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PSSN presentation in Washington - By Robert Benodin at The Brooking Institute

jeudi 15 avril 2010 par Robert Benodin

PSSN presentation in Washington

By Robert Benodin at The Brooking Institute

In the wake of the January 12, the automatic reaction to the enormity of the devastation focuses all attentions toward humanitarian aids and rebuilding. The Montreal meeting determined the scope of the project. The UN meeting determined the cost, the policy, the agenda, the calendar and accepted the donor’s commitments. It is given that the billions of dollars allocated to the reconstruction will bring undoubtedly the most advance and the most sophisticated science and technology to the shores of Haiti. However, will the billions alone contribute to change the nature of the regime that governs Haiti for 53 years ? That is the question !

Socially 53 years of populism have polarized the Haitian society, widened the gap between social classes and accelerated a brain drain, which began under François Duvalier’s regime and continues until now. According to the World Bank, more than 83% of professional and technicians have left the country. In the last 20 years, has Haiti not received more than 10 billion dollars of foreign aids ? What has been the result ? Haiti has become in this period the hemisphere’s poorest and one of the most corrupt countries of the world ! Was the United Nations, in one decade from 1994 to 2004, compelled to evoke twice the chapter VII of its Charter to deal with Haiti, due to the reoccurrence of the failing of the state under the anarcho-populist regime ? Is it the interest of the international community and the Haitian nation to maintain the status quo ? The traditional conservative argument “the devil I know” is not convincing in this catastrophic juncture. A change of paradigms is compelling, if we are sincerely motivated by the need to extricate the Haitian people from their misfortunes !

After 53 years, the need to break out of the populist regimes of both extremes is fundamental to the welfare of Haiti and its people. The model presented by the Strategic Plan for National Salvation (SPNS) offers exactly that. The challenge that we face in this juncture is to bring simultaneously the modern reconstruction of Haiti to coincide with the transformation of Haiti into a modern State. We need also to convince the Haitian people as well as the international community, that it is an antinomy to have a modern state recently built, governed by an anarcho-populist government, which has already contributed to its demise. Unless the real intent is for it to fail !

Those who witnessed and observed the last 53 years of Haiti’s decline are absolutely convinced that the presence of populism in power in Haiti coincides undoubtedly with its demise. If this is not sufficiently compelling to convince you ; Ask yourself that question, why Senator Christopher Dodd has recommended putting Haiti under trusteeship at the time where the international community is undertaking its reconstruction and its modernization ? The senator is absolutely convinced that populism is unable to manage such transformation. If the main reason of the senator’s recommendation were, the inability of populism to govern wittingly, the solution cannot be the trusteeship, but to get rid of the real problem. It takes new men with new ideas to forge a new world !

The Strategic Plan for National Salvation (SPNS) is offering just that ! It differs from the other plans for two specific reasons. It is not a reaction to the cataclysmic destruction of Haiti. It is the product of a workshop on governance held in the Dominican Republic before the cataclysm, from August 29 to August 30 2009. The SPNS has also taken a much broader vision, including the notion of rethinking and restructuring a modern State.

The SPNS is a quantum leap compare to what has been offered until now. Through serious reflections, the SPNS articulates in a list of changes in the area of governance, with concrete proposals in many domains. In other words, the SPNS shows clearly the path towards emancipation from the populist regimes.

The SPNS has two parts.

The first part is a structural reform :

- Reform and decentralization of the State, grouped into five chapters including :

- Modernization of the State and decentralization strategy

- Legislative reform strategy

- Policy reform of justice and law

- The policy of defense and security

- Foreign policy and external cooperation strategy

The second part, concerns growth and development :

- The promotion of growth and socio-economic development, grouped into ten chapters including :

- The economic policy strategy

- Rehabilitation and reconstruction strategy

- Tourism policy strategy

- The regional development strategy

- Agricultural policy, fisheries and food

- Public health, population policy and sport strategy

- Education, training and scientific research policy

- Electricity policy

- Policy of financing for development

- Last but not lease Economic assumptions framed in three scenarios, optimistic, intermediate, and pessimistic

If in one hand, the physical modernization of Haiti is inevitable with its reconstruction. And the other hand Haiti must also modernize the way it is being governed to maintain its balance and cohesion through-out the process of its renaissance ! Haiti must be able to cross the threshold of modernity in all domains simultaneously to maintain its cohesion and to sustain the requirements for durable development. At this juncture, the modernization of governance is a must for Haiti, if it wants to move forward toward socio-economic stability ! We need the help of everyone in this effort of transformation. The SPNS urges all those sincerely motivated by the idea of reconstruction and modernization of Haiti, to join in this effort for the materialization and success of the SPNS. We sincerely want this plan to be the Haitian plan for the salvation of its people !








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