Official speech of Haitian President, Jovenel Moise, at the 29th Inter-sessional meeting of CARICOM Heads of State and Government

Posted by on Monday, February 26, 2018 Under: Diplomacy
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Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of State and Government,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of Delegation,

Mr. Secretary General,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to welcome you to Haiti on the occasion of the twenty-ninth intersessional meeting of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of State and Government. By my organ, the whole nation offers you the warmest welcome and wishes you a very pleasant stay.

At the same time, I wish to thank the Heads of State and Government who made the trip despite their many commitments and their high responsibilities. This is a strong signal that is being made about resizing and affirming regional collective leadership. In this regard, I am counting on your willingness to use your usual resources for the effective conduct and success of these two days of work.

It is also my pleasure to congratulate the Honorable Dr Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, for the excellent work he has done during his administration of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the remarkable work done by the Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin Larocque.

I wish you all, brothers and sisters of the Caribbean, the most cordial welcome to Haiti, land of freedom. You are here at home!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of Delegation,

Distinguished guests,

Haiti, for the second time, since its integration into the Caribbean Community, holds the presidency of this regional institution. I take it at a very special time when the Caribbean region has experienced a high number of extreme weather events caused largely by global warming. According to experts, the frequency of these phenomena, tends to increase.

This situation will cause loss and damage, sometimes irreversible, that can seriously slow the socio-economic development of the countries of the region and, at the same time, undermine the heavy efforts made to achieve the sustainable development objectives towards 2030.

Incoming chairman of the CARICOM, Haitian President Jovenel Moise, promises to make the Caribbean, the first climate-resilient region in the world

The risks induced by climate change are global and their consequences act indiscriminately. The next few years will be crucial. We must do everything possible to respect international commitments, maintain the momentum of the Paris Agreement, as well as the impetus for a new dynamic in favor of climate action confronted with the challenge of its implementation.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of Delegation,

Distinguished guests,

The Republic of Haiti is very committed to the environmental dimension of sustainable development. As a small developing island state, it is determined to strengthen its resilience to the cyclones that are shaking the Caribbean region every year, among other things. The Haitian people, like the rest of the region, have great concerns during the hurricane seasons, as the damage caused by hurricanes Matthew, Irma and Maria in 2016 and 2017 are not ready to be repaired and have left deep bruises in the minds.

I take this opportunity to salute the bravery of our brothers and sisters from the Turks and Caicos Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, the British Virgin Islands and St. Martin.

It is an inescapable fact that the Caribbean region is on the trajectory of hurricanes and hurricanes and that one of the consequences of climate change is the increasing intensity of weather phenomena to which this area is exposed. We must guard against these risks. We must do it together, because isolation leads to our regression, to our slow disappearance. Unity is strength.

One of the options for counteracting the adverse consequences of these adverse events is to establish or strengthen existing mechanisms for disaster risk financing. These will enable the affected countries to access reconstruction funds quickly in the aftermath of disasters through affordable and effective procedures rather than being paralyzed by the expectation of improbable aid, which most often , is too little, comes too late and sometimes never arrives.

One of the instruments advocated by the World Bank would be to set up an ex ante financing mechanism, based on a strategy that makes it possible to quickly deploy a reliable action plan that can adapt to changing threats. This strategy requires, among other things, regional determination, a coordinated plan, a rapid decision-making process and finally, a reserve fund to launch the first reconstruction works.

In addition, there is a range of instruments designed to protect public finances, including provident funds, preventive credit lines, public property liability insurance, catastrophe bonds and parametric insurance, to name just a few of those. It is high time for us regional leaders to start thinking about a real system that meets the needs of countries affected by natural disasters. The recapitalization of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) may also be one of the preferred options.

With this in mind, I took the initiative to organize in the coming months an international conference on strengthening resilience mechanisms to the effects of climate change and the management of natural disasters in the Caribbean. This will be an opportunity for States, partners and international development actors to exchange ideas and make proposals on the best prevention and response to natural disasters. Without your full participation, this conference will not achieve the expected success. You are already there, invited.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of Delegation,

Distinguished guests,

Today, the world functions as a village where the economies of the countries are interconnected through market mechanisms and international cooperation; and at the same time financial resources are becoming increasingly scarce. Hence the obligation for each country or regional group to manage its resources with rationality and accountability, in a transparent manner, according to the rules of sound management of public finances. The fight against corruption, in addition to being a national requirement, is in line with a series of requirements of globalization and economic integration of all countries of the world.

However, it is only very recently, particularly with the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (CILCC) signed in March 1996 by all Latin American and Caribbean countries, that the international will to fight against scourge. The CILCC remains the first international convention to be signed by so many countries showing the same will to fight against corruption. Despite the signing of these conventions, they could not prevent the trafficking of interest, corruption in the organization and the allocation of international aid dedicated to developing countries.

Haiti is one of the first countries to adopt the International Convention against Corruption in 1996. Since three years, significant efforts have been made to strengthen the institutions dedicated to the fight against the dangers of this scourge.

It is undeniable that the misdeeds of corruption and the factors favoring its development are legion. Corruption hurts growth; it compromises the formation of capital; it reduces the effectiveness of the aid; it increases income inequality and poverty.

Under my administration, significant efforts are being made in Haiti to enable public institutions involved in the fight against corruption to play their part fully and effectively. Reforms are underway to renovate the business environment and attract domestic and international investment. However, we must recognize that much remains to be done to improve institutional performance. Nevertheless, partners in the international community will need to make further arrangements to ensure that assistance to Caribbean island countries is provided in accordance with the guiding principles of the Paris Declaration (2005) and the ACRA Action Plan (2008).

Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of Delegation,

Distinguished guests,

During the two days we will be together, we will have the opportunity to deliberate on critical issues in the region. I will begin by mentioning the problem of security, crime, drugs, the free movement of persons and goods, the right of establishment, the implementation of the features and components of the Single Market and Economy, transport and last but not least, the introduction of Creole, French and Dutch into CARICOM.

Organized transnational crime is a major concern as it has become a gangrene for our states. To combat it, a concerted policy is necessary. We are not unaware that its effects are heavy consequences for our societies and indirectly for our youth. In fact, we must not only strengthen our cooperation but also put in place security arrangements for the protection of our economic system and the prevention of political and social disruption. Security remains and remains the keystone for the smooth operation, for example, of the regional tourism sector, engine of the economy of the vast majority of our members.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of Delegation,

Distinguished guests,

Exactly five years ago, here in Port-au-Prince, the Heads of State and Government of the region adopted a resolution adopting French as one of the official languages ​​of CARICOM. I believe the time has come to implement this resolution to support the integration of Haiti to this beautiful family, for better communication, therefore better mutual understanding, and above all, to bring down this psychological barrier, invisible, which tends to move away. We fully agree that our linguistic diversity is our cultural richness.

I sincerely hope that this question will receive your best attention and that, at the end of this conference, solutions will be found for financing the costs of interpreting and translating our working documents in the languages ​​used by all the populations of the Community.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of Delegation,

Distinguished guests,

Today, the Republic of Haiti ensures for the second time in its history the rotating presidency of the Conference of Heads of State and Government, the supreme organ of the Community. This is, once again, an opportunity for the Haitian people to reiterate their membership in this regional integration structure. The well-understood interest of the Haitian people demands that our country pursue its integration process within CARICOM at a faster pace. For my part, I will do everything in my power to print agility and speed to our integration process.

I realized that trade has evolved, despite the delays in the revision process of our consolidated tariff. My country is finalizing the process of renegotiating the tariff concession list at the World Trade Organization (WTO). I hope that the current negotiations with the Dominican Republic will be concluded by the end of the 1st quarter of 2018. This will allow us to update ourselves with the provisions of the revised Treaty.

In the same vein, my Administration is in permanent dialogue with the two branches of the parliament for the vote of some bills including the creation of the Bureau of standardization, essential for the control of goods and services, the protection of the consumers , the National Tariff based on the Common External Tariff and the Harmonized System of 2007, and the Certificate of Origin and Sanctions Against Fraudulent Documentation.

It should be remembered, however, that the delays in the implementation of certain provisions of the revised Chaguaramas Treaty and the forms of discrimination faced by some of our fellow citizens have impeded the Haitian population's impetus for our integration in CARICOM. On this last point, it is clear that only frank and sincere dialogue will enable us to overcome these unfortunate situations that prevent our countries from progressing together more strongly. I would like to put this item on the agenda of a future working session of the conference.

The Haitian private sector is waiting for clear initiatives to be able to do business in the protective framework of the CSME. Haiti's integration efforts will be supported by work initiated under the Caravan of Change. It is a strategy of pooling resources for the promotion of the sectors that are the mainstays of the national economy and the recovery of the regions. Let me pause a bit on what is my ambition to bring together the land, the water, the sun, the women and men of Haiti, through this innovative strategy, the Caravan of Change, to collective progress and well-being.

In concrete terms, the Caravan consists in mobilizing the institutional, human and material resources of the State to:

· Improve citizens' access to public services;

· Modernize and multiply infrastructure across the country to increase the overall productivity of the economy;

· Undertaking in a systematic and determined way a set of structuring actions against poverty, hunger, environmental degradation and illness due to poor living conditions.

The Caravan of Change, more than a program, is a transversal intervention modality that directly reaches the populations, especially the most vulnerable, more quickly and at the least cost.

Three weeks ago, I launched the second phase of the Caravan of Change on the 10 departments of the country which will consist of a series of interventions of the State on the major works of infrastructure and construction of agricultural works , the redevelopment of coastlines in coastal cities, the construction of the national electricity grid, the reconstruction of networks in certain cities, the electrification of rural areas, the construction of dam and micro-dam on rivers, the cleaning and containment of 300 km of rivers across the country, the interconnection of municipalities and departments through the construction of primary and secondary roads, and construction of port and airport, construction and rehabilitation of drinking water addiction systems through everything in the country.

All this work has only one objective, to create a climate conducive to investment, especially in tourism. The tourism industry, in full swing in the region, can be reborn from the ashes in the country. Tourism is one of the growth sectors on which my Government intends to rely in order to achieve its objectives of economic growth and the creation of decent jobs. In this, Haiti hopes, through exchange of experiences, to benefit from the significant advance known by the CARICOM countries.

The Republic of Haiti intends to contribute to the achievement of Community objectives such as the improvement of production, productivity and competitiveness at the international level. These objectives are achievable within the framework of the fully integrated and liberalized regional internal market that we have established.

The work is just beginning. The country has a huge field to clear in all sectors of the functional cooperation of the Community to be at the same level as its partners.

In conclusion, I would like to conclude with the question of regional and hemispheric security, and I am convinced that initiatives aimed at counteracting this phenomenon will not bring results without the involvement of all actors and the strengthening of the capacities of Member States. The CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) is, in my opinion, the ideal framework for coordinating our efforts. I particularly wish to strengthen the cooperation between this Agency and the Republic of Haiti.

My goal in the coming months is to ensure, with the magnitude and prestige required, the leadership of the integration process in order to leave as legacy a strengthened, united and united, even more dynamic Caribbean Community.

Thank you.

Long live Haiti! Long live CARICOM!

In : Diplomacy