(CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana) - Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Foreign Ministers have expressed deep concern over the deterioration of the situation in Haiti. The Community's Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) pointed out that "the fragility and volatility of the security environment in Port-au-Prince had increased"
This has been illustrated "by the most grave incidents of violence affecting Haitians of all walks of life". It is in light of this that they have "viewed the recommendation of the United Nations General Assembly to increase the size of MINUSTAH as being of critical importance".
The Ministers noted that respect for human rights, due process and the rule of law remained abysmal and pointed out that the prolonged detention of former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune before being charged was symptomatic of wider due process problems.
They reiterated the importance of adherence to the principles enshrined in the CARICOM Charter of Civil Society as well as in hemispheric and international human rights instruments to which Haiti was a signatory.
The Ministers acknowledged that the political challenges in Haiti remained daunting. They underlined the importance of the process of national dialogue in reducing polarisation and helping to attain reconciliation and thereby contributing to an environment conducive to stability and development.
In this regard, the importance of accelerating the disbursement of funds pledged by the donor community was emphasised. It was feared that the slow progress of the voter registration process, organisational and logistical delays as well as security concerns would jeopardise the timely preparation of elections. The importance of an inclusive political and electoral process leading to free, fair and credible elections was underlined.
The Ministers determined that CARICOM should remain engaged on Haiti and continue to provide assistance to the people of Haiti through the CARICOM Task Force on Haiti.
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