Mr. President Ambassador Claude Heller, Permanent Representative of Mexico,
Distinguished Members of the Security Council,
Ambassador Leo Merores, Permanent Representative of Haiti,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank you and the Council for the opportunity provided to the organization of American States to speak at this important meeting on the situation in Haiti. Mexico’s commitment is a longstanding one and we thank your country and other OAS member states and observers for the assistance provided to the hemispheric body over the past years to facilitate our work in Haiti.
Mr. President, this invitation from the UN Security Council also reaffirms the on-going strong collaboration between the United Nations and the Organization of American States secretariats as well as on the ground in Haiti. Allow me at this point to congratulate the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Hedi Annabi with the excellent leadership he has demonstrated in support of Haiti and also thank him for the valuable support received on recent missions of the OAS leadership and of the Permanent Council to Haiti.
Mr. President and members of the Council, the Republic of Haiti is at a unique and important juncture in its history. We believe that since the 2006 Presidential elections Haiti, through the inclusive approach demonstrated by H.E. President Rene Garcia Preval, created a relative stable political environment, achieved through the efforts of the Haitian National Police and MINUSTAH an improved security environment and the developed a social and economic program for reconstruction, among other positive developments. Having said this, we must recognize that political, economic and social challenges remain, as outlined earlier in details by the Special Representative.
At the same time we are of the view that these important developments combined with the historic high degree of international and hemispheric solidarity and support provide, in our view, a most appropriate foundation to start a process of job creation, production, investment and income generation.
Mr. President, whereas in the past the focus has been on the strengthening and maintenance of democracy, the electoral process and stable governance, we believe that the time has come to redirect our collective efforts, with the assistance of the domestic and international private sector, to create economic opportunities through short term initiatives and at the same time lay the foundations for a structural path of growth and development through investments in education, health, the agriculture sector and natural disaster mitigation and risk reduction programs.
The OAS, based on the priorities as established by the Government of Haiti, will continue to work in the area of the civil registry, especially the strengthening of the electoral process through the provision of national voter ID cards to more than 95% of the adult population and, in the process, laying the foundation for the first-ever modernized national civil registry, the support to the Provisional Electoral Council during the upcoming partial senatorial elections and in its transformation to a Permanent Electoral Council, trade capacity building, tourism development, human rights, especially of disabled persons, constitutional reform and possibly in specific areas to strengthen and reform of the judiciary.
In whatever we undertake in Haiti, Mr. Chairman, the OAS believes that it must include as a cross-cutting objective the strengthening of state institutions and capacity building to execute Haiti’s priority reconstruction program. It is, in our view, also of critical importance to focus on sustainability of progress. This will enhance confidence among Haitians and the international community, and no doubt will result in more and sustained assistance.
The international donor conference on Haiti next 14 April in Washington DC, with the encouraging central objective “Toward a New Cooperation Paradigm for Growth and Opportunity”, will provide an opportune moment to bring all these commitments together through the adoption of a framework for cooperation and international partnership under effective coordination and governance mechanisms.
Mr. President, Equally we believe that it is important to continue foster partnerships with the private sector, the civil society, the Haitian diaspora, and other functional groups to establish a broader platform for development and stability.
In closing Mr. Chairman and distinguished members, while the political, social and economic development of Haiti is in the first place a Haitian responsibility, we believe that is also an obligation of the international community to politically and financially accompany this process of dialogue, recovery and reconstruction. I therefore take this opportunity, also on behalf of Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza, to reaffirm the strong commitment and support of the Organization of American States to the Government and People of the Republic of Haiti in their efforts to continue and strengthen the democratic process and to enhance social and economic development, and security to the benefit of the Haitian people.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.