CARICOM and Haiti sign MOU following mission

Members of the CARICOM Bureau during visit to Haiti

BASSETERRE,ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 16TH 2012 (CUOPM) – CARICOM Secretary-General His Excellency Ambassador Irwin La Rocque and Haiti’s Foreign Minister, His Excellency Laurent Lamothe have signed a Memorandum of Understanding identifying a number of areas in which CARICOM can assist Haiti.

The signing of the MOU came at the end of the two-day Mission to Haiti by the Bureau of Heads of Government of CARICOM led by Chairman His Excellency Desi Bouterse, President of Suriname.

The Rt. Honourable Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis; the Honourable Phillip Pierre, Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, representing his Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Kenny Anthony and Secretary-General LaRocque were the other members of the Bureau on the mission.

The Special representative of the Heads of Government on Haiti, the Most Honourable PJ Patterson was also a member of the delegation.

The delegation met with His Excellency Michel Martelly, President of Haiti and there was agreement that the support of CARICOM was of vital importance for Haiti, and for the Community itself. Among the areas agreed upon are: capacity building in government agencies for investment; technical assistance in education, agriculture, public health, transportation, tourism among others and youth exchange initiatives.

CARICOM says at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, President Bouterse said the visit had been most rewarding as the Bureau had heard from the President, the cabinet, the private sector, and parliament how they would wish CARICOM to work with them in the rebuilding and further development of the country.

He urged the Haitian business community to take better advantage of the agreement that allows some products to enter the rest of CARICOM duty free for a three year period which began last year. The CARICOM Chairman also assured the private sector that the Bureau would encourage those Member States who had not yet done so to implement the decision of the Heads of Government to allow entry for those business persons with visas from the United States, Canada and the Schengen Area entry into their state.

The Chairman also announced that “as part of our ongoing assistance to Haiti, a consignment of three containers of anti-cholera drugs provided by the Community was delivered two days ago to the Ministry of Health, in the fight against the epidemic.

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