Statement by Ambassador Frederick D. Barton, United States Special Representative to the Economic and Social Council, At the Special Event of the Economic and Social Council on Haiti

Ambassador Rick Barton
U.S. Representative for Economic and Social Affairs 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
June 24, 2010




AS DELIVERED

Thank you for bringing us together today to renew our commitment to the recovery and reconstruction of Haiti. The United States is deeply committed to this effort and greatly appreciative of the invaluable efforts and contributions of the Haitian people, their government, our international friends, the United Nations, World Bank and other multilaterals, civil society, the NGOs, and private citizens. It has been a team effort and much good work has been done.

The earthquake that shattered Haiti has left us with a huge challenge. Now is a time for renewal, as we face the many consequences of the tragedy that befell our Haitian neighbors. The coming months will determine our success, so we must be resolute: in pursuing a clear strategy that is built by the Haitian people and their government; providing the support and guidance that is needed in Haiti; engaging the Haitian public in every step of the process and coordinating in a comprehensive manner with other donors and NGOs.

We have made a good start but much remains to be done. In what will be a busy political year for Haiti, it is mandatory that real progress on day-to-day living be advanced. From rubble removal to shelter, from basic infrastructure to jobs, from rule of law to reopening schools, and rebuilding the shattered healthcare system, Haitians need to be part of tangible improvements, for it is their sense of hope that will drive the entire enterprise of building a better Haiti. The United States in this effort is trying to bring as much innovation as possible. We have had nearly half of American households involved in making generous contributions over the past few months. We’ve also been involved in mobile banking, helping to design low cost and stronger homes. Simultaneous distribution of water source purification tablets, which has made water today in Port-au-Prince, safer than it was before the earthquake.

President Obama has made clear that the United States will go the extra mile to make sure that Haiti benefits from the best efforts we can make. We are grateful to be among a large group of nations who are being as generous and constructive as possible. The challenges of rebuilding following such a devastating natural disaster are immense, but the positive resolve of so many here today provides our best chance to give Haitians a fresh start.

Thank you.

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PRN: 2010/123