CARICOM Secretary-General Asks UN Secretary-General For Continued Support To Haiti

NEW YORK – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has called on the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General His Excellency Ban ki Moon to provide further sustainable and long term assistance to the earthquake ravaged Member State of Haiti

Ambassador LaRocque met with the UN Secretary-General on Sunday, September 18, ahead of the opening of the 66th United Nations General Assembly on Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and outlined several Community issues for which UN attention was needed, chief of which was support for the recovery process in Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake on 12 January 2010.

Ambassador LaRocque (file photo)

The CARICOM Secretary-General expressed the Community’s appreciation for what he described as the United Nation’s “swift response to Haiti” following the earthquake, but hastened to point out that significant humanitarian challenges remained in Haiti. Those include the ongoing cholera epidemic, the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters, the steady rise in food and fuel prices, all of which the CARICOM Secretary-General stated, were intensifying the hardship being experienced by the Haitian people.

He stressed the importance of sustained support for Haiti noting the need for international solidarity beyond the crisis. Ambassador LaRocque reiterated the call on the International Community to make good on its pledges to Haiti expeditiously, and to ensure that all expenditure redounded to the direct benefit of the Haitian People. This call was made previously by CARICOM Heads of Government Special Representative to Haiti, the Most Honourable P J Patterson.

The CARICOM Secretary-General also recorded the Community’s appreciation for the role being played by MINUSTAH in Haiti and acknowledged the fact that the UN Secretary General had requested a one-year extension for MINUSTAH.

Notwithstanding this extension, the CARICOM Secretary-General urged that “MINUSTAH’s renewed mandate be amended to include a greater developmental role in Haiti’s reconstruction process, and that consideration be given to ensuring that the Government and people of Haiti were assisted, to the extent required, in providing for their needs in terms of security and stability.”

UN Secretary-General reiterated his full support for the reconstruction and recovery process in Haiti and urged member states to honor their pledges.

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