(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown,
Guyana) “Failure was not an option”, for Haiti’s
reconstruction efforts. That was the charge given to
the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC)
by Special Representative of the Caribbean Community
(CARICOM) Heads of Government to Haiti, former
Jamaican Prime Minister, Most Honourable P.J.
Patterson as it convened its first meeting in the
Dominican Republic on June 2, in the margins of the
World Summit for the Future of Haiti.
Co-Chaired by United Nations Envoy to Haiti,
Former United States President Bill Clinton and
Haitian Prime Minister, Honourable Jean-Max
Bellerive, the meeting reviewed the mission, guiding
principles as well as the role and functions of the
The Commission is the key mechanism put in place
by the Government of Haiti and the international
donor community to guide Haiti’s reconstruction
process in accordance with the priorities
established by the Haitian authorities in their
Action Plan for the National Recovery and
Development of Haiti.
Prime Minister Bellerive informed that a number
of projects were ready for submission to the IHRC in
the four priority areas of the Action Plan: -
territorial rebuilding - economic rebuilding -
social rebuilding; and - institutional rebuilding
In brief remarks, Mr. Patterson underscored the
critical importance of respecting the sovereignty of
Haiti. In light of the grave humanitarian situation,
he underlined the significance of early
implementation of the reconstruction projects, to be
undertaken with the guidance of the Commission.
The meeting agreed that the implementation of the
reconstruction projects was not only crucial from a
humanitarian perspective, but also to ensure social
and political stability as well as facilitate an
enabling environment for the presidential and
legislative elections due in Haiti on 28 November.
The Caribbean Community is a voting member on the
IHRC, which has an 18-month mandate to oversee an
estimated $5.3 billion in reconstruction projects.
The Commission comprises representatives of the
private sector, civil society and major donors. It
will be launched formally on 7 June and will hold
its first Board Meeting on 14 June in
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where it is expected to
approve its budget, bye-laws and the first set of
The Commission will liaise closely with the
Multi-Donor Trust Fund which, under the supervision
of the World Bank, will be the conduit for the funds
pledged by the donor community.