Thursday, November 28, 2013

OECS denounces Dominican Republic court ruling on nationality

We, the Authority of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) meeting in Montserrat at our 58th Meeting, express our collective abhorrence at the 23 September 2013 ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic that effectively renders stateless, thousands of men, women and children mostly of Haitian descent.

The decision of the Constitutional Court is repulsive and discriminatory. We deeply regret the failure of the Government of the Dominican Republic to take corrective measures. Accordingly, we call on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) of which our individual countries are also Members, to suspend immediately any consideration of the application by the Dominican Republic for membership of CARICOM.

Further, until this injustice has been addressed, the Member States of the OECS would find it extremely difficult to engage with the Dominican Republic in various fora including within the councils of the Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (CARIFORUM).

Equally, consideration ought to be accorded by the relevant authorities to the continued participation in the Petro Caribe Agreement of the Dominican Republic until a credible plan of corrective measures be elaborated for implementation in the shortest possible time by the Government of the Dominican Republic regarding the issue at hand.

We also call on other regional and hemispheric organisations such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to speak out unequivocally in condemnation of this ruling. The individual and collective voices of all who believe in and are committed to human rights and justice for all must now be raised to urge the Dominican Republic to right this terrible wrong.

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