31 March 2010

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

‘Today, the United Nations Are United for Haiti,’ Says the Secretary-General


at Press Conference Following International Donors’ Conference for Haiti


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the press conference following the International Donors’ Conference “Towards a New Future for Haiti”, in New York, today, 31 March:

Today, the international community has come together, dramatically, in solidarity with Haiti and its people.

President [René] Préval’s “rendezvous with history” has come to pass.

By their actions this day, the friends of Haiti have acted far beyond expectation.

We can report very good news.

Member States of the United Nations, and international partners, have pledged $5.3 billion for the next two years and $9.9 billion, in total, for the next three years and beyond.

Today, the United Nations are united for Haiti.  The international community has acted unanimously and for the long term.

This is the down payment Haiti needs for wholesale national renewal.  It is the way to “building back better”.

Now it comes down to implementation ‑‑ delivering on our promises ‑‑ transparency and accountability.  We must make sure Haiti gets the money it needs when it needs it.  And we must guarantee that it is well-coordinated and well-spent.

I want to thank, once again, the international community for their extraordinary generosity.  This is international solidarity in action.

I also want to thank co-host [United States] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the five co-chairs present here for the successful outcome.  My special appreciation should go to Special Envoy, President Bill Clinton.  He will be working with United Nations agencies and, of course, the Government of Haiti in tracking these resources and following through.

The plight of its people requires immediate action and we are all painfully aware of the difficult living conditions in the camps and, in particular, reports of sexual violence against women and children.

Very soon, I will dispatch the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations to Haiti to survey the situation in the camps, assess the steps that have been taken and explore areas for further action.

Today, we have mobilized to give Haiti and its people what they need most:  hope for a new future.  We have made a good start, we need now to deliver.

Question:  How can you assure the international community that the money that has been pledged today is going to go to the right hands and not that it’s going to be invested in the wrong things?

Secretary-General:  First of all, the Government of Haiti and its donor partners are accountable to the people of Haiti, to be transparent and effective, and accountable.  And the Haitian Government is also accountable to the international community, and the international community is also accountable to the Haitian Government and people.  We have agreed to a robust Internet-based tracking system to report on the delivery of the assistance and an emphasis on measuring performance and results.  The pledge will be published and assistance flows tracked through a web-based system being established by the United Nations with the Government of Haiti.

As I said in my remarks, the Office of the Special Envoy, President Clinton, and UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] will be responsible for that.  This information will be available to the public and the system was done to improve on past practice and ensure accountability and transparency.  What is, again, more important is that the pledges should be delivered in time, so that when the Government of Haiti needs [it], then they should be able to use it.  That is mutual accountability.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record