Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I welcome the opportunity to address you today in solidarity with Haiti, a priority country for the Secretary-General and the United Nations.
I thank Canada for hosting this Ministerial Meeting, and the United States for organizing the International Partners Meeting on 17 December.
The presence of so many of you today is a testimony to your engagement with Haiti and to your concern about the situation in the country.
2021 marked one of the most fraught periods in Haiti’s recent history, as I saw firsthand when I visited last August.
The tragic assassination of President Moïse was a shock that deepened the political crisis.
Another devastating earthquake added a new layer of complexity to an already dire humanitarian situation.
Insecurity worsened in Port-au-Prince, as armed gangs stepped up political violence and criminal activities, taking advantage of weakened state institutions to attack the rule of law.
Despite increasing needs, last year saw a drop in international development assistance to Haiti.
Political tensions and polarization continue to cast doubt on a clear path toward greater stability.
In the midst of multiple crises, from peace and security challenges to a humanitarian emergency, the only hope for Haiti lies in sustainable, inclusive development.
I hope that our coming together today will be part of strong efforts to change the trajectory.
Haiti needs support as it seeks to balance the response to immediate needs with addressing root causes, in order to pave a more sustainable path to development.
We must acknowledge that this is a balance we have not been able to reach – collectively - in our previous efforts.
Investments have often been fragmented or not sustained over time.
Job opportunities – especially for young people – remain scarce.
Institutional development has been insufficient to cope with immense needs.
However, high-level gatherings like this give me hope.
Hope that Haiti remains on the radar and in our hearts.
One clear way to respond to the immediate needs of Haitians is by supporting reconstruction in earthquake-affected areas of the South, through the next month’s donor conference.
At the same time, we can support political and security efforts to create enabling conditions for elections, the end to gang violence and longer-term development investments.
These are two sides of the same coin.
Let us unite behind solutions led by Haitians, for all Haitians.