOM's assistance
to Haiti in those areas where it has the capacity. In
keeping with the UN Resolution 1529 Heads agreed to
participation in the follow-on UN stabilisation force, in
efforts to provide humanitarian assistance, the rebuilding
of the economy and civil society, and the reconstitution of
the democratic structures, processes and institutions of
the country. In the prevailing circumstances Heads of
Government do not envisage their participation in the
Multinational lnterim Force authorized by the UN Security
Council.

Heads of Government reiterated the importance of a return
to constitutional democracy and expressed the wish to see
the quick restoration of peace and stability in Haiti and
the earliest return to constitutional democracy by working
with the people of Haiti in a sustained effort to rebuild
democratic institutions. They underlined that any approach
to returning Haiti to a state of normalcy must include an
economic and social development plan.

Heads of Government welcomed the appointment of a Special
Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General and
committed themselves to working closely with him in these
efforts. They stressed that creating the conditions for
polítical stability, economic development and the
institutional reconstruction of Haiti would requires a
long-term commitment on the part of the international
community, includíng the International Financial
lnstitutions.

The Heads of Government continue to be concerned about the
security situation in Haiti. They affirmed that the
disarmament of illegally armed groups must be an urgent
priority. There are continuing reports that the situation
in Port-au-Prince is chaotic and, notwithstanding the
presence of international military forces, respect for law
and order is not in evidence. They deplored the loss of
life, the destruction of private property and politically
motivated attacks, including threats against members of the
Government. They therefore called on the international
forces to bring a stop to the lawlessness and reminded them
of their legal obligation to do so.

Heads of Government deplored the present turmoil in Haiti
leading to an outflow of Haitians, a situation which is
placing strains on the resources of neighbouring states.

Heads of Government agreed to keep the evolving polítical
situation under review with a view to determining further
action in the interest of the Haitian people.

Kingston, Jamaica

3 March, 2004






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