Haiti Readies to Host CARICOM Summit for First Time

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 14, 2013

Above: the Karibe Hotel in Haiti

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti will be hosting the 24th Intersessional Meeting of the Heads of Government of CARICOM starting Monday in Port-au-Prince.

The two-day summit will be the first time the Heads of Government meeting has been held in Haiti, which officially joined CARICOM in 2002.

Haiti President Michel Martelly assumed the rotating CARICOM Presidency in January, which he will hold through June.

St Lucia Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony, who concluded his term as CARICOM Chair at the end of December, and CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque will deliver statements at the meeting, which will take at the Karibe Hotel in the neighborhood of Petion-Ville.

A statement from the office of Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said the summit would cover a number of regional issues, including the introduction of French as an official working language in the Caribbean Community.

The latter has been a major stated priority of Martelly for several years.

Over 100 delegates have already confirmed their participation at the event, Haiti’s government said, including 11 Heads of Government from the Caribbean.

Haiti’s government, in a statement, said it intended to “actively participate” in all decision-making bodies of CARICOM in order that the country could “reap the benefits” of its membership in the regional integration scheme.

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