JIS News

As the region continues to rally around Haiti following the devastating January 12 earthquake, a meeting of members of the Caribbean Diaspora is underway in
Washington DC to ramp up contributions in the areas of professional skills and services, which the country requires at this time.
Special Representative of CARICOM Heads on Haiti, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, said that the Diaspora meeting is significant. He was addressing a preparatory media clinic of the 31st Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government, held earlier this week on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).
Mr. Patterson said that much of CARICOM’s reconstruction and development efforts in Haiti have been devoted to the mobilisation of the Diaspora, particularly nationals in Canada, the United States, and Europe.
Today’s meeting follows the first full, formal gathering of the Interim Haiti Relief Commission (IHRC), which was held yesterday (June 17) in Haiti. This meeting was co-chaired by Haitian Prime Minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, and former United States President, Bill Clinton, who is also special envoy to Haiti.
“That committee is charged with the overall responsibility of ensuring that the development of Haiti is consistent with the four pillars identified in the action plan for the recovery of Haiti,” Mr. Patterson explained.
He noted that CARICOM had been participating in the reconstruction and development efforts in Haiti at “every conceivable level”.
“CARICOM has been included as a voting member of the IHRC because of our responsibilities in respect of the reconstruction of Haiti, which flow from Haiti’s membership in the (Caribbean) Community. We have been involved in the consideration and the approval of the plan for reconstruction,” Mr. Patterson pointed out.
The media clinic saw presentations by CARICOM Secretary General, Dr. Edwin Carrington; Assistant Secretary General, CARICOM, Ambassador Colin Grandison; Economic Adviser to CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr. Maurice Odle; Vice Chancellor of the UWI, Professor Nigel Harris; Chief of Protocol in the Office of the Prime Minister, Eleanor Felix; and Assistant Secretary General, Trade And Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat, Ambassador Irwin La Roc (via satellite from Guyana).
Media practitioners participated from Jamaica, and via satellite from Barbados and Guyana.