AG: Trinidad and Tobago committed to restoring peace in Haiti

Attorney General Reginald Armour,SC. - Jeff K. Mayers
Attorney General Reginald Armour,SC. - Jeff K. Mayers

ATTORNEY General Reginald Armour, SC, has said Trinidad and Tobago is committed to the full restoration of peace and security in Haiti.

He made this statement when he opened debate on a motion in the House of Representatives on September 8, the final day of the last parliamentary term, to extend the Economic Sanctions (Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2653 (2022) on the Republic of Haiti) Order, 2023.

The House passed the motion. The new parliamentary terms begins on Monday with a ceremonial opening at the Red House.

The UN Security Council passed resolution 2653 on October 21, 2022. It reaffirms the Security Council's strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity.

Through it, the Security Council demanded an immediate end to gang violence and criminal activity and expressed its readiness "to take appropriate measures, as necessary, against those engaged in or supporting gang violence, criminal activities or human rights abuses, or who otherwise take action that undermines the peace, stability, and security of Haiti and the region."

Armour said the Economic Sanctions Act allows Government to legally meet its obligations to international organisations of which it is a member and pass laws to implement measures such as resolution 2653.

"As such the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has taken the appropriate steps to ensure compliance with our international obligations."

Armour reminded MPs that on June 6, in accordance with the act, President Christine Kangaloo, set out specific grounds on which to issue an order for parliamentary approval, to ensure TT complied with resolution 2653.

That order was issued as legal notice on June 12

He said a similar motion to approve the order was debated and approved by the House on June 20.

Armour added because the life of that order was three months, it was necessary for the House to approve the motion before it, to extend the life of the order which ends on September 12.

He said the law indicates that before such an order expires, a motion can be passed by the House to either extend its life indefinitely or for specified time period by a simply majority vote.

By virtue of the UN Security Council remaining intact, Armour continued, it has become necessary to extend the life of the order to ensure TT's compliance with resolution 2653.

After saying that all MPs were aware of the state of play in Haiti, Armour said the resolution has already had the effect of stopping the actions of one Haitian national who has been trying to destabilise the country.

"The UN Security Council has designated already one individual, according to the sanctions regime in Haiti, namely Jimmy Cherizier (former police officer turned gang leader) also know as 'Barbecue', based on a description in the annex of the resolution."

Armour said Cherizier "is engaged in acts of threatening the peace, security and stability of Haiti and continues to commit acts that constitute serious human rights abuses."

He added this requires the order to be extended indefinitely "so that the prohibitions contained therein continue in effect to ensure technical compliance and implementation."

Armour said the chairman of the Security Council visited Haiti between June 12-16.

He added that visit justified the adoption of resolution 2653 as a welcome initiative that has been accepted by the majority of the Haitian people to improving security in Haiti.

"Today's motion is demonstrably the evidence of this Government's commitment towards doing its part to ensure the restoration of peace, security and stability for Haiti for upholding the implementation of its respective UN Security Council resolutions and our international obligations."

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"AG: Trinidad and Tobago committed to restoring peace in Haiti"

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