3 March 2009 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited former United States President Bill Clinton to join him on an upcoming trip to Haiti to raise awareness of efforts to help the Caribbean nation’s people and government bolster their economic security.
According to a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban’s decision was spurred by the former American leader’s attention to Haiti while in office, his work as a United Nations Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and his September 2008 call to help Haiti as part of his Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).
Next week’s visit builds on Mr. Ban’s continuing work with Haitian President René Préval to find a way to create jobs and improve food security, reforestation and the provision of basic services, including health care.
“The presence of the Secretary-General and President Clinton will bring a strong message of hope that Haiti is still ‘winnable,’” the statement noted.
“The trip will help to focus attention on the importance for new partnerships and new efforts to assist the people and government of Haiti as they continue to ‘build back better’ from recent storm damage and create a more stable and prosperous future for the children of Haiti.”
Yesterday, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy – who visited the country in January – told reporters of the “allure of hope” in the impoverished country.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue