|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
‘In Memory of Fallen Comrades’ in Haiti Earthquake, Secretary-General
Says ‘Let Us Pledge to Realize Their Dream of a Better Haiti’
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the ceremony marking the first anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, in New York, today, 12 January:
Forty-seven seconds. It is not a long time. But the earthquake in Haiti was an eternity of sorrow.
One year is not long, either. Every day, I see the faces of our fallen colleagues. I hear their voices. Like you, I remember.
Today, we gather in solidarity — with the people of Haiti, with one another, with all who lost their loved ones on that tragic day.
To the families of our 102 fallen colleagues. To all who suffered injuries, physical and emotional. We offer our deepest sympathies.
As we honour the dead, we honour the living. The Haitians struggling in difficult conditions, the workers from around the world helping Haiti to rebuild, the many donors giving aid.
Let us be realistic: the road ahead will be long and hard. Haiti’s streets are still full of rubble. Schools, hospitals, civic infrastructure — all has yet to be rebuilt. To be frank, reconstruction has been slow. International aid and investment has not come as quickly as needed, or as promised. The cholera epidemic shows no sign of abating.
Yet, we are making progress. The number of people living in camps is half what it was at the peak of the emergency. We provide clean water to 1 million people every day, food to 2 million people every month. We are providing security and will help a new government get on its feet and fulfil its responsibilities to its people. And, despite the slow start, recovery and reconstruction is finally beginning in earnest.
On this sad and solemn occasion, I want to say: the United Nations, the entire international community, stood by Haiti and its people in their darkest hour. Together, we will walk with them towards a brighter future.
In life, we are measured by the company we keep. We are ennobled by the work we do, together. In the memory of our fallen comrades, let us pledge to realize their dream of a better Haiti.
May they rest in peace. May we carry on their journey.
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