JIS News

Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are currently in the island for an emergency meeting at Jamaica House today, to discuss how the region will respond to the situation in Haiti, following President Jean Bertrand Aristide’s departure from office.
In the island are Owen Arthur, Prime Minister of Barbados; Perry Christie, Prime Minister of Bahamas; Patrick Manning, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago; Dr. Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of St. Lucia, and Bharrat Jagdeo, President of Guyana.
A number of Foreign Ministers are also attending the meeting, including S.R Insanally from Guyana; Fred Mitchell, Bahamas; Godfrey Smith, Belize; Dr. Timothy Harris, St. Kitts and Nevis; Louis Straker, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Charles Savarin, Tourism Minister of Dominica. Edwin Carrington, Secretary General of CARICOM is also attending. Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, who is also Chairman of CARICOM, told journalists at Jamaica House yesterday (March 1) that the meeting would begin at 2:00 p.m., after which a press conference would be held, “which will enable us to respond to some of the issues, which we have identified as requiring a decision by the Caribbean Community at this time”.
Without anticipating any decision that will be taken in the meeting, the Prime Minister said that CARICOM remained committed to promoting the growth of democratic institutions in Haiti.
He said that the United Nations Security Council has unanimously passed a Resolution for the presence of an international peace keeping force in Haiti, and “we certainly hope it will have the desired objective of ensuring the rule of law and the restoration of peace in that country”.
“We also have to look to the welfare and interests of the Haitian people themselves, who remain our paramount concern. Exactly what we contribute in this process is something that CARICOM heads will examine … we do regard it as being of urgent importance,” the Prime Minister said.