Remarks by Ambassador Rosemary A. DiCarlo, U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs, in the Special Session on Haiti, in the General Assembly

Rosemary A. DiCarlo
U.S. Ambassador and Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
January 13, 2010




AS DELIVERED

Thank you, Mr. President, for convening this meeting. I would like to thank the Secretary-General and President Clinton for their comments today.

The more we learn more about the scale and scope of the devastation in Haiti, the more agonizing and incomprehensible this tragedy becomes.

The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with all those affected by this terrible earthquake - to the people of Haiti, to those who have lost loved ones, to those still waiting for word of those missing, and to the families and loved ones of the brave members of MINUSTAH and other UN agencies in Haiti who were killed or are still missing. I join other member states in offering sincere condolences to all those affected by this disaster.

The United States is working closely with the Government of Haiti, international aid organizations, and other international partners to respond swiftly and urgently to save lives. As the Secretary-General stated, President Obama has reached out to him today to offer and coordinate U.S. assistance. President Obama has also reached out to President Preval.

We are joining others in the urgent search and rescue effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble and to deliver humanitarian assistance - food, water, medicine, and other necessities - in the coming days.

The first U.S. rescue teams and resources are arriving in Port-au-Prince beginning this afternoon, and many more rescue, medical, and emergency personnel and other lifesaving resources are being mobilized now.

We have begun to marshal resources:

  • Military overflights have assessed the damage.
  • A USG Disaster Response Team is now on the ground.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard is currently assisting with Air Traffic Control operations at the Port-au-Prince airport. The U.S. SouthernCommand has deployed with temporary air traffic control equipment for the airport, and the equipment should be operational by tomorrow.
  • Elements of the U.S. Air Force will also be deploying to the international airport to provide air traffic control capability and airfield operations. 
  • Four Coast Guard cutters have deployed, with capacities for water generation and medical care.
  • And two Coast Guard planes stand ready to assist.

And, Mr. President, the U.S. military is assisting with the transportation of UN and MINUSTAH staff to Haiti.

We are considering the critical needs in the area of health, food, water, transportation and infrastructure, and are committed to doing everything that we can in each of those sectors.

The United States stands with all those suffering from this unspeakable tragedy, and we remain deeply committed to the international recovery effort that will ease as much of the misery and sorrow as we can.

As President Obama said today, this is a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share. This is a critical time for Haiti and a critical moment for the international community to come together to support Haiti in its time of need.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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PRN: 2010/005