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In an effort to identify best practices in Democratic Governance, Haiti’s Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul, initiated a series of information-gathering sessions on successful government programs implemented by Latin America and Caribbean countries. Of particular interest to Mayard-Paul are public safety, national defense and natural disaster management, areas that directly impact the quality of life for Haitians.
In the Dominican Republic, Mayard-Paul held informal meetings with his counterpart, Minister of the Interior and Police, Ramon Fadul, who is responsible for the country’s Democratic Security Plan, and with Attorney General, Radhames Jimenez, who leads the Dominican Republic’s Safe Neighborhood program.
During the meetings, Mayard-Paul and Dominican officials discussed the possibility of collaborating between their respective ministries to design and implement a public security program inspired by the Dominican Republic’s Safe Neighborhood or Barrio Seguro program.
“In exploring regional best practices that can be applied in Haiti, we were impressed with the Democratic Security Plan implemented by our neighbors in the Dominican Republic,” said Mayard-Paul, pointing out that in eight years, the plan succeeded in lowering crime rates throughout the country.
Mayard-Paul’s emphasis on national security is aligned with the overall vision of President Michel Martelly to develop Haiti as an equitable, independent and decentralized nation with a sustainable economy based on investments and job creation.
To that end, the Martelly administration is working to create an appropriate legal framework to ensure democratic governance, rule of law and appropriate tax incentives. “Issues of national security are critical to our larger goals,” Mayard-Paul remarked. “We want to ensure the best conditions for our foreign investors and for the welfare of the entire Haitian population.”
Pointing to the friendship and solidarity of Dominicans in supporting Haiti’s efforts to achieve sustainable development after the devastating 2010 earthquake, Mayard-Paul expressed the deep interest of the Haitian government in further strengthening mutual cooperation between the two Caribbean neighbors.