Governor Ric Todd; the minister for border control and labour, Don-Hue Gardiner; and permanent secretary Clara Gardiner visited Haiti from 11 - 13 August. They met President Michel Martelly, who was accompanied by the ministers of foreign affairs, justice and interior; international organisations working in Haiti, including UN, OAS, UNHCR and IOM; the US and Canadian ambassadors; and the Haitian Coast Guard at the Killick Base in Port au Prince. They also laid a wreath at the National Heroes Monument and visited the National Museum.
Governor Ric Todd
In parallel there was a visit to Haiti from 9 - 13 August by a TCI business delegation, led by Deputy Premier Akierra Missick.
The centre of the visit was the meeting with President Martelly. This was warm, friendly and constructive, demonstrating the strong shared desire to build bilateral relations and work together on areas of mutual interest. The meeting noted the many ties between TCI and Haiti and it underlined the interest taken by Martelly in TCI.
The meeting agreed to work together to conclude a memorandum of understanding covering the key areas of deterring and combating illegal migration from Haiti to the TCI and the actions which would be taken to this end.
The meeting further agreed on the importance of the Haiti/TCI relationship, its shared history and potential in the future and that the TCI/Haiti relationship should be developed and strengthened, particularly in business, trade and human contacts, including through cooperation with International Organisations on the ground in Haiti.
Martelly also welcomed the visit by the TCI business delegation and stressed his support for the further development of business and human contacts between TCI and Haiti.
During the discussion, the increasing relationship between Haiti and TCI was noted, including the visits to TCI in the past year by the deputy foreign minister, foreign minister and premier. In taking further developing the relationship it is a major asset that the UK now has an embassy in Haiti and Haiti has a consulate general in Providenciales.
The governor and the minister will present a report to Cabinet at its meeting on 21 August.
Todd said: "This was a valuable visit, building on a series of contacts between Haiti and TCI in the recent past. That President Martelly and three senior ministers met the TCI team is clear evidence of the importance that they attach to the relationship between TCI and Haiti and their desire to deepen co-operation. They understood our concerns. Both sides stressed their commitment to working together, not only in combating illegal migration but equally in building a broader, deeper and mutually valuable relationship between TCI and Haiti.”
Gardiner said: "I am really encouraged by the understanding we found for the issues TCI faces and the Haitian commitment, led by the president, to working with us. I am grateful for the lead the governor and his office set and for the invaluable support from the British Embassy in Haiti, which made the visit such a success."