Statement by Ambassador Alejandro Wolff, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Haiti, in the UN General Assembly

Alejandro Wolff
Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
January 22, 2010




AS DELIVERED

Thank you Madame President. The United States welcomes today’s resolution on humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and rehabilitation for Haiti. We are working urgently with our international partners, nations around the world, NGOs, and the entire UN system, to help the people of Haiti recover from the current crisis and rebuild over the long term. 

We are also pleased to join consensus on this year’s resolution on international cooperation—humanitarian assistance in the field of natural disasters from relief to development, to help provide timely and effective assistance to communities shaken by natural disasters.  The United States remains deeply committed to working in close partnership with our fellow member states, and the United Nations system, to respond to natural disasters around the world. We note for the record that this resolution contains a paragraph with a reference to International Humanitarian Law which should not be confused with the humanitarian activities or assistance that are the subject of today’s resolution. International Humanitarian Law, to which we are fully committed, is a term that governs situations of armed conflict, not humanitarian assistance.

Madame President, regrettably I must respond to the undignified allegations of three isolated delegations – Nicaragua, Bolivia and Venezuela – who have used this somber occasion in support of Haiti to politicize the matter with ill informed tendentious statements.  In calling for us all to avoid politicizing the situation in Haiti, they have done just that by alleging ulterior motives and alleging occupation.  Another representative from a large Caribbean island nation rightly noted the Haitian people’s need for help from the international community, and the assistance over time in close cooperation with Haiti that should be with the full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Haiti.  We share that approach.

We are in Haiti at the request of the Haitian government, with only humanitarian interests in mind. President Preval and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a joint communiqué reflecting this. Today, the Permanent Representative of Haiti reflected the gratitude and appreciation of his government for all the international assistance his country has received. It would be appropriate for those three countries that have ridiculously alleged conspiracy and occupation, without any foundation, to actually respect the position of the sovereign country of Haiti, about which they claim to be so concerned.

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PRN: 2010/014