Remarks by Peter Thomson, the President of the UN General Assembly, at informal GA briefing by the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations on the new Approach to cholera in Haiti
14 June 2017
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to this briefing on the Secretary-General’s follow-up report on the United Nations’ ‘New approach to cholera in Haiti’.
Today’s meeting follows on from the former Secretary-General’s report and briefing to the General Assembly in December 2016. It also responds to the General Assembly’s request for the convening of this briefing in line with resolution 71/161.
The people of Haiti have for many years struggled to rebuild their lives following a series of devastating disasters and challenges, including armed conflict, a major earthquake, a catastrophic hurricane, and a public health crisis following the 2010 outbreak of cholera.
In December 2016, the former Secretary-General announced the United Nations’ new approach to cholera in Haiti. This new approach looks to support the people of Haiti by intensifying efforts to eliminate cholera; upgrading water and sanitation systems; and providing material assistance to those most directly affected by cholera.
It is an approach consistent with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals – most notably SDG6 on ‘Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’ – and one which can help to create an enabling environment for implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Haiti.
A key challenge for implementing the New Approach remains funding. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have already provided support, and to encourage others to positively consider doing so.
Much remains to be done to eliminate cholera in Haiti, and help move the country from fragility to sustainable development and economic growth.
If we are to live together as good neighbors and employ our international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, here is a prime opportunity for good action. Therefore, the United Nations and other international partners must remain engaged and supported in carrying out this effort.
I thank you.