Clinton: Haiti's post-quake reconstruction a "small miracle"
Apr 6, 2011, 15:48 GMT
New York - Haiti has achieved a 'small miracle' since the January 2010 earthquake in rebuilding the Caribbean nation, but long- term success depends on the incoming government in Port-au-Prince, former US President Bill Clinton said Wednesday.
Clinton, UN special envoy to Haiti, said in an address to the UN Security Council that the peaceful transition of power after last month's presidential run-off election is a 'cause of celebration.'
President-elect Michel Martelly will be inaugurated next month, succeeding President Rene Preval, who will be the first Haitian leader to finish the presidency without having to go into exile like his predecessors. Preval attended Wednesday's Security Council meeting in New York.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos chaired the meeting because his country holds the rotating council presidency for April. The foreign ministers of Chile and Argentina also attended, as Latin America provided the bulk of peacekeepers to the UN mission in Haiti.
The council meeting was organized to take stock of progress in post-quake reconstruction efforts and to urge the international community to maintain its commitment to support Haiti.
'Haiti is a small miracle of human nature,' said Clinton, who also headed international programmes to assist Indonesia and other South- East Asia countries struck by the 2004 tsunami.
The international community in March 2010 pledged about 5 billion dollars for short-term reconstruction goals in Haiti. Clinton said said 37 per cent of that amount had been disbursed. An interim commission for the reconstruction of Haiti has been handling financial matters.
Clinton praised Preval for helping the 'remarkable' progress since the magnitude-8 earthquake killed more than 230,000 people and left more than 1 million people homeless.
Clinton said the rebuilding of Haiti's health system in the last year has been set back since autumn by the cholera epidemic that has killed more than 5,000 people and hospitalized tens of thousands of people.
He urged Martelly to continue the reconstruction efforts and coordinate with the international community and donors in the post- quake programmes.
Preval said in his speech that the UN should review the 'efficacity of its interventions, which resulted practically in 11 years of military presence in a country without war.'
The UN maintains peacekeeping missions in Haiti, one of the world's poorest countries, to help train an army and police, and to build democratic institutions.
Preval complained that Haiti's instability has been caused by drug trafficking.
'Haiti neither produces nor consumes drugs,' Preval said, pointing a finger at 'consumer countries in the north' for problems in his country.
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