ARIEL HENRY, Prime Minister of Haiti, expressed his gratitude to the General Assembly for its support following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. He reaffirmed his determination to bring perpetrators to justice and he requested legal assistance to deal with this transnational crime. Turning to the COVID-19 pandemic, he thanked the COVAX Facility and other bilateral initiatives for providing access to vaccines.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees identified 80 million uprooted people including 30 million refugees and asylum-seekers, he said. This was paving the way for an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. He invited the international community to improve the living conditions of refugees in compliance with the fundamental principles of the Geneva Conventions. As well, he recalled that the world was shocked by the videos of Haitians recently mishandled at the Mexico-United States border. These individuals should be treated fairly and humanely, he stated.
Insecurity and political instability were major challenges in Haiti, he continued. Considering the lack of democratic institutions, he added that he has been trying to govern by establishing a dialogue with political parties and civil society. A consensus was the only way to ensure political stability in the country. To that end, a political agreement for a peaceful and efficient transition was published a few days ago in the official journal. This agreement aims to ensure security during the organization of the forthcoming elections and compels the Government to be transparent and accountable. All relevant stakeholders would be invited to contribute to the new Constitution, which would be adopted by means of a referendum. The Government remained open to achieve consensus and to work with all stakeholders for a timely and peaceful transition.
Haiti was one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, he said. The recent earthquake of 14 August was an illustration of what the country is facing. This tragedy resulted in 2,207 deaths and 12,268 injuries. It also destroyed thousands of houses, hospitals, churches and vital infrastructure. He thanked the international community for its assistance and urged that such assistance remain throughout the reconstruction process. Haiti has been working with its partners to elaborate a post-disaster needs assessment which should be concluded in the coming weeks. This step was critical to starting the reconstruction of the southern peninsula.
He underscored that fighting poverty and creating wealth were priorities for his Government. Calling for a stronger multilateral system to enable the development of joint strategies against major challenges, he also invited the world to consider the aspirations of Taiwan, which has a role to play in the promotion of international cooperation.
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