Rowley calls on UN to act on Haiti now

Prime Minister Dr Rowley - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale
Prime Minister Dr Rowley - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

The Prime Minister on Thursday urged the UN's immediate intervention into crisis-hit Haiti.

Much of the country's capital, Port-au-Prince, is ruled by armed gangs after gunmen killed President Jovenel Moise two years ago.

Dr Rowley addressed the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday evening.

Saying the scourge of illegal firearms threatened the very existence of democratic states, he supported Caricom's declaration of the Caribbean Sea as a zone of peace.

He said the proliferation of violent crime, with other crises, helps to destabilise countries.

"Consequently, TT, as it fights its own battle in this area, remains deeply concerned over the developments in our fellow Caricom country, Haiti, that are causing unimaginable humanitarian, socio-economic, and security consequences."

He applauded the Government of Kenya's offer to help lead a multinational unit in Haiti and an offer by The Bahamas and Jamaica to contribute personnel.

"Rwanda’s offer to help is also very significant and commendable."

Rowley urged all to collaborate with Haiti to solve the current crisis.

He quoted calypsonian David Rudder's classic song, Haiti I’m Sorry.

“I refuse to believe that we good people would forever turn our hearts and eyes away. Haiti, I’m sorry we misunderstood you.

"One day we’ll turn our heads and look inside you.”

Rowley declared, "That day has come! That day is now!

"We, the United Nations gathered here, must prioritise authorisation for the external help that Haiti desperately needs."

He said Haiti deserves peace.

"Haiti deserves prosperity, Haiti deserves progress and Haiti deserves sustainability!

"Haiti requires the intervention of the United Nations now."

He vowed that TT, as an honest broker, was fully committed to working with the Government of Haiti and all stakeholders to arrive at an indigenous solution.

Rowley hoped Cubans could aspire to the UN's 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

"It would, however, be impossible for our sisters and brothers in Cuba to achieve these goals if the anachronistic economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed against that country remains in place."

For over six decades, Cubans have had diminished prospects of prosperity, progress and sustainable development.

"To this end, TT reiterates its call for the unconditional lifting of the economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba, and certainly for its removal from any unjustified listing as an alleged state sponsor of terrorism."

Rowley urged respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states.

"It is in this connection that we continue to register our dismay and disappointment in the ongoing hostilities following the military action against Ukraine."

He lamented the termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which helped stabilise global food prices and protect millions from the threat of famine and starvation.

"We noted with great anxiety that global food prices during the month of July rose for the first time in months."

Rowley lamented the non-resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "In this regard, TT reiterates its strong support for a two-state solution based on mutual understanding, tolerance and respect, which would serve as a foundation for Israel and Palestine to live as peaceful responsible neighbours.

"We continue to urge both sides to recommit to a just, lasting and comprehensive solution that would ensure peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all."

On the 25th anniversary of the International Criminal Court, he hailed the work of former president Arthur NR Robinson towards the court, which he urged all countries to join. Noting 75 years of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Rowley lamented that globally some females do not have opportunities afforded to males.

He called for slavery reparations, blaming Caribbean nations' underdevelopment on centuries of enslavement and economic exploitation of African people by Europeans.

Rowley urged "bold decisive action" towards reparatory justice.

"We would welcome Africa’s support in this quest for justice."

Rowley said climate change was an existential threat to all, but mostly to small island developing states (SIDS), the least culpable for the crisis.

"As we are called upon to be game changers, on this issue we have a responsibility for the survival and continued existence of life on this planet that no other generation of leaders has had."

He urged a global stocktaking ahead of a UN climate meeting, COP28, towards ensuring the 1.5-degree temperature goal.

The PM offered condolences over recent natural disasters in Morocco and Libya.


"Rowley calls on UN to act on Haiti now"

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