Local News

Jamaica pledges continued support towards Haiti’s development

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, on Wednesday, January 3 reaffirmed Jamaica and CARICOM’s commitment to assist Haiti to achieve its development goals.

“As Jamaica participates in the regional assistance program for Haiti, we seek to make our contribution to the reconstruction process currently underway for the economic and social development of our sister nation,” she stated.

She further implored the wider international community to “stay the course with Haiti and provide the financial and technical support as this is crucial if the government is to succeed in its development plans”.

The Prime Minister was addressing a press conference at Jamaica House following bilateral talks with President of the Republic of Haiti, René Préval, who arrived in the island yesterday for a four-day working visit.

She noted that President Preval’s visit to the island was to be viewed as a critical step in strengthening bilateral relations between Jamaica and Haiti.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller and Haitian President, René Préval sign a joint communiqué after extensive bilateral talks at Jamaica House.

Outlining the outcome of the deliberations between herself and President Préval, Mrs. Simpson Miller said that high on the agenda was Haiti’s technical preparation to accede to the revised treaty of Chaguaramas, a move that would allow the country to participate in the Caribbean Single Market.

“It is my hope that this process can be completed as soon as possible,” she said, while commending the Haitian President for adopting an inclusive approach to governance with a view to ensuring that democracy took root in the country.
She noted further that the leaders discussed a number of initiatives covering tourism, agriculture, engagement with the Haitian Diaspora, education and training, institutional strengthening and improving the social infrastructure.

“We both recognized that cooperation in agriculture and reforestation would be beneficial to the Haitian economy and social infrastructure. The planting of trees and the sharing of best practices would not only provide greater agricultural yields, but would also serve to stem the risks of landslides and flooding,” she stated.

For his part, President Préval thanked Prime Minister Simpson Miller for sustaining Jamaica’s ties to Haiti, underlining that he believed the process was beneficial to his country. He also updated the Prime Minister on the political and economic situation in Haiti, including the status of support from the international community.

A joint communiqué signed by both parties emphasized the importance of a sustainable democracy in Haiti, supported by the rule of law, a secure and stable environment and economic and social progress. The leaders also stated their resolve to continue their efforts within the regional framework to ensure that these objectives are met, while noting the importance of stability and security to both countries.

The President and the Prime Minister shared the view that the visit served to concretize many of the ideas put forward for enhanced cooperation between the two countries. Accordingly, the leaders anticipate a period of strengthened exchange, not only in terms of economic and social benefits, but for the people-to-people contact, which will contribute further to deepening the integration process.

Meanwhile, they stressed that security forces in both countries were taking strident moves to curtail the illegal gun and narcotics trade between Haiti and Jamaica. “We have a plan of action but we will not disclose it because I believe that those persons involved in such activities should be caught by surprise and be made to pay for their actions,” said Prime Minister Simpson Miller.

The leaders are expected to hold further talks at the convening of the first Jamaica/Haiti Joint Commission in Jamaica, during the second quarter of 2007.

Related Articles

Back to top button