JM | Mar 1, 2023

Holness adamant Haiti needs the world’s attention

/ Our Today

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Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith during high-level talks in Haiti on February 27, 2023. (Photo: Contributed)

A day after his return from a CARICOM mission in Haiti, Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, told a diplomatic audience on Tuesday (February 28) that the Caribbean nation needs the attention of the world.

Speaking at a diplomatic week event held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the prime minister gave his preliminary observations on the Haiti mission, in advance of the formal report.

“All stakeholders that we have spoken to [in Haiti] have pointed out the emergency situation they face with security and safety of their citizens,” Holness said.

He pointed out that although he holds the view that Haiti has institutions that are functioning, these institutions are challenged.

“And with the right support, with the right attention, Haiti can overcome its challenges,” Holness said.

The Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Georgetown headquarters in Guyana. (Photo:

“I remain hopeful for the Haitians, and Jamaica and CARICOM stand in solidarity with them. And we will continue to use our good offices and give whatever support we have in bringing global attention to the situation in Haiti and in supporting the Haitian people in reaching consensus and resolution of their challenges,” he continued.

For her part, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, who was also a part of the mission, said: “We are deeply concerned about our Haitian brothers and sisters and we are working with our partners to treat the matter with the urgency that it deserves.”

“Yesterday’s meetings were well received, and we are looking forward to discussing them formally within the wider CARICOM body and beyond.”

Following Holness’ address, Neville Gertze of the Republic of Namibia commented that there is an urgent need for strengthened multilateralism, one that is based on caring for one another.

A demonstrator yells in front of a burning barricade during a protest for the recent killings of police officers by armed gangs, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti January 26, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol)

“And I’m taking the floor really just to say to you that we appreciate that you are bringing the spotlight to the crisis in Haiti. When the focus of the world is elsewhere, we should ensure that we do not leave others out. We should ensure that inclusivity is the order of the day, and we recognise the efforts you are [making],” Gertze said.

The CARICOM delegation of leaders convened high-level talks with government officials and civil society in Haiti on Monday (February 27) and heard from the relevant stakeholders in a bid to determine a path towards consensus-building for the restoration of political and security stability in the country.

This was in addition to a meeting with Canada on the matter of security.  The CARICOM team also met with the High Transition Council and the Political Accord groups as well as the political parties, civil society, private sector and religious groups.


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