Haiti's Martelly begins tenure as Caricom chairman

Thursday, January 03, 2013

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Haiti's President Michel Martelly has started his six-month role as chairman of the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom) pledging to help caricom unite to overcome its economic problems as well as improve the
socio-economic well-being of the region's population.

"In my capacity as chairman of the community, I resolutely commit myself and my country to this noble and urgent necessity," he said, adding that 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.

He said during his stint which coincides with celebrations marking Caricom's 40th anniversary, he will seek to unite the region even further so that it can "overcome serious economic, environmental, and social challenges affecting the region".

"I therefore invite member states to converge their efforts in order to achieve the necessary structural changes to increase the well-being of our peoples," Martelly said, noting that the Haiti is also observing its 209th anniversary as an independent country under the theme "Freedom and Unity".

President Martelly, who has in the past called on Caricom to adopt the French language as an official language of the grouping, said he intends to build upon the work of his predecessor Dr Kenny Anthony, prime minister of St Lucia, and also utilise the services of the members of the Caricom Bureau.

"As Caricom celebrates its 40th year of existence, there is ample evidence that the Community constitutes a useful mechanism to facilitate integration within the region. As small vulnerable states in a competitive economic environment, our task is to ensure that Caricom constitutes a bulwark that will protect its member states in this formidable global environment," he said.

He said Haiti must accelerate its integration into Caricom and is committed to contributing to "Caricom's strengthening and to improve Haiti's integration during Haiti's tenure as Chairman of Caricom.

"It is in that spirit that I will welcome Heads of State and Government to Haiti next February to discuss the future of the Community at the XXIVth Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of Caricom," Martelly added.




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