IJDH founder and board member Brian Concannon speaks to WLRN about Haitian civil society’s transitional government agreement and the US’s current foreign policy. An excerpt of the article by Tim Padgett is below.
“Building nationwide consensus around the transition plan — getting as many Haitian non-governmental and political leaders to sign on to it — will be key to garnering support not only from embattled Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry (who is reportedly in talks with the commission) but from the U.S. as well.
In fact, despite the understandable focus on Haitian sovereignty, a big question still is whether the transitional government plan could be adopted, or even work, without financial and other help from the U.S.
‘If the U.S. decided that it was going to jump on the bandwagon of this accord, I think that would probably be decisive,’ said Brian Concannon, who heads the nonprofit Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, based in Boston.
But Concannon says whether the proposal is put into effect or not, it at least signals to the Biden Administration that these non-governmental groups in Haiti are serious players the U.S. should be talking to.
He adds that last week’s Haitian migrant crisis is an added impetus — as is the protest resignation of Biden’s special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, who had also urged more engagement with Haitian civil society but said the Administration ignored him. (The State Department has refuted Foote’s statement.)
‘You know, they’ve got to be realizing that there’s a problem with their Haiti policy right now,’ said Concannon, ‘and this does provide an opportunity to fundamentally change the [U.S.] approach to Haiti.'”
Read the full article here.