Haiti’s chairmanship of CARICOM uncertain

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: Haiti’s ability to assume chairmanship of CARICOM is now uncertain following the devastating earthquake which struck the country on January 12.

President René Préval was slated to assume the chairmanship when the term by Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, comes to an end on June 30.

However, Secretary-General of CARICOM, Dr. Edwin Carrington, has said the matter would be reviewed.

“All I can say at this stage is that the matter will be looked at, is being looked at, as to whether Haiti will want to, (or) would be able to, and if not, who will replace them. It’s a matter, which has not been missed and which is pretty close to conclusion,” said Dr. Carrington.

Carrington noted that consultations would have to be held with all the CARICOM Heads of Government before a decision can be reached on the matter.

Any decision regarding Haiti’s chairmanship will also affect the Bureau of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, which comprises the current Chairman, the outgoing and incoming Chairmen and the Secretary-General.

Meanwhile, CARICOM has committed to long-term support for Haiti.

Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Jeremy Collymore said the region would continue to offer “appropriate and targeted” support.

Collymore said eight CARICOM countries have together contributed US$4 million towards relief efforts.

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