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Sunday, October 08, 2006 

Could it be fair to talk about Progressive Governance and Rule of Law toward Haiti’s Position for A CARICOM Membership?

I happened to read an interesting article on the Jamaican Gleaner about the dilemmas that will hit shores, with the prospects of a regional integration framework with in its midst the questions about Haiti, and what it could mean for this country a possible seat in the CARICOM membership.

As interesting as those issues can be, the author points to a sharp and crucial differentiation that brings in questions about Haiti’s legacy in the structure of its judicial system to assess the policy agenda for the region.

The integration of Haiti into CARICOM remains the biggest challenge, which the community has yet to face, owing to the social, linguistic, judicial, political, and economic obstacles to be overcome. How will we reconcile Haiti's judicial system, which is based on the French Napoleonic Code, with the Caribbean Court of Justice's English common law regime? Owing to IMF dictates, Haiti has the lowest tariffs in the region. The question of tariff harmonisation will also have to be resolved if Haiti is to join CARICOM's Common External Tariff. Many quandaries still remain to be sorted out. If this integration is achieved, however, it will be CARICOM's most rewarding milestone, and a great triumph for the hemisphere as a whole.

In fact, it’s very exciting and challenging to adopt a comparative analysis re Haiti’s judicial system, and the premises of the Caribbean regional integration machinery, which for many reasons open windows of opportunities for the policy framework. And not to the least, are the beliefs in progressive governance, adaptation to the rule of law, and the principles of South-South cooperation and dialogue. Where these perspectives bring-forth a more symmetrical landscape to carry out and analyze effective development strategies to challenge and counter the aggravation of inequalities.

As a matter of fact, the crystallization of regionalization and regional integration goes way beyond typical economic formulas, as to encompass future shared set of values that evolve around the determinants of freedom, equity and solidarity, non-violence and shared responsibility.

By moving along these dots, ways to address similar development challenges can translate themselves into practical assets for co-operation, and the implementation of a joint approach to combat globalized threats, i.e., in the case of human security which involves matters of drug and human trafficking, transnational crime, environmental degradation, poverty and disease proliferation.

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