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Haiti Takes part in Caribbean and Latin America Conference in Berlin

Heiko Maas invites representatives of the two regions to the confer-ence in order foster international cooperation

June 04th, 2019
Greta Isola, News from Berlin
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On May 28-29, 2019, in Berlin, Haiti has taken part, along with other 28 states situ-ated in the two regions, to the Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean, which focused on international cooperation and women’s rights.

Foreign minister Heiko Maas has met with the representatives of countries belonging to Latin America and the Caribbean, including Haiti’s representatives Jude Piquant, Cabinet Director, Jean William Exantus, director of Political affairs, and Ms. Nadjine François Defrance, representing Haiti at the Embassy in Germany.

The aim of the conference, as stressed in the opening speech by Heiko Maas, was to increase cooperation between Europe, and in particular Germany, and the two regions. As a matter of fact, Maas highlighted the need for Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean to become “neighbours” although separated by the Atlantic, meaning to become closer for what concerns their inter-state relations. Such pressing need is mainly due to new challenges that have been arising in the 21st century, as for instance China’s abuse of its economic leverage to force political decisions of other regions, Russia’s expansionist aspirations, and the confusion created by the new unpredictability of the US’ political decisions, emblematic one being the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

Therefore, vis à vis such challenges, Heiko Maas has proposed the gathering in order to find common ground for discussion on how to tackle said issues as “neighbours” with common goals and priorities despite of geographical distance.

Other than on more intense cooperation between the three regions, the conference held in Berlin during the past week has also focused closely on women’s rights, as they are, as stated multiple times during the conference, human rights. As a result of such focus of the conference, the network for women’s rights UNIDAS has been founded at the conference, patronized by Heiko Maas himself. The aim of UNIDAS is to promote gender equality and mainstreaming in Latin America, the Caribbean and Germany, in order to bridge the three regions while promoting human rights, which are the foundations for stable democracies, as Haas himself has stressed multiple times.

Overall, such conference, under the guidance of Heiko Maas, has laid the foundations for the future relations between Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, with a strong focus on Germany for what concerns the latter. Whether the project of “neighbourly relations” brought forward by Maas will take shape is yet to be seen, nevertheless the focus on gender equality when tackling global challenges is an innovative approach that could possibly create the desired bridge between the three regions. Furthermore, the fact that Haiti, one of the countries with the lowest human development concerning the Gender Inequality Index, took part to the conference, is undoubtedly a step forward towards further cooperation and common tackling of current global challenges.

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