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Ex-Caribbean leaders preach peace, legislative reform for 2021 

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Posted: Monday, December 21, 2020. 3:05 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.” – Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller, “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” 1955 

Four Caribbean statesmen have laid out a platform for regional change in a recent meeting as The Coalition of Caribbean Leaders for Peace (CCLP). 

Former Prime Minister of Belize, Right Honourable Said Musa; Former Prime Minister of Guyana, the Honorable Samuel Hinds; Former Prime Minister of Grenada, the Honorable Tillman Thomas; and Former Prime Minister of Haiti, the Honorable Jean-Henry Ceant, have presented a Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) which it hopes to pass in all Caribbean countries with the support of the CARICOM Secretariat. With 10 articles and 38 clauses drafted by international law experts, it builds on existing UN resolutions with provisions to avoid war-related actions and achieve peace, respect international law, as well as engender ethnic and religious harmony and a culture of peace.  

Musa, the last of the group to have served in Parliament following his retirement earlier this year, spoke of his pleasure that Belize’s international disputes, including that with Guatemala, are being handled peacefully, and grounded future settlements in Article Six of the Declaration. He was supported by Guyana’s Hinds, who between 1992 and 2015 led his country through border disputes with both Suriname and Venezuela. The former is being brought to CARICOM for resolution; the latter is before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as is Belize’s with Guatemala. 

The Coalition committed to doing more work on the ground, especially relief efforts in affected Caribbean communities; promoting campaign finance reform in their respective countries; and promoting the need for legislative bodies that more effectively separate powers between the executive and legislative bodies in each country. 

The group first met in Washington in 2019 and works to promote the rule of law and the importance of peace reinforced in international law by advocated the adoption of measures ensuring peace in national constitutions; to prevent violence through leveraging the power of civil society; and to spread the culture of peace by connecting youth to international leaders and global society and implementing peace education programs. 

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