Published On: Thu, Jan 3rd, 2013

Haiti embraces leadership of CARICOM

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Incoming chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Michel Martelly, president of Haiti, has called on member states to consolidate efforts in order to achieve the “necessary structural changes to increase the well-being of our peoples.”

In a message to the Community at the beginning of its fortieth anniversary year, Martelly, whose country is chairing the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM for the first time, reflected on unity as a means of overcoming the serious economic, environmental, and social challenges affecting the region.

In its fortieth year of existence, there was ample evidence that the Community “constitutes a useful mechanism to facilitate integration within the region,” Martelly said. He added that as small, vulnerable states in a competitive, economic environment, the task at hand was to ensure that CARICOM constituted a bulwark that would protect its member states in the current formidable global environment.

“In my capacity as chairman of the Community, I resolutely commit myself and my country to this noble and urgent necessity. Haiti gladly embraces this opportunity to provide leadership to the integration process for the next six months, and looks forward to help strengthen the Caribbean Community. During Haiti’s chairmanship, we shall also endeavour to promote sustainable development policies based on an effective cooperation strategy,” Martelly said.

In this quest, Martelly said he would build upon the “sterling work” of his predecessor, Dr Kenny Anthony, prime minister of Saint Lucia, and would seek the support of Kamla Persad-Bissessar, prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, who is the third member of the Bureau of Heads of Government, and other heads of government.

Referring to Haiti’s role in the Community, Martelly acknowledged that his country must accelerate its integration into CARICOM and committed to doing so during his tenure as chairman.

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