Complex World. Smart Solutions

Haitians Abroad: Exploring the role of the Diaspora in fostering peace, security and democracy in Haiti.

Haiti is facing a severe democratic backsliding, along with an unprecedented security and humanitarian crisis that threatens the country’s own survival and regional stability.The collapsing State is beset by lawlessness, powerful gangs, and corrupt enablers who openly kill, torture, and kidnap ordinary citizens and police officers.

The Haitian diaspora has maintained a strong connection with Haiti and continues to be deeply committed to the country’s future. Throughout the diaspora, they are searching for ways to participate and contribute to a peaceful resolution of the current crises. Above all, they want to find a solution to eliminate the gangs that have made life unbearable for Haitian citizens.
On March 28th, POLITICOM Inc. held a policy discussion with 30 leaders from civil society, community, and religious groups, emerging change-makers, students of Haitian descent, and international development stakeholders who share a keen interest in Haiti’s development challenges and Canada’s role in the region. The objective of the
discussion was to generate well-informed recommendations to enhance Canada’s effectiveness in supporting Haiti’s democratic process, in line with the commitments made during the first Summit for Democracy.
All the participants agreed that restoring security is the foremost priority in Haiti at present. However, they held differing opinions on the most effective form of international cooperation required to achieve this objective. Several participants expressed their concerns and disappointment with Canada and the United States for their lack of
support in dealing with the security crisis. They questioned why there was a considerable outpouring of support and empathy for Ukrainians and such passivity when it comes to Haiti. One suggestion was to identify a couple of goals that the diaspora could agree on and use their collective voice to advocate for peace and security in Haiti.

Recommendations and Takeaways:

  • There should be a significant shift in the approach to international cooperation, considering the blunders and inefficiencies of past UN stabilization missions and other foreign interventions in Haiti.
  • The international community, including the US, Canada, the EU, and the UN, has exerted tremendous diplomatic and political influence in Haiti over the past three decades. They should take ownership of the current crisis and play an active and decisive role in restoring security and stability in the country, following the principle of ” you break it, you own it”.
  • Haiti should explore innovative and alternative ways to develop meaningful and effective international cooperation, particularly with the Global South.
  • Canada, as a regional leader and a key development partner to Haiti, should be more assertive and decisive in exerting its leadership to restore peace and security and address the most severe humanitarian crisis in the region.

This event is part of a series of policy dialogues that will involve practitioners, change- makers and subject matter experts from Canada, the United States, Haiti and Africa to address key political challenges in the Global South.

John Miller Beauvoir

Democracy and Governance Expert