Journalists of Dominican Republic and Haiti have committed to working together to create an atmosphere of fraternity, conciliation and understanding, which will allow them to overcome past disagreements between both nations and to construct a future of full collaboration for undivided development, justice and peace for the countries. [Many thanks to Alanna Lockward for bringing this information to our attention.]
The initiative of the island journalists is described in a declaration signed by 11 Dominican and 11 Haitian journalists, who gathered from May 8 to 10 in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.
In the document, representatives of both nations confirm that the media and journalists should play a fundamental role in promoting of a respectful culture of tolerance and of understanding between both countries of the island, as well as truth and objectivity in their communications.
The declaration entitled “Journalists of Haiti and the Dominican Republic for the fraternity of both peoples” establishes that “our countries are united in brotherhood because of the geography and proximity, and are therefore beholden to understanding and mutual collaboration in order to leave behind historical chapters that have generated resentment, prejudice and exclusions. As societies and as nations, we have peculiarities, but also roots and common expectations that we have to acknowledge and claim.”
[The document] adds that the Dominican Republic and Haiti cannot continue to live turning their backs on each other in the reduced area of this island, while in the rest of the world collaboration is predominant and while both nations have regional treaties for trade and development.
“Thus, we encourage our authorities and ruling classes to undertake with greater good will the mission mandated almost 20 years ago for a Bilateral Mixed Commission [Comisión Mixta Bilateral] to fulfill agreements and cooperation in the areas of migration, trade, environmental protection, security, investments, education and health,” detailed the press release sent to Diario Libre.
The Haitian and Dominican journalists considered positive the initiatives of the governments, business groups, and civil society organizations of both countries that promote projects of mutual understanding and development.
They insist that the press should never be a tool for a manipulation of information that may damage the relationship between both peoples. “As journalists, we defend freedom of speech and free access to information. We reject all manifestations of intolerance and we understand that expressions of hatred and incitement to violence reflect neither the shared opinions of the media and journalists nor of our societies,” expressed the declaration.
Signing the document for Dominican Republic were: Ramón Colombo, Juan Bolívar Díaz, María Isabel Soldevila, Fausto Rosario Adames, Amelia Dechamps, Alanna Lockward, José Luis Soto, Bienvenido Scharboy, Víctor Pizarro, and Margarita Cordero.
Signing the declaration for Haitii were: Ives Marie Chanel, Herold Jean François, Gotson Pierre, Sophar Sanon, Jean Roumel Pierre, Kendi Zidor, Marc García, Venel Remarais, Patrick Saint Pierre, Louis Joseph Olivier, and Jean Michel Caroit.
[Translation by Andrea Palma and Ivette Romero.]
Also see http://acento.com.do/2015/actualidad/8247949-periodistas-de-rd-y-haiti-acuerdan-dialogo-y-busqueda-de-colaboracion-mutua/, http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2015/05/11/i188133_periodistas-dominicanos-haitianos-comprometen-con-entendimiento-entre-sus-paises.html, and http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2015/5/10/366650/Periodistas-de-RD-y-de-Haiti-acuerdan-comision-binacional