News from the CoEH  /  July 2016



First impressions visit Haitian delegation to Brussels and Paris

From Monday through Wednesday June 27 – 29, three representatives of the Haitian civil society visited Brussels, invited by the Coordination Europe -Haiti. During their stay they met with members of the European Parliament, as well as with EU desk officers and staff members of European NGOs. From June 30 until July 2 they were in Paris where they met with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also with French NGOs and development cooperation staff members.  Goal of the visit was the presentation of an analysis of the current political and socio-economic situation from a civil society viewpoint, in the light of future negotiations on continued EU aid and support for Haiti. Also, the visitors wanted to call attention to the dire food situation that could emerge into a real food crisis if no action is taken.

The delegation consisted of Jocelyne Colas, of CE-JILAP (Commission Episcopale Nationale Justice et Paix), Chenet Jean Baptiste, of ITECA (Institut de Technologie et d’Animation), and David Tilus, of GAFE (Groupe d’Action Francophone pour l’Environnement). Together they represented different sectors of the Haitian civil society, emphasizing both human rights, as well as agriculture/food security and environment/climate change, central issues of concern in Haiti and the focus of the advocacy and lobby policy of the COEH. In addition, the guests – some of them electoral observers - were well-informed on the current political situation and the course of the disputed elections.

Despite the turmoil in EU institutions in Brussels because of the results of the British referendum (Brexit), the delegation was able to meet with various members of the European Parliament, several of whom had been part of the EU Election Observation Mission in 2015. We hoped that a dialogue with Haitians who had been directly involved in the election process as observers could contribute to a better understanding on the part of the EU of why Haiti has decided to call for new presidential elections. But according to the EU,  the report of the Haitian Independent Commission of the Electoral Evaluation and Verification (CIEVE) does not present proof of fraud. Our visitors were unable to convince the MEPs and the EU desk officers to see in proven massive irregularities important indications that something was profoundly flawed in the electoral process. One of the desk officers even accused Haitian civil society (pointing at our visitors) of contributing to the current crisis situation and crying “fraud” without any proof. In a separate meeting, MEP Valenciano, President of the sub commission of Human Rights of the Parliament and also Chief Observer of the Election Observation Mission in Haiti, assured the Haitian visitors that, even though the EU will no longer participate as an observer, nor change their opinion with regard to the results of the elections, they will continue to follow the process because of their interest in and concern for Haiti and its people.

Although the delegation was unable to change the views of the EU with regard to the election process, the visitors succeeded in presenting a positive image of the developments within the Haitian society. More than in the past, organisations are working together, presenting joint opinions and implementing joint actions. As David Tilus mentioned: “civil society is forming networks because in isolation we are not going to solve our problems.” Young people and women are pivotal in this process, stressed Chenet Jean Baptiste. As well as political leaders who put the country first instead of their personal interests, added Jocelyne Colas. Importantly, despite a general security situation that has degraded over the past two years, it seems that no party or group seems prepared to take up the arms to  grasp power. That is a very significant step in the emerging Haitian democracy: the growing acceptance that power needs to change through a credible electoral process instead of through force.

From Brussels, the delegation continued to Paris where on the first day at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs they met with the person in charge of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean with whom they shared their impressions of the meetings with EU representatives. And who turned out to be very interested in hearing about their experiences and activities in the country.  The guests also met with French NGOs and a number of journalists who follow the news in Haiti. At the French Development Agency one of the things the delegation discussed was the great need for professional education in Haiti.  Within the coming months the COEH, together with Colas, Jean Baptiste and Tilus, will evaluate the visit and discuss how to take into account the results during future lobby and advocacy activities.

Els Hortensius, Member of the Comité de Pilotage

July 2016



The election process in Haiti is still ongoing. After the publication of the report of the CIEVE, Haiti decided to annul the election results of 2015 and to come up with a new schedule for elections. Please find some interesting documents on the ‘Issues’ page.

You are encouraged to check the ‘Media’ page regularly. We present you three new articles. One from Pieter Thys (Broederlijk Delen) about a Right to Food Forum at the University of Lemonade. Another by Colette Lespinasse about the 'Engaged Citizenship' programme. And a third one by Marcel Catsburg about root causes for Haiti's vulnerability.


Latest articles

[:en]Programme for Engaged CitizenshipProgramme sur la Citoyenneté Engagée

Programme for Engaged Citizenship

Colette Lespinasse, coach of the Programme for Engaged Citizenship, presents the key elements of this programme, which is a contribution of Haitian human rights organisations to the reconstruction of Haiti after the earthquake.

Read more.

[:en]Root causes of Haiti’s vulnerabiltyCauses fondamentales de la vulnérabilité d’Haïti

Root causes of Haiti’s vulnerabilty

Marcel Catsburg, senior lecturer in international organisational communication in the Netherlands, analyses the root causes of the crisis in Haiti after the earthquake. For building back better, the fundamental causes of the crisis need to be addressed.

Read more.

[:en]Forum on the Right to Food in HaitiForum sur le droit à l’alimentation en Haïti

Forum on the Right to Food in Haiti

Pieter Thys, programme officer Broederlijk Delen for capacity building and human rights in Haiti, presents the outcomes of a forum on the right to food at the University of Limonade, 24-25 May 2016, Haiti.

Read more.

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