Jamaica will be hosting Haitian stakeholder consultations in Kingston from June 11 to 13.
Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, in making the disclosure in Parliament on Tuesday (June 6), said invitations were issued to the stakeholders by Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Philip Davis, chair of the Conference of CARICOM Heads.
He indicated that as host, Jamaica will be providing the venue for the consultations, as well as arrangements to facilitate the attendees.
These include representatives from Haiti; the Eminent Persons Group, which was established by CARICOM to oversee the Community’s provision of Good Offices to the Government of Haiti and Haitian stakeholders; the Prime Ministers of The Bahamas and Haiti; the CARICOM Secretary General and representatives from international partners and donor support.
“Prime Minister Davis and I will officially hand over the process to the Eminent Persons Group at the opening event. However, I must underscore and emphasise that notwithstanding any representation from states regionally, the consultations themselves will only involve the Haitian stakeholders, supported by the Eminent Persons Group with their requisite technical personnel,” Holness said.
He noted, further, that the Eminent Persons Group will update CARICOM as appropriate and necessary.
“It is important that the need for confidence, confidentiality and patience be respected as this necessary but delicate process of consultation is engaged. I urge, therefore, that we allow this to be the basis on which the consultations are held and trust that the relevant information will be made available at the appropriate time,” he said.
“I also underscore that these consultations are for the Haitian people, it is their meeting, as they seek to determine what is in the best interest of their country. While Jamaica and others in the region have a keen interest, it is also incumbent on all of us at this time to adopt a posture of non-interference in the process, while being active in support and allowing the space for the dialogue to be held,” Holness emphasised.
The Eminent Persons Group consists of the Former Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Perry Christie; the Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding; and the Former Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Kenny D. Anthony.
Prime Minister Holness explained that the Group, along with a small team comprising technical experts in mediation, security and political research, supported by the CARICOM Secretariat, has been tasked to facilitate consultations with the Haitian stakeholders.
“These consultations are intended to build consensus and allow for inclusive participation in a neutral environment. Most importantly, a majority of Haitian stakeholders have agreed to this approach in support of finding peace and stability in their country,” he added.
Prime Minister Holness said the Government is hopeful that the consultations to be held next week in Jamaica will be a significant step in the process of restoring stability in Haiti.
“We recognise that it is a process that will need continued support by Jamaica, CARICOM and others to ensure a satisfactory conclusion.
“The people of Jamaica and our brothers and sisters in Haiti can be assured that this Government will do all it can to support this process towards restoration of peace and stability in Haiti,” he told the House.