Patterson calls for action in Haiti’s rebuilding efforts


Former Prime Minister of Jamaica and CARICOM’s Special Representative on Haiti’s Reconstruction, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, has said that Haiti deserves unprecedented levels of support from the international community.
Speaking at the 12th Annual Eric Williams Memorial Lecture Series at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, recently, Mr. Patterson said, however, that the recovery process must be driven by Haiti.
He was speaking to a large number of students, academia, corporate leaders and members of the Caribbean Diplomatic Corp at the lecture series themed “The Renaissance of Haiti: A Template for Caribbean Integration”.
Outlining the four-step action plan for Haiti’s national recovery, Mr. Patterson pointed out that the framework was prepared with the assistance of technical experts and was formally adopted by the international community. He noted that the plan has four priority areas – territorial, economic, social and institutional rebuilding – which, he said, must lead the way to redevelopment for both the Government and people of Haiti.
Referring to the earthquake last January, Mr. Patterson reminded his audience that, geographically, the region shares a common vulnerability to the ravages of nature.He called for greater unity and strength within CARICOM, “as we bring Haiti out of that state of international isolation.”
Noting that “every crisis presents an opportunity”, he asserted that the Haitian people should chart their own destiny. He also encouraged mobilization of the Caribbean Diaspora in the recovery effort, noting that rebuilding Haiti has created opportunities for a range of professional, technical and consultancy services, pooling of resources and an “enviable” opportunity to participate in the rebuilding process. The lecture was followed by a question and answer session.
Mr. Patterson, Jamaica’s sixth Prime Minister (1992-2006), joins a distinguished group of Caribbean scholars and political leaders who have made presentations at the Lecture Series since its inception in October, 1999.
It provides an intellectual forum for examining the history and politics of the Caribbean and the African Diaspora, and is organised by the University of the West Indies (UWI), the African New World Studies Department of the FIU and the Eric Williams Foundation which was founded by Erica Williams Connell, daughter of distinguished Caribbean Statesman and Trinidad and Tobago’s first Prime Minister, the late Eric Williams.

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