Haiti Wants French on CARICOM Agenda

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - July 5, 2012

Above: Haiti President Michel Martelly at the meeting (Photo: OP)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti President Michel Martelly wants French to have a place on the Caribbean Community’s agenda.

The Caribbean Community is only economic integration scheme in which English is the only official language, he said, and French should be accepted as an official CARICOM language.

With more than 55 percent of CARICOM’s population speaking French or Creole, and Haitians speaking more than 50 percent of CARICOM’s population, Martelly said the impact of language is a important in the conduct of negotiations and in the integration process.

Accordingly, Haiti is seeking for the language issue to be placed on the agenda of the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Group on the Revision of [the CARICOM] Treaty.

He made a similar call at his first CARICOM meeting in the summer of 2010.

Martelly, who is attending this week’s Meeting of Heads of Government in Castries, St Lucia, continues to favour the policy of integration, according to a statement from the National Palace.

The Haitian leader said he wanted to show the summit what he called the “new climate of political stability” in Haiti, something he said put the country in a better position to deal on equal terms with its partners.

But that integration must have “palpable” benefits to Haiti, and meet the needs of the Haitian people, he said.

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