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Posts Tagged ‘Haiti Donors Conference’

Reblogging this from March, 2010 because on MTP Mike Pence and then Hugh Hewitt insulted this effort to help Haiti.

Leaders from all over the world – government and NGOs – have convened to assist earthquake-stricken Haiti.

International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
United Nations Headquarters
New York, New York
March 31, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Secretary General, and thank you for your leadership and your personal commitment to this international endeavor.

President Preval, to you and the members of your government, we thank you for the extraordinary work that you have done leading up to this point.

To former President Clinton, with whom I first went to Haiti many years ago about two months after we were married, thank you for taking on another assignment from the Secretary General.

And to all of the countries and international institutions represented here, thank you. Thank you for the immediate response to the overwhelming catastrophe that afflicted the Haitian people and thank you for your continuing commitment.

We have had over 140 nations working to support the Government of Haiti in delivering food, temporary shelter, and medical care to thousands of survivors. But the emergency relief is only the beginning of what will be a long road to recovery, as the Secretary General just pointed out; one that will require global support.

Some people wonder, “Why Haiti? Why this great outpouring of international humanitarian concern and commitment to Haiti’s future? Why is Haiti’s fate of such consequence to the region and the world that it deserves sustained help? Why should we hope that this time, with our collective assistance, Haiti can achieve a better future?” These are questions that deserve answers and I believe that this conference will begin to do so.

The humanitarian need, we know, is great. Therefore, as fellow human beings, we respond from a position of conscience and morality to help those who, but for the grace of God, we could be in a world where natural disasters are often unpredictable, inflicting great costs. Haiti was a country of 9 million people before the earthquake. Today, more than a quarter of a million of those people have died. More than a million are homeless. Hundreds of thousands live in temporary camps without enough food or sufficient access to sanitation. Nearly every government agency has been destroyed along with universities, hospitals, and primary schools, which we know are the foundations to a nation’s long-term progress. Close to a million young people were preparing to enter the job market within five years. Now their opportunities have crumbled while the need for jobs has multiplied.

Before the earthquake, Haiti was on a path to progress. The government, led by President Preval, had started enacting critical reforms. Haiti’s economy grew by nearly 3 percent last year. Two international chains launched new hotels, a sign of a rising tourism industry. New factories were opening and others had been contracted to begin production. But with the earthquake, the results of much of this hard work were wiped away. But the people of Haiti never gave up. As they mourn their losses, they gathered the resources they had left and began working around the clock to put their lives and their country back together. They relied on the strength and the spirit that have carried them through tough times before. But they need our help. They cannot succeed without the support of the global community, and we need Haiti to succeed. What happens there has repercussions far beyond its borders.

There are two paths that lie before us. If Haiti can build safe homes, its citizens can escape many of the dangers they now face and return to more normal lives. If Haiti can realize broad-based, sustainable economic growth, it can create opportunity across the country beyond Port-au-Prince so Haitians don’t have to move to their capital or leave their country to find work. If Haiti can build strong health and education systems, it can give its people the tools they need to contribute to their nation’s progress and fulfill their own God-given potentials. If Haiti can create strong, transparent, accountable institutions, it can establish the credibility, trust, and stability its people have long-deserved. And if Haiti can do all of those things with our help, it will become an engine for progress and prosperity generating opportunity and fostering greater stability for itself and for countries throughout the hemisphere and beyond.

But there is another path that Haiti could take, a path that demands far less of Haiti and far less of us. If the effort to rebuild is slow or insufficient, if it is marked by conflict, lack of coordination, or lack of transparency, then the challenges that have plagued Haiti for years could erupt with regional and global consequences. Before the earthquake, migration drained Haiti of many talented citizens, many of whom live in our country. If new jobs and opportunity do not emerge, even more people will leave.

Before the earthquake, quality healthcare was a challenge for Haiti. Now, it is needed even more urgently. Haiti has the highest rate of tuberculosis in the hemisphere, the highest rate of HIV, the highest rates of infant, child, and maternal mortality, one of the highest rates of child malnutrition. And with the public health system now shattered, those numbers will climb. The lack of sanitation services could cause outbreaks of lethal illnesses. And the lack of reliable medical services could give rise to new drug-resistant strains of disease that will soon cross borders.

Before the earthquake, hunger was a problem for Haiti. Years of deforestation had stripped the land of its rich topsoil and people struggled to grow or purchase enough food to feed their families. The riots over food that broke out in 2008 toppled Haiti’s government. Now, food is even more scarce, and people more desperate.

Before the earthquake, security was a challenge for Haiti, and a United Nations peacekeeping mission, MINUSTAH, helped promote the rule of law. Now the dedicated UN workers in Haiti have suffered terrible losses. So have the Haitian National Police, which were building their ranks and their capacity. With so much destruction and dislocation, security is even more tenuous. Drug trafficking is a half a billion dollar a year industry in Haiti. It thrives on political and social instability. Trafficking in human beings is also rampant. Tens of thousands of children are trafficked in Haiti every year, and now even more are vulnerable.

Now, each of these problems directly affects the people of Haiti, but they indirectly affect us all. And if they worsen, it is not only the people of Haiti who will suffer. Yet I have great confidence in the resilience of the people of Haiti. Their history has tested them and now they are being tested again. So are Haiti’s leaders, in whom I also have great confidence. So we are called to do better than we have in the past. Many countries here have helped Haiti in the past. Many NGOs have helped Haiti in the past. We cannot do what we’ve done before.

The leaders of Haiti must take responsibility for their country’s reconstruction. They must make the tough decisions that guide a strong, accountable, and transparent recovery. And that is what they are starting to do with the creation of a new mechanism that provides coordination and consultation so aid can be directed where it is most needed. And we in the global community, we must also do things differently. It will be tempting to fall back on old habits – to work around the government rather than to work with them as partners, or to fund a scattered array of well-meaning projects rather than making the deeper, long-term investments that Haiti needs now. We cannot retreat to failed strategies.

I know we’ve heard these imperatives before – the need to coordinate our aid, hold ourselves accountable, share our knowledge, track results. But now, we cannot just declare our intentions. We have to follow through and put them into practice. Therefore, this is not only a conference about what financially we pledge to Haiti. We also have to pledge our best efforts to do better ourselves – to offer our support in a smarter way, a more effective way that produces real results for the people of Haiti.

So let us say here, with one voice, we will pass this test for us. To that end, the United States pledges $1.15 billion for Haiti’s long-term recovery and reconstruction. This money will go toward supporting the Government of Haiti’s plan to strengthen agriculture, energy, health, security, and governance. We are committed to working with the people and organizations throughout Haiti, including civil society groups, private businesses, NGOs, and citizens. And I’m very glad to see so many of them represented here today.

We will also be looking for ways to engage our Haitian diaspora. Haitian Americans have much to contribute to this effort. And we will seek specifically to empower the women of Haiti. I’ve said this so many times that I know I sound like a broken record, but investing in women is the best investment we can make in any country. And investing in the Haitian women will fuel the long-term economic recovery and progress, not only for them, but for their families.

Over the years, all of our countries have learned many lessons, particularly from the tsunami that the United Nations was instrumental in leading the response to. Now, we must put those lessons to work in Haiti. I’m very excited and very committed on behalf of President Obama, the Government of the United States, and the people of the United States to help Haiti and to help the leaders of Haiti lead a recovery effort worthy of their highest hopes.

Thank you so much, Secretary General. (Applause.)

NEW YORK - MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the "International Donors' Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti" at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (C) and Hatian President Rene Preval (R) listen during the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (C) and Hatian President Rene Preval (R) listen during the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

NEW YORK - MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the "International Donors' Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti" at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon (L) speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon (L) speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

NEW YORK - MARCH 31: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looks on during the opening session of the "International Donors' Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti" at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – MARCH 31: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looks on during the opening session of the “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (R), a U.N. special representative for Haiti, speaks as Haitian President Rene Preval (2nd R), U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listen during the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (R), a U.N. special representative for Haiti, speaks as Haitian President Rene Preval (2nd R), U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listen during the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

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Hmmmmm… I thought helping Haiti was a good thing! Did you think so too? Why not chip in what you can to support our former secretary of state who was kind to a stricken neighbor on our behalf!

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This chapter is an intensely personal one for me.  Like anyone who has ever lived there, I remember exactly where I was – sitting in my car at an intersection I was at daily on my way home from work – when I heard the news of the earthquake on the radio.  As soon as I heard the magnitude, I knew what the number 7 meant.  I looked at the Getty station on the corner where I was waiting for the green light and imagined it crumbled.  I knew that many buildings I knew, loved, had been in, had lived, studied, and worked in had been destroyed.  I knew that people I cared for, had taught or studied with were gone. I was not prepared for this.
Haiti_National_Palace_before_after_2010_Haiti_Earthquake
No, I had never been in the National Palace, but like the Getty station I had been next to when I heard the news, it was a building I passed four times daily on my way to and from work at the Haitian-American Institute where I taught English.  That link goes to a whole new building.  The building where I taught was an old mansion on the east end of the Champs-de-Mars on Rue Capois.  Like the National Palace, it had collapsed – probably while evening classes were going on at the busiest time of day there.

 

original building

On July 4,1942, Haitians and Americans founded a bi-national center to reinforce friendship and cultural ties between their two countries. Located in the heart of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian-American Institute has enjoyed decades of continuous community service and remains faithful to the ideal of its founders.

The Haitian-American Institute itself stands on a landmark site. The original building was the house that once belonged to former Haitian President Elie LESCOT. This building, pictured in the pen and ink drawing at the top of this page, was destroyed in the January 12, 2010 earthquake.

It is a bi-national center run partially by the State Department.  It’s great to see this grand new facility!

In the old building,  I loved teaching at six in the morning in the classroom on that very top floor.  You could see the city waking up.  I would walk up the many flights of stairs early just to go out on that balcony and watch for a few minutes before the students arrived.  When Dr. Ainslie Minor was director,  as was his position as Cultural Affairs officer at the embassy, he was often on the front steps to greet me and the arriving students prior to the early morning classes.  We all loved him!  He loved the institute and everything about it.  We teachers were disdained by some subsequent directors until Millie McCoo arrived.  She, too, loved the institute, the students, and the teachers.

Passing the palace, on my way to work, I was usually on foot.   I nodded to the guards in the guardhouse every day – several times a day.  I later learned that the police headquarters adjacent to the palace had also crumbled to the ground.  I was in there regularly on my annual trek through the ministries to renew my visas.

All of those ministries were gone.  So were the people in all of them.  All the people in all of those buildings.  My HAI and all of the government buildings.

It was beyond my imagination, much the way the collapse of the twin towers had been on 9/11.  I heard the news only one traffic light away from where, that September morning, I had heard that a plane had flown into One World Trade.

How could it be?  Who could have survived this?  How on earth could my poor, dear Haïti Chérie recover?

As I had over those “green weekends” in June 2009 when the Iranians were protesting their elections, I took to Twitter.  A girl had texted, trapped in rubble beneath a supermarket that I knew.  One where I had shopped.  Many of us continually retweeted her location (and many others).  24 hours later, on the news,  I saw her pulled out alive and well and wept.  The reporter said they had found her from the tweets.

That tarmac, where I had boarded and disembarked so many, many times was the tarmac where Hillary landed only five days after the worst disaster in memory in that country – the very first high foreign official to set foot on Haiti’s shaken soil after the quake.  This was no photo op or campaign junket.  Hillary’s visit was from her heart.  It was dangerous, responsive, and crucial.

That, and much more was in my heart as I started reading this chapter and Hillary’s words about landing at the airport that, when I lived there,  was named for François Duvalier and had undergone a major upgrade just before I left the country for good.

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Hillary was in Hawaii on her way to Asia when the quake – that came to be known as “Haitiquake” – occurred.

Hillary Clinton: “… it is Biblical…”

Hillary had to change her plans.  She flew back to D.C. immediately.

Hillary Headed Home to Manage Help For Haiti

She was at the White House the next morning and the pain was in her face … the terrible pain.

I  followed her progress to Haiti partially thanks to Greta Van Susteren who tweeted generously from the plane where she sat beside Andrea Mitchell and less so thanks to the old State Department Twitter that went by the handle “Dipnote,” which, in retrospect,  was not so bad and pretty democratic.

When Hillary landed I thought of her as really and truly “superwoman.”   I am sure the Americans at the airport waiting to be evacuated thought of her that way too – or as an angel of mercy.

She was landing on menacingly shaky ground. People who demand further service from her ought to consider the risks she has already taken, the sacrifices she has already endured,  the time in the air and on sometimes dangerous foreign soil,  away from her family.  When does this “superwoman” get a chance to step back and let someone else take the reins?

Hillary Clinton, Angel of Mercy: Her Press Conference & Details on her trip to stricken Haiti

The guy with the argumentative comment on that post was wrong.  She did come in by military transport, as I had predicted. She brought needed supplies and left the press entourage behind to bring injured Americans out.  The purpose of her visit was to get an agreement from the President of Haiti to allow American military to take over the airport operations so that aid – waiting and blocked – could begin to flow.  Sometimes, in a disaster, you must, judiciously, let one important visitor in for the greater good.  Haiti was no textbook case.  Who knew there was such a thing as a portable airport control tower?  That is what the FAA sent and that would not have happened without Hillary’s intervention and visit, i.e.  sometimes more is more.

Video: Hillary Clinton’s Press Briefing about her trip to Haiti

Hillary Clinton is Wheels down in Haiti (MSNBC)

Video: Hillary Clinton Arriving in Haiti

Hillary to the rescue!

Video: Hillary Clinton Speaks to The Haitian People

Over the course of some of those posts I heard from some aircraft experts that I had misidentified the plane as a C-130, but Hillary, in her book, validates me.  Sometimes it takes years to be validated!  My dad was an aircraft expert, not I.  He built them and knew anything that was in the air that was not flapping its own wings.  But once you have been floating on the Hudson River and seen a C-130 over your head on its way to Newburgh, you know one when you see one.  It’s sort of like the Queen Mary over your head.

Hillary Clinton in Haiti: Some Images From Today

01-16-10-17
Hillary was accompanied by Cheryl Mills and USAID Director Rajiv Shah (2nd and 1st on the right respectively above).  Cheryl, from what Hillary says, must have been the one who got the “people-finder” set up as well as the text system for sending donations easily from your cell phone.

Rajiv was on the ground at the Champs-de-Mars in front of the collapsed National Palace where it seemed much of the Port-au-Prince population was camping out.  I remember him finding some enterprising young folks who had managed to have two car batteries and one car.  They had set up an enterprise allowing people, for a fee, to charge cell phones off one car battery while another of the crew ran a taxi service to charge the other battery.   It was so Haitian!

Secretary Clinton Announces Launch of State.Gov Person Finder Tool for Those Missing in Haiti

So this is where she starts – on the tarmac which is serving as the seat of government largely because it is flat and open and if you sit in a tent and there is a big aftershock you won’t be crushed.  Most roads were impassable and for the first 48 hours, planes could not land at the airport.

 

Secretary Clinton’s Daily Appointments Schedule for January 15, 2010

Hillary reminisces at this point about her honeymoon trip to Haiti when she and Bill went to one of Max Beauvoir‘s voudou shows at Le Péristyle in Mariani and saw TonTons Macoutes  (VSN) and Jean-Claude Duvalier en route somewhere.  1975 was the first Christmas that I came back home – well to Florida where my sister was living. –  or maybe I would have met them.

After the earthquake, President Préval told Cheryl Mills that he really needed Hillary and needed her now!  He was Hillary’s friend.  He needed help.  I perceived him as a nice guy, but not as a strong leader.

Hillary Clinton is NOT the President of Haiti!

In retrospect and fairness, and after having had my own house blown apart by Sandy, I have to say that at the time I probably did not appreciate Préval’s state of mind with his house having collapsed before his eyes (and thankfully not over his head) just as he and his wife were about to enter.  With most of his government officials missing or already known dead, the poor guy must have been in deep shock. When you go through something like that having a buddy like Hillary – well – yes, I would call her, too.  If I needed to pull my country together after something like that – yes, I too would call her.  But Hillary also sees that there was a need for him to go out among the people camping on the Champs-de-Mars and everywhere.   Their question/complaint at the time was “Where is our president?”

When you run for the office, before you even win, you need to consider this kind of situation and how you will react – even if you did just miss having your house fall on top of you.  That is the role you assume as leader of a country.

Try to imagine the White House or the Capitol this way.  This is what happened to Haiti.


When Hillary arrived,  injured Americans were being cared for by a devoted embassy nurse who worked non-stop.  Our Cultural Affairs officer, Victoria DeLong,  had been killed when her house collapsed on her.  I had been in that house several times on very happy occasions.  Dr. Ainslie Minor and his lovely wife, and later Millie McCoo had generously invited the teachers to barbeques and parties.  I had danced the merengue under that roof and met Millie’s sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.,  there.  Now that roof had killed a Foreign Service officer.

There was a massive and effective U.S. response. Hillary remarks that U.S. military felt so refreshed at being welcomed somewhere.

One year we had no electricity from the last night of Carnaval in early February until about mid-June.  The lights went out when Carnaval ended at midnight. From then on sectors got one hour of electricity a day on a rotating weekly basis.  If you needed to do anything that required power, you needed to be home at your hour for that week.  If you were working at that time … too bad.  From Boutillier, the mountaintop above the city, you could see a sector darken and another light up on a clockwork schedule.

Then the United States Marines arrived with generators and I don’t know what all else.  I would be leaving my early morning classes at the institute (we taught from 6 -9 a.m. and from 3 – 6 p.m. or 4 – 7 p.m.) and they would be on the steps of the Hotel Plaza waiting to be picked up.  We cheered them every time we passed them.  “Thank you!”  Our electricity was returning.  Nice that after the earthquake the troops got the same reception.  We have a sort of edgy relationship with Haiti as far as troops go. Americans built the best roads there – during the occupation.

In this case, the distrust engendered by the history of the occupation could have been Préval’s political enemy.  Yet to unblock the shipments of aid at the airport and seaports someone needed to be in charge – not to take over the country – just to lubricate the flow of aid.  Hillary got Préval to sign an agreement that U.S. military would, temporarily in the emergency,  administer the airport and seaports.

Hillary Clinton is Wheels Up!

The plan was to establish camps.  Préval worried that putting displaced people in camps would make camps permanent.  The U.N. contended that camps provided the best efficiency for necessary distribution of aid.

To my mind, and this is just me, the camps were newer, safer, cleaner than the neightborhoods some people had come from,  like Cité Soliel, but many were not from those slums, so there was something to be said on each side of the argument.

For Haiti, the approach would involve both short-term aid and long-term plans for development that had already been in the incubator.

Bill Clinton Arrives on Mission to Haiti (CBS/AP)

On-the-Record Briefing on Consular Services Being Provided to American Citizens in Haiti and in the United States in the Aftermath of the Earthquake

U.S. Government Response to the Haiti Earthquake

Secretary Clinton’s Update on Haiti

The outpouring of support and assistance from around the world has been extraordinary, and I’ve been very proud to see generous Americans from every corner of our country open their hearts in solidarity with the Haitian people. These are the times when we remember our common humanity, when we pull together across cultures and borders to help those suffering and in need.

Hilary Rodham Clinton

Secretary Clinton at the Ministerial Preparatory Conference on Haiti 01.25.2010

Today, Secretary Clinton announced that she will run an International Haiti Donors Conference in March at the U.N. You may remember her words at the Haiti Donors Conference last April in D.C. That speech was simply spot-on.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks to Haiti Earthquake Volunteers

From U.S. Department of State: Some Details on the Upcoming International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

We have had over 140 nations working to support the Government of Haiti in delivering food, temporary shelter, and medical care to thousands of survivors. But the emergency relief is only the beginning of what will be a long road to recovery, as the Secretary General just pointed out; one that will require global support.

Some people wonder, “Why Haiti? Why this great outpouring of international humanitarian concern and commitment to Haiti’s future? Why is Haiti’s fate of such consequence to the region and the world that it deserves sustained help? Why should we hope that this time, with our collective assistance, Haiti can achieve a better future?” These are questions that deserve answers and I believe that this conference will begin to do so…

Before the earthquake, Haiti was on a path to progress. The government, led by President Preval, had started enacting critical reforms. Haiti’s economy grew by nearly 3 percent last year. Two international chains launched new hotels, a sign of a rising tourism industry. New factories were opening and others had been contracted to begin production. But with the earthquake, the results of much of this hard work were wiped away. But the people of Haiti never gave up. As they mourn their losses, they gathered the resources they had left and began working around the clock to put their lives and their country back together. They relied on the strength and the spirit that have carried them through tough times before. But they need our help. They cannot succeed without the support of the global community, and we need Haiti to succeed. What happens there has repercussions far beyond its borders.

Hillary sees development as a key component in national security and USAID as an essential agency which played a huge role in addressing long-term plans to assist Haiti.  She recounts the war against USAID waged by Jesse Helms and celebrates this initiative which she and Rajiv Shah initiated in 2011 and she proudly saw launched earlier this year.

Hillary Clinton at U.S. Global Development Lab Inauguration



A year after the earthquake, Hillary returned to see the progress of the response (including to the subsequent cholera epidemic) and met with the presidential candidates.   There remained many challenges but things looked greatly improved.

Hillary Clinton in Haiti

“Shifting our focus from aid to development … The United States was not abandoning traditional aid … especially as part of an emergency response … we sought to break the cycle of dependence that aid can create …. Aid chases need; investment chases opportunity.” (Hard Choices)

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at the Caracol Industrial Park Opening Ceremony in Haiti (with Bill Clinton!)

She recounts a personal moment with Préval after the disputed elections and credits him for being the exemplar – the first in Haitian history – to turn over the reins of leadership peacefully to  a successor not of his backing but chosen by the people.  When she speaks of the toughness of democracy, the danger of the running and the peril of the vote,  my memory rewinds to the Aristede election when Haitians literally risked their lives at the polling places and some were, in fact attacked and killed just for trying to vote.  This time, indeed, there was progress, and despite everything Préval might not have been, he, maybe, is their John Adams in some ways.

These images of the former and current presidents, Préval and Martelly, celebrating at the Caracol opening together were historic.

Rene Preval And Michel Martelly At Caracol Industrial Park Inauguration

Haiti - Politic : Martelly gives the brace to René Préval (speech)

In the book,  Hillary provides a thorough and fair accounting of what has worked and what has not in the aftermath of this disaster.  Shortly after she returned to the department following her health crisis in late 2012, this report was issued.

Haiti Three Years After: What Hillary Clinton’s State Department Has Done

Helping other nations build, profit, and rise among the economic powers on the globe is to everyone’s advantage, Hillary posits.  Especially our own.  In the case of Haiti’s disaster, the U.S. was, it cannot be disputed, the indispensable nation, but we were certainly not alone in the aid or in the investment, and that, Hillary points out, makes all the difference.

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

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On March 31 at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon co-chaired the Haiti Donors Conference. It was a rare chance to see both the Secretary of State and U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti, her husband former President Bill Clinton, participate together at length in an important event. This was a special event for me since I spent an extended length of time in Haiti and love it as much as the Clintons do.

Tonight, a newsfeed provided this video which was shown at that conference. Consisting partially of footage from security cameras inside the National Palace, it is very hard to watch, but tells an important story. We should not forget that rebuilding Haiti will take a very long time and that continued assistance is necessary. If you have an extra $10, please consider donating. See the sidebar with the Haitian flag. The related posts from the conference are here.
Video: Secretary Clinton at the Haiti Donors Conference

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Viideo from Haiti Donors Conference: …“, posted with vodpod

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Remarks After the Haiti Donors Conference


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
New York City
March 31, 2010

SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, excellencies, your colleagues. Today, the international community has come together dramatically in solidarity with Haiti and its people. President Preval’s rendezvous with history has come to pass. By their actions this day, the friends of Haiti have acted far beyond the expectation. We can report very good news. The member states of the United Nations and international partners have pledged $5.3 billion U.S. dollars for the next two years and $9.9 billion in total for the next three years and beyond. (Applause.)
Today, the United Nations are united for Haiti. The international community has acted unanimously and for the long term. This is the down payment Haiti needs for wholesale national renewal. It is the way to building back better. Now, it comes down to implementation – delivery on our promises, transparency, and accountability. We must make sure Haiti gets the money it needs when it needs it. And we must guarantee that it is well-coordinated and well-spent.
I want to thank, once again, international community for their extraordinary generosity. This is international solidarity in action. I also want to thank co-host Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the five co-chairs present here for the successful outcome. My special appreciation should go to Special Envoy President Bill Clinton. He’ll be working with UN agencies and, of course, the Government of Haiti in tracking these resources and following through. The plight of these people requires immediate action, and we are all painfully aware of the difficult living conditions in the camps, and in particular, reports of sexual violence against women and children.
Very soon, I will dispatch the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations to Haiti to survey the situation in the camps, assess the steps taken, and explore areas for further action. Today, we have mobilized to give Haiti and its people what they need most – hope for a new future. We have made a good start. We need now to deliver.
Thank you very much, and I invite the Secretary of State, then President Preval. Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Secretary General, and I want to express great appreciation to the Secretary General and to the United Nations. The United Nations itself suffered grievous losses in Haiti, but from the first hours of the disaster, it pulled together to provide indispensible global coordination. And I know for the Secretary General, this is a deeply felt, personal commitment, so thank you, sir.
SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: And I want to also express great appreciation for the efforts of President Preval and the Haitian Government. As we’ve heard many times today, under the most difficult circumstances, with their ministries in ruin, with people having lost houses, family members, with ministers unable to even know who was left in their offices, the government worked very hard to meet the needs of its people and to begin planning for the future. President Preval, thank you for your steadfast commitment to Haiti’s future.
And I want to thank our co-chairs – Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France, and Spain – for their tremendous support. This has been a real team effort. You see the people up here, but literally behind us have been the hundreds and hundreds of people in the UN, in Haiti, in our governments, in the EU, other multilateral institutions who have done the hard work to bring about this successful day of commitment and solidarity.
Today, 48 countries, multilateral institutions, and a coalition of NGOs have pledged nearly $10 billion toward the long-term reconstruction efforts in Haiti. Now, that is an impressive sum by any standard. But even more critically, of this amount, more than $5 billion has been raised for the first 18 months of Haiti’s reconstruction. This far exceeds the $3.9 billion that the Haitians identified as their minimum need for this time period.
This money has been pledged by a diverse community of nations – from Brazil, of course, to the other co-hosts, but also Mali and Montenegro, Kuwait, the nations of CARICOM and so many more. All of the countries and their pledges will be on the website for this conference. Now, to put this effort in perspective, after the 2004 tsunami, more than 80 countries provided immediate humanitarian assistance, and more than 20 countries pledged assistance for reconstruction.
As of today, more than 140 countries have provided humanitarian assistance to Haiti and nearly 50 countries have made pledges of support for Haiti’s rebuilding. This signals a new level of global commitment, coordination, and cooperation. Today, the Government of Haiti presented its reconstruction plan. We heard from Prime Minister Bellerive a roadmap for building a new Haiti, a Haiti with a vibrant private sector, accountable and effective government institutions, and international partners that would be working with Haiti, not separate and apart from Haiti. This plan represents a renewed commitment by the Haitian Government to define needs and priorities, to step up accountability and transparency, and to improve delivery of services.
All of us are committed to this process, but no one has more at stake than the Haitian people. And I was very pleased that our conference today included their voices as well – members of civil society and of the private sector and others who responded to focus groups and made sure that their needs were known to all of us.
We have the chance not only to contribute to Haiti’s progress but to demonstrate that the international community can achieve a new level of effectiveness and impact to test new approaches, use new technologies, engage one another to build stronger ties between our countries and peoples.
Aid is important, but aid has never saved a country. Our goal must be the empowerment of the Haitian people. They are the ones who will carry on the work of rebuilding Haiti long after our involvement has ended. Haiti does not only need medicines and surgeries, but it needs the doctors and nurses who can deliver the regular care and sustain a thriving health system. Haiti not only needs new school buildings, but it needs teachers and administrators. It needs the people of Haiti to be given the tools to be able to deliver on the promise of their own future.
I’m very proud that the United States has played a role in this, but it has been, as I said at the beginning, a team effort. Since January 12th, the United States has provided already more than $930 million in assistance. The money that we pledged today, more than a billion dollars, will go toward reconstruction and multilateral debt relief. And we’re looking forward to the establishment of the multi donor trust fund. We’re going to be led by the core principles we laid out in the Montreal in January at the conference convened by the Canadian Government. Reconstruction will be Haitian-led, inclusive, accountable, transparent, coordinated, and results-oriented.
So, Secretary General, this has been a good day, a good day for Haiti, a good day for the United Nations, but also a good day for the international community, which has demonstrated our ability to rise to a challenge of the scope and significance of that posed by the disaster in Haiti, and to demonstrate that the people of the world are united in our efforts to help build that better future.
Thank you. (Applause.)
SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: Thank you very much. Mr. President.
PRESIDENT PREVAL: (Via interpreter) Mr. Secretary General, Secretary of State, my dear friends, co-chairs of this conference, first of all, Secretary General, allow me once again to express my condolences to the United Nations family for the major losses that were suffered, and particularly the deaths of Hedi Annabi and Mr. da Costa, and all those who were with them on that day. I’d also like to express my condolences to all those countries who suffered losses on that day, the 12th of January.
Thank you for the spontaneous response in coming to the assistance of Haiti in the first moments following the disaster. Today, it has been demonstrated that the international community will continue to support Haiti over the long term and it will meet the needs that this disaster has caused. And the figures clearly show the losses. Now the contributions have been made both by small countries, small contributions, and also major contributions by larger countries. This is a heartfelt effort and it demonstrates that Haiti is not on its own. And we express on behalf of Haitian people, thank you.
The international community has done its part. The Haitian people today must now do their part. First, they must continue that process which will make this – these millions available, and that is to – the review and ratification by the parliament of that law which will allow this process to continue. And it’s our hope, given the urgency of the situation, that this will be done as soon as possible.
The Secretary of State has just pointed out that the assistance is – assistance is not development, but it does prepare the ground for development. We need investment in the private sector in Haiti, both within Haiti and also from the diaspora and also foreign investment. The Haitian people must play their role also in this respect by ensuring that investors will enjoy political stability and clear legal rules governing those investments. We must take advantage of this opportunity that we now have and I appeal to my fellow Haitians to understand the effort that has now been made by the international community and the responsibility that we now have in the interest of our country to respond rapidly and appropriately.
Thank you, Secretary of State. Thank you, Secretary General. Thank you, my dear friends, for being willing to help the people of Haiti. And once again, thank you very much. (Applause.)
SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: Thank you. And Mr. President, I’d like to invite the co-chairs to say, one by one, starting from foreign minister of Brazil, very briefly – very briefly. (Laughter.)
FOREIGN MINISTER AMORIM: Thank you, Mr. Secretary General. If you’ll say once more very briefly, I better stay silent. (Laughter.) But I’ll be very brief indeed. I think I already said what I had to say in my speech in the morning and I don’t want to repeat. I just want to say this really is a historic date for Haiti, certainly, but also for the UN. I mean, we very often hear outside this building “What’s the use of the UN? What are you all talking about?” Here, you have a concrete reply to this question so often made and which sometimes have – difficult to answer. Now, we have this concrete answer.
But it’s a historic date also for Haiti, because as someone said, it’s – in a way, Haiti is proclaiming its second independence. The first one, Toussaint Louverture, had to fight with the forces of the moment and had a high price to pay. This time, it’s the country. It’s the independence with the support of the international community. And we all have to be very happy for that.
Two quick ideas which I will mention and which already were in my speech, but I want to mention once again: You don’t have real economic development if you don’t have markets. So I want to insist if we want, really, to help Haiti, not to be dependent on charity, but really to develop – let us try to open markets to Haiti. Let us give duty-free, quota-free to Haitian products with preferential rules of origin. Those who know trade know what that means and know how important it will be for investment in textile and some other – so many areas which President Clinton, among others, have mentioned.
Second idea: Let us make of this tragic 12th of January the universal date of solidarity. That’s not only symbolic, not only rhetoric, but it’s to remind us for the next few years that we still have a job to perform, that the job of solidarity is not only exhausted today; it has to be repeated in the surveillance of the implementation of what we decided today.
So these are the two things. I think I was brief enough. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Thank you. I’m, as well, heartened by the enthusiasm, the passion, and the commitment demonstrated by the international community here today. Haiti’s family and global support network has grown sustainability – I’m sorry, substantially. The seeds that we planted in Montreal – the Montreal principles less than three months ago – are now beginning to emerge. We have come in solidarity, we have given generously, and now, we expect results. As donors, we have set a high bar for our own coordination and we have committed to be transparent and accountable.
For their part, we have heard from the Haitians, from the president, from the prime minister, we’ve heard from the Haitian civil society that they accept the need for real change in their country, and to address longstanding impediments in inequalities that have limited the progress of their people and their nation. What is needed to move forward is not merely political stability, but a strong, unified, national political consensus.
(Via interpreter) If this commitment is to be met and sustained, if we can continue to target our priorities, then every dollar invested wisely and in an effective way, then we can fulfill our commitments to the people of Haiti to ensure a better future for them and their children. We’ve made considerable progress in order to build upon the current trend towards assisting Haiti. And today, we’ve reached a major stage on the long path ahead of us. Now, we must rapidly achieve results. Thank you. (Applause.)
MS. ASHTON: In 35 seconds, 235,000 people perished, 300,000 people were injured, and 1 million people became homeless. The United Nations and international organizations lost people who were there dedicated to provide a better future for Haiti. Remembering all that, I want to pay tribute to the 27 members of the European Union and to the institutions who have committed themselves to supporting this effort today – an effort that I believe is engaged in producing an economic future for all the people of Haiti, and especially for the children, some of whom I was privileged in my visit to meet.
Mr. President, this is only the beginning, but I think everyone here is committed to support you to the end of this process. (Applause.)
FOREIGN MINISTER KOUCHNER: (Via interpreter) On some occasions, we can be proud to be a part of the international community, sometimes. But we also wonder why it’s always in the face of a disaster that we respond so well. Alfred de Musset say that nothing makes us as great as a great suffering the feels of disaster of those that are the most beautiful. Why do we always come together when a disaster occurs? That’s the question that I ask myself.
I believe that we all felt on that 12th of January that we were all Haitians, all of us. And today, we continue to be Haitians. What has changed, as the prime ministers just told me, is the development paradigm. So I congratulate you also on changing the development paradigm. We’re not just satisfied with – and we’ve all been humanitarian workers in Haiti. What has changed now is that the Haitian people have taken the decision to assume responsibility for their own future.
Thank you, Secretary General, President. Thank you all. This was a collective endeavor and we enjoyed working together. Thank you, Prime Minister. Thank you. (Applause.)
VICE PRESIDENT FERNANDEZ DE LA VEGA SANZ: (Via interpreter) I would like to join others and thank the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Secretary of State of the United States for organizing this conference. This day of work, and as you have seen, it has been most fruitful. There is no doubt. As has been said, today is an important day. It’s an important day for the people of Haiti and the whole world. We have taken a new step with that commitment for reconstruction of Haiti that started with the Santo Domingo conference, continued in Montreal, and today, we have turned it into figures.
The figures might be seen as cold, as some people say. They are not. These are figures that speak to us of solidarity, of peoples and nations, of the whole planet. This is an important day today. It is important because you can see the before and after in international political cooperation. I am convinced now that we have started that commitment so that donors can not only speak out with gifts and donations, but also as soon as possible. This will mean tangible reality for the Haitian people.
Spain welcomes the development of this conference. This conference has not only shown great economic results, but it also set a new financial institutional architecture, and the United Nations will ensure transparency and monitoring over implementation of reconstruction projects. The challenge, ladies and gentlemen, is an important one. Difficulty is an excuse, though, that this world and the future do not accept.
Today, peoples of all continents and from the whole planet have signed a statement, a pledge for the future of Haiti. It is the determination of the Government of Spain that we make sure that this is a declaration for a better world. Thank you. (Applause.)
MODERATOR: We have time for three questions. When you ask your question, please could I ask you to say to whom the question is addressed? The first is EFE. Please, could you use the microphone as well? Thank you very much.
QUESTION: Hi. Secretary General, first I would like to ask you (inaudible) –
SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: The microphone, please.
QUESTION: Sorry. To the Secretary General first, how can you assure to the international community that the money that has been pledged today is going to go to the right hands and not to, as the skeptics say, to – or it’s going to be invested in the wrong things?
(Via interpreter) And also, I’d like to ask the co-chair from Spain, do you believe that what was achieved today in the experience in helping Haiti will change the cooperation model worldwide? Thank you.
SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: First of all, the Government of Haiti and its donor partners are accountable to the people of Haiti to be transparent and effective and accountable. And Haitian Government are also accountable to the international community, and international community are also accountable to Haitian Government and people. We have agreed to a robust internet-based tracking system to report on the delivery of the assistance and an emphasis on measuring performance and results. The pledge will be published and assistance flows tracked through a web-based system being established by the United Nations with the current – with the Government of Haiti. As I said in my remarks, the Office of the Special Envoy, President Clinton, and UNDP will be responsible for that. This information will be available to the public and the system was done to improve on past practice and ensure accountability and transparency. What is again more important is that the pledges should be delivered in time so that when the Government of Haiti needs them, they should be able to use it. That’s a mutual accountability.
VICE PRESIDENT FERNANDEZ DE LA VEGA: (Via interpreter) I believe that Haiti does have that before and after that it can see now in global international cooperation. And I believe that because I believe we have done a good job. We came to this conference with the preparatory work that involved meetings before that for a diagnosis of the situation and to set needs. There were meetings with the participation not only of institutions and donor countries, but also civil society. We had business people, we had local governments, we had nongovernmental organizations. And with all of that and with the plan as defined by the Government of Haiti, the situation was assessed. And then on that basis, we set a new financial architecture, a new institutional architecture, in order to follow up on the plan. Control, transparency and coordination, and quite honestly, I believe that with these parameters we can move forward in a more effective way with this new global model for international cooperation.
MODERATOR: Next, Andy Quinn from Reuters.
QUESTION: A question for the Secretary of State Clinton. Madam Secretary, on Haiti, I’m wondering if you can tell us if Prime Minister Bellerive’s request for $350 million in direct budget support has been covered. And what needs to be done immediately to improve the government’s functions in Haiti.
And if you’ll allow me to ask a question on Iran, we understand that the P-5+1 held their conference call today and unanimously agreed that it was time to move on to a new phase discussing possible sanctions on Iran. Can you tell us what was agreed, how soon ambassadors in New York will meet to begin the negotiations, and what this may mean for President Obama’s timeline on bringing a resolution to a vote within weeks?
And for Minister Amorim – (laughter) – now that the P-5+1 appears to be ready to start drafting a negotiation even before President Lula goes to Tehran, I’m wondering if you’re still comfortable with Brazil’s position, or do you think that there might be – it might change at some point in the future?
SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: Thank you very much for your questions and interest on all very important matters. Now, this press conference is meant for discussing the Haiti Donor Conference; therefore, I would appeal to you that questions should be directed only on Haiti. And one person, one question. (Laughter and applause.)
QUESTION: (Inaudible.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m sorry, what?
QUESTION: The question’s been asked (inaudible) take it now.
QUESTION: Can you please answer?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Which one of the seven questions should I answer? (Laughter.)
No, look, we are working very closely with the Haitian Government on the manner and delivery of the aid that we have committed, as we all are. We are going through the multi donor trust fund. We’re going through bilateral channels. And we will be disclosing and discussing our actions as we move forward. But our commitment is to be as effective, results-oriented, and expeditious as possible.
As you know, our commitment is in the supplemental pending before Congress. We want to get that passed as quickly as we can and begin to implement it.
On your last question, I think you accurately describe the P-5+1 position. It’s been a unified consultative group for more than a year now and it continues to be unified. And there will be a great deal of further consultation not only among the P-5+1 but other members of the Security Council and other member nations during the next weeks.
FOREIGN MINISTER AMORIM: Well, I’ll start if I may responding to another question that had to do with Haiti, which was not put to me, but since I am (inaudible) another question, I’ll mention that. And that question had to do with how can you be sure that the money gets to the right people. And I’m saying that because in Brazil, when we started the huge program of income transfer, many people in the opposition or in the media asked, “How are you sure that the money is getting to the right people?” Well, five years or six years after that, 30 million people were raised out of poverty, so that was the best reply. So this question of being sure or not being sure is very often an excuse for doing nothing. Of course, that does not mean that we should not have the proper mechanisms we will have, but the most important thing is to have the will to help. And this brings concrete results.
As to the question that was asked more directly to me on Iran, as you know, we are not part of the P-5 so we are not privy to the discussions that take place among the permanent members. Maybe someday that will change, and then I’ll be able to give you a better answer. (Laughter and applause.) But in the meantime, let me tell you that we are always open to any discussions. Of course, as you know, Brazil is in favor of negotiated solutions, but we are also open to discuss and are open to dialogue with other countries. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think all the members of the P-5+1, as well as every other member of the United Nations, is open to negotiated solutions. We happen to think that action in the Security Council is part of negotiation and diplomacy that perhaps can get the attention of the Iranian leadership.
FOREIGN MINISTER KOUCHNER: And if I may, not only – (laughter) – not only we offered, but we did it. We are talking and talking with the Iranian. We did. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT PREVAL: (Via interpreter) Do I need to develop a nuclear program for Haiti so that we come back to talking about Haiti? (Laughter.)
MODERATOR: So the final question, it’ll be a Haitian question and it’s from FM, Scoop FM.
QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Thank you very much. I’d like to raise a question which may go against the flow of the question raised by the Agence FE with regard to the assistance. I have a question for Mrs. Hillary Clinton, but it’s a different question. There’s always been a problem in the mechanism for disbursing the funds promised by donors, because often the funds that are promised are not actually provided. So what can the guarantees – what guarantees can be given by Secretary of State to the Government of Haiti so that we do end corruption and that the money actually reaches the people?
The second question is to the president of the republic, Mr. Preval. Your Excellency, what decisions will be taken by the government immediately in Port-au-Prince following this conference on the basis of what’s been decided at this conference? Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first let me say that we have applied the lessons that have been learned from recent experiences, most particularly what happened after the tsunami, where I think there is general agreement that under United Nations leadership the money collected was very much held accountable and results were delivered. We are trying to do even better. One of the reasons we are posting all of the pledges on the web is so that everyone can see what countries and institutions have pledged. And we’re going to ensure that those who have pledged will deliver on their commitments. And we have set up the multi donor trust fund. The Government of Haiti has set up an intermediate mechanism for 18 months. And we have taken very careful, thoughtful steps among the Government of Haiti, the United Nations, and the rest of us to ensure that the people of Haiti benefit from these extraordinary commitments of generosity from the people around the world.
PRESIDENT PREVAL: (Via interpreter) Thank you, Gary. Well, when we arrive, we will reassure the population with regard to what took place here in this conference. The conference was prepared, as Mrs. Clinton has just said, by hundreds of people who worked in the background. And this was – this is an opportunity now for me to thank all those people, but also to thank, on behalf of Haiti, Prime Minister Mr. Bellerive, who was responsible for ensuring what was achieved this afternoon.
Once again, we need to explain to the various parties in the civil society and the people in general what is in question, what is the program, what is the vision, what – and what way the funds will be spent. Someone asked a moment ago whether budgetary support is included in this package. That will depend on those who have made the pledge. It will depend on the donor. If there are parties which will provide support to the budget, then that part will be managed by the Haitian Government and will be part of the republic’s national budget. If what is pledged as a contribution is not targeted for the budget of the republic, then it will be part of the multi donor trust fund and it will be managed by the World Bank.
The Haitian Government will propose projects to that structure which is to be created, and the implementation of projects, the financial control will be ensured by the World Bank, and there will be a supervisory body for the entire operation. So first of all, we must continue to explain what this is all about, how it will function, what part of the budget will go to the national budget, and what part will be used on the basis of projects to be proposed by the Haitian Government.
And I said a moment ago that we must play our role. It’s not just enough to submit projects without consulting other people, nor will it be a question of submitting the ideas for some projects. We must quickly ensure that the government establishes accelerated processes to study projects, to examine them, to ensure that they can be implemented.
So we have an enormous task ahead of us. All those who believe that the consultation was not broad enough, allow me to remind them that this was a disaster. There are people who are living in their streets. This two and a half months has gone by and we’ve had Montreal, we’ve had Madrid, we’ve had the Dominican Republic conference. Many measures have been taken. And I can assure you that all this was an enormous task. And once again, this is an opportunity for me to thank all those who may not be present here with us this afternoon, but they did work very, very hard to ensure that this conference took place, and to make this success possible.
Thanks again. Thank you once again. (Applause.)
MODERATOR: Thank you, Mr. President. This was a day for multilateral diplomacy and a day for multilateral questions. We’re out of time. Thank you very much.

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Please see prior post for text. Thank you.

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Leaders from all over the world – government and NGOs – have convened to assist earthquake-stricken Haiti.

International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
United Nations Headquarters
New York, New York
March 31, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Secretary General, and thank you for your leadership and your personal commitment to this international endeavor.

President Preval, to you and the members of your government, we thank you for the extraordinary work that you have done leading up to this point.

To former President Clinton, with whom I first went to Haiti many years ago about two months after we were married, thank you for taking on another assignment from the Secretary General.

And to all of the countries and international institutions represented here, thank you. Thank you for the immediate response to the overwhelming catastrophe that afflicted the Haitian people and thank you for your continuing commitment.

We have had over 140 nations working to support the Government of Haiti in delivering food, temporary shelter, and medical care to thousands of survivors. But the emergency relief is only the beginning of what will be a long road to recovery, as the Secretary General just pointed out; one that will require global support.

Some people wonder, “Why Haiti? Why this great outpouring of international humanitarian concern and commitment to Haiti’s future? Why is Haiti’s fate of such consequence to the region and the world that it deserves sustained help? Why should we hope that this time, with our collective assistance, Haiti can achieve a better future?” These are questions that deserve answers and I believe that this conference will begin to do so.

The humanitarian need, we know, is great. Therefore, as fellow human beings, we respond from a position of conscience and morality to help those who, but for the grace of God, we could be in a world where natural disasters are often unpredictable, inflicting great costs. Haiti was a country of 9 million people before the earthquake. Today, more than a quarter of a million of those people have died. More than a million are homeless. Hundreds of thousands live in temporary camps without enough food or sufficient access to sanitation. Nearly every government agency has been destroyed along with universities, hospitals, and primary schools, which we know are the foundations to a nation’s long-term progress. Close to a million young people were preparing to enter the job market within five years. Now their opportunities have crumbled while the need for jobs has multiplied.

Before the earthquake, Haiti was on a path to progress. The government, led by President Preval, had started enacting critical reforms. Haiti’s economy grew by nearly 3 percent last year. Two international chains launched new hotels, a sign of a rising tourism industry. New factories were opening and others had been contracted to begin production. But with the earthquake, the results of much of this hard work were wiped away. But the people of Haiti never gave up. As they mourn their losses, they gathered the resources they had left and began working around the clock to put their lives and their country back together. They relied on the strength and the spirit that have carried them through tough times before. But they need our help. They cannot succeed without the support of the global community, and we need Haiti to succeed. What happens there has repercussions far beyond its borders.

There are two paths that lie before us. If Haiti can build safe homes, its citizens can escape many of the dangers they now face and return to more normal lives. If Haiti can realize broad-based, sustainable economic growth, it can create opportunity across the country beyond Port-au-Prince so Haitians don’t have to move to their capital or leave their country to find work. If Haiti can build strong health and education systems, it can give its people the tools they need to contribute to their nation’s progress and fulfill their own God-given potentials. If Haiti can create strong, transparent, accountable institutions, it can establish the credibility, trust, and stability its people have long-deserved. And if Haiti can do all of those things with our help, it will become an engine for progress and prosperity generating opportunity and fostering greater stability for itself and for countries throughout the hemisphere and beyond.

But there is another path that Haiti could take, a path that demands far less of Haiti and far less of us. If the effort to rebuild is slow or insufficient, if it is marked by conflict, lack of coordination, or lack of transparency, then the challenges that have plagued Haiti for years could erupt with regional and global consequences. Before the earthquake, migration drained Haiti of many talented citizens, many of whom live in our country. If new jobs and opportunity do not emerge, even more people will leave.

Before the earthquake, quality healthcare was a challenge for Haiti. Now, it is needed even more urgently. Haiti has the highest rate of tuberculosis in the hemisphere, the highest rate of HIV, the highest rates of infant, child, and maternal mortality, one of the highest rates of child malnutrition. And with the public health system now shattered, those numbers will climb. The lack of sanitation services could cause outbreaks of lethal illnesses. And the lack of reliable medical services could give rise to new drug-resistant strains of disease that will soon cross borders.

Before the earthquake, hunger was a problem for Haiti. Years of deforestation had stripped the land of its rich topsoil and people struggled to grow or purchase enough food to feed their families. The riots over food that broke out in 2008 toppled Haiti’s government. Now, food is even more scarce, and people more desperate.

Before the earthquake, security was a challenge for Haiti, and a United Nations peacekeeping mission, MINUSTAH, helped promote the rule of law. Now the dedicated UN workers in Haiti have suffered terrible losses. So have the Haitian National Police, which were building their ranks and their capacity. With so much destruction and dislocation, security is even more tenuous. Drug trafficking is a half a billion dollar a year industry in Haiti. It thrives on political and social instability. Trafficking in human beings is also rampant. Tens of thousands of children are trafficked in Haiti every year, and now even more are vulnerable.

Now, each of these problems directly affects the people of Haiti, but they indirectly affect us all. And if they worsen, it is not only the people of Haiti who will suffer. Yet I have great confidence in the resilience of the people of Haiti. Their history has tested them and now they are being tested again. So are Haiti’s leaders, in whom I also have great confidence. So we are called to do better than we have in the past. Many countries here have helped Haiti in the past. Many NGOs have helped Haiti in the past. We cannot do what we’ve done before.

The leaders of Haiti must take responsibility for their country’s reconstruction. They must make the tough decisions that guide a strong, accountable, and transparent recovery. And that is what they are starting to do with the creation of a new mechanism that provides coordination and consultation so aid can be directed where it is most needed. And we in the global community, we must also do things differently. It will be tempting to fall back on old habits – to work around the government rather than to work with them as partners, or to fund a scattered array of well-meaning projects rather than making the deeper, long-term investments that Haiti needs now. We cannot retreat to failed strategies.

 

I know we’ve heard these imperatives before – the need to coordinate our aid, hold ourselves accountable, share our knowledge, track results. But now, we cannot just declare our intentions. We have to follow through and put them into practice. Therefore, this is not only a conference about what financially we pledge to Haiti. We also have to pledge our best efforts to do better ourselves – to offer our support in a smarter way, a more effective way that produces real results for the people of Haiti.

So let us say here, with one voice, we will pass this test for us. To that end, the United States pledges $1.15 billion for Haiti’s long-term recovery and reconstruction. This money will go toward supporting the Government of Haiti’s plan to strengthen agriculture, energy, health, security, and governance. We are committed to working with the people and organizations throughout Haiti, including civil society groups, private businesses, NGOs, and citizens. And I’m very glad to see so many of them represented here today.

We will also be looking for ways to engage our Haitian diaspora. Haitian Americans have much to contribute to this effort. And we will seek specifically to empower the women of Haiti. I’ve said this so many times that I know I sound like a broken record, but investing in women is the best investment we can make in any country. And investing in the Haitian women will fuel the long-term economic recovery and progress, not only for them, but for their families.

Over the years, all of our countries have learned many lessons, particularly from the tsunami that the United Nations was instrumental in leading the response to. Now, we must put those lessons to work in Haiti. I’m very excited and very committed on behalf of President Obama, the Government of the United States, and the people of the United States to help Haiti and to help the leaders of Haiti lead a recovery effort worthy of their highest hopes.

Thank you so much, Secretary General. (Applause.)

NEW YORK - MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the "International Donors' Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti" at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (C) and Hatian President Rene Preval (R) listen during the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (C) and Hatian President Rene Preval (R) listen during the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

NEW YORK - MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the "International Donors' Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti" at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon (L) speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon (L) speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

NEW YORK - MARCH 31: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looks on during the opening session of the "International Donors' Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti" at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – MARCH 31: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looks on during the opening session of the “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (R), a U.N. special representative for Haiti, speaks as Haitian President Rene Preval (2nd R), U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listen during the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (R), a U.N. special representative for Haiti, speaks as Haitian President Rene Preval (2nd R), U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listen during the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

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Daily Appointments Schedule for March 31, 2010

Washington, DC
March 31, 2010

SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON

Secretary Clinton participates in the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti, co-hosted by the United States and the United Nations with the Participation of Haiti. Secretary Clinton leads the U.S. Delegation, which also includes Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Assistant Secretary Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary Arturo Valenzuela and Counselor Cheryl Mills. For more information, click here.

8:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a Breakfast for the Haiti Donors Conference, at the United Nations.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

9:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton participates in the Haiti Donors Conference Opening Session, at the United Nations.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE FOR CAMERAS)
Secretary Clinton’s opening remarks for the Haiti Donors Conference will be live-streamed on
www.state.gov at 9:00 a.m. and the entire Haiti Donors Conference will be live-streamed on www.un.org/webcast.

12:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a Bilateral Meeting with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, at the United Nations.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

12:20 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a Bilateral Meeting with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, at the United Nations.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

1:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton attends U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Lunch for the Haiti Donors Conference, at the United Nations.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

5:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton participates in a Joint Press Availability for the Haiti Donors’ Conference, at the United Nations.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

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As announced last week, Hillary Clinton flew to Montreal today to attend the Ministerial Preparatory Conference on Haiti, hosted by her Canadian counterpart, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon. The purpose of the conference was to initiate a plan, a road map, for the reconstruction of Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas , devastated by the cataclysm of the 7.0 earthquake of January 12. No results of this conference have been made public as yet, however there are plenty of pictures of this large and important event in which the United States, and Hillary Clinton, in particular, played a special role.

She was greeted by Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon, who was supposed to have met with her last week to plan for the conference, but his plane was grounded for mechanical reasons, and they conferred by phone instead.

There was enormous international participation.

They began with a moment of silence for the victims of the earthquake. I like this picture because it is Prime Minister Bellerive, Prime Minister Harper, and Hillary.

Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive spoke to the assembly about the situation in Haiti.

The Secretary clearly has a warm relationship with Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

She spoke to the press.

These pictures are from the closing statements. We see Hillary speaking as well as French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

This picture! For so MANY reasons! Hillary with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa Cantellano. Strong Imter-American friendship.

Hillary has fans everywhere. Clearly she has won some Canadian hearts. They have superb taste!

Of course today is only Monday and the week is young. The turbo-Secretary continues a foreign travel agenda this week as announced by P.J. Crowley below.

Secretary Clinton to Travel to London and Paris

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
January 25, 2010

Secretary of State Clinton will travel to London and Paris from January 26 to 29, 2010.

In London, Secretary Clinton will attend a ministerial meeting on Yemen on January 27 and the International Conference on Afghanistan on January 28. The goal of the Yemen meeting is to consolidate international support for Yemen, coordinate assistance efforts, and reach agreement on assisting Yemen in its political and economic reform efforts. The objective of the London Conference on Afghanistan is to demonstrate the international community’s support for Afghanistan’s future and the agenda outlined by President Karzai in his November 19 inauguration speech. The meetings will focus on the implementation of our strategy in support of Afghanistan’s security, governance and development, and improved international civilian coordination.

The Secretary will end her trip in Paris, where she will give a speech on European security, in addition to meeting with President Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Kouchner to discuss the international Haiti relief effort, developments in Iran, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and an array of other issues of mutual concern.

Hillary Clinton in Paris? It must be Spring!
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On the serious side, Haiti does require surgical intervention to its infrastructure AND superstructure ASAP. It is good that today’s meeting took place quickly. Much needs to be done before the hurricane season/rainy season hits. On the news today, I saw that many people are migrating to Gonaives. That is a city that was badly hit by the hurricanes and tropical storms two years ago. When storms come to Haiti, the water rushes down the deforested mountains in torrents and washes everything, people, livestock, cars, and other machines out to sea. Tents will not be enough.

Today, Secretary Clinton announced that she will run an International Haiti Donors Conference in March at the U.N. You may remember her words at the Haiti Donors Conference last April in D.C. That speech was simply spot-on.

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more about “Hillary on Haiti“, posted with vodpod

Remarks at the Haiti Donors Conference

Speech

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Inter-American Development Bank
Washington, DC
April 14, 2009

Date: 04/14/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton addresses Haiti Donors Conference, Washington, DC, April 14, 2009. State Dept PhotoWell, thank you very much, and I congratulate the IDB, President Moreno and the staff for hosting this important donors conference. I thank Secretary General Ban Ki-moon not only for the United Nations commitment, but your personal commitment with the recent trip that you took with my husband to Haiti. And I congratulate the prime minister for an excellent plan that was laid out and clearly explained, and now presented to all of us. And to Minister Oda, thank you and your government for linking the aid that we hope comes from this donors conference with the effectiveness that needs to be present.
Now, for some of us, Haiti is a neighbor, and for others of us, it is a place of historic and cultural ties. But for all of us, it is now a test of resolve and commitment. Now, some may ask, and I am sure there are some in my country and my Congress who may ask, why a small nation in the middle of the Caribbean should command so much attention. Why should countries in the Western Hemisphere, Europe, the Middle East and Asia offer assistance to Haiti in the midst of a global economic downturn (inaudible)? And I think the answer is very clear. Because what happens in Haiti affects far beyond the Caribbean and even the region. This small nation of 9 million people is on a brink. It is on a brink of either moving forward with the help of the collective community or falling further back. And it, as well as this region, will be shaped to a large extent by the decisions that we make.
On a personal note, my husband and I went to Haiti for the first time shortly after we were married, so we have a deep commitment to Haiti and the people of Haiti. Our homes are filled with art from Haiti. We have friends who hail from Haiti. But it is not only my personal concern that brings me here today. On behalf of the United States, we are here because Haiti is a neighbor and a friend. Our ties reach back to the early years of both of our nations. They have endured for generations, through our struggles for independence, through the defeat of slavery in Haiti which inspired slaves and abolitionists in my country, to the hundreds of thousands of Haitians who have emigrated to the United States and have strengthened us through their contributions in politics and business and health and education, in science, sports, and culture – the benefits of which I experienced firsthand as a senator representing New York, which has a vibrant Haitian American community.
We are also committed to creating a hemisphere in which every nation, no matter their present level of wealth or their current political circumstances, is moving in the same direction, toward greater peace, prosperity, freedom, and opportunity. With Haiti, we have the chance through global cooperation and collaboration to stand in solidarity with a government and a people who are seeking that way forward, a nation where small investments and assistance from other countries are beginning to reap dividends in economic growth, wider access to education and healthcare, stronger governmental institutions, greater safety and security, and a higher quality of life that results when material conditions improve.
Now, today Haiti is the poorest nation in our hemisphere, with one of our region’s biggest gaps between the haves and the have-nots. But just two years ago, in 2007, Haiti achieved the highest rate of real economic growth since the 1990s. It is on track to reach the completion point for the IMF’s Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in the next few months. Now, that will mean that significant debt relief is on the way, freeing up approximately $4 million a month, money that Haiti can invest directly in improving the lives of its people and building futures of self-sufficiency and confidence.
Haiti does have the region’s highest rate of HIV/AIDS, the highest rate of maternal mortality and child mortality. But the numbers of maternal deaths have stabilized and the numbers of HIV infections and child deaths are coming down.
Not long ago, from the 1950s until the 1980s, Haiti endured a brutal military dictatorship. The U.S. removed a military dictatorship in 1995, clearing the way for democracy. And after several years of political disputes, common in any country making a transition, Haiti began to see progress. And the national and presidential elections in 2006 really moved Haiti’s democracy forward. What the president and the prime minister are seeking is to maintain a strong commitment to democratic governance which will take another step forward with elections for the senate on Sunday.
Now, like many nations, Haiti struggles against crime, particularly the global scourge of drug trafficking. But reforms to improve policing, strengthening the justice system and fighting corruption are now underway. And a peacekeeping force, led so ably by Brazil, has helped to bring stability to many communities.
Haiti made these strides through the efforts of its government and its citizens and many of the nations and institutions represented here. This represents the full range of resources and relationships, from businesses and universities to NGOs and religious and cultural groups, as well as committed individuals, which is at the heart of smart power.
The trajectory of progress for Haiti, however, has been undermined by the combined winds of hurricanes and the global economic recession. So Haiti is in danger of stalling. This conference gives us all an opportunity to reignite its path to progress by working as a team with Haiti at the helm to advance a comprehensive, long-term strategy for Haiti’s growth, by coordinating hemispheric and international efforts, by targeting clear goals, by setting benchmarks to gauge our progress, and deploying our diverse skills and resources efficiently and effectively.
The president and the prime minister have identified what Haiti needs to stay on track. And with these priorities as our guide, we can make progress. Now is the time to step up our investment in Haiti, not just because the situation is dire and because the consequences of inaction could lead to significantly greater human suffering, but because Haiti has a real opportunity to make substantial progress. It has a plan to do so, and it has demonstrated the determination to carry it out.
Just think, for $150 we can pay to send one Haitian child to school for a year, or we can immunize 15 children. That is a tiny fraction of the costs of solving these problems if they escalate over time. The United States will target our support toward four areas that President Preval and Prime Minister Pierre-Louis have requested, all of which are essential for national and regional progress. First, the Haitian people need and deserve to be secure. They must be able to travel safely to work and school, and participate in civic lives without fear of violence. Second, the country needs stronger infrastructure, particularly roads, which are the circulatory system of any robust economy. And going along with the infrastructure needs is the need for jobs. So we can accomplish two things at once: putting people to work, building roads and other infrastructure throughout the country.
Third, last year’s hurricanes blew a hole in the government’s budget. Now Haiti is facing a huge deficit which will make it harder for them to meet their own goals and the needs of their people. Their debt obligations further constrain their ability to lay the groundwork for the future. And fourth, agriculture – you heard the prime minister refer to it – once again, providing a strong agricultural base for the people of Haiti to become more self-sufficient, as well as to move toward reforestation as part of that agricultural initiative, will give Haiti tools for growth it desperately needs. Now on each of these issues, we will lend our assistance and we seek partners with other nations to maximize our collective impact.
First, security. As you heard, the Secretary General referred to Cité Soleil. It was a no-man’s land. Now there is a new sense of security and freedom in its streets. The Haitian National Police have been supported in their work by the UN peacekeeping operations. Those peacekeeping forces are more than half from Latin American and Caribbean countries. And with Brazil’s lead of determination and skill, there has been an upgrade in both police functions and basic security.
But criminal networks operating in Haiti have not been eliminated. They continue to fight drug traffickers who have made the country a transit point for illegal drugs heading to the United States, Canada and Europe. We will give $2 million to fight drug trafficking through the Merida Initiative, a plan conceived by Mexico, Central America and the United States. This money will fund a secure communications network for the Haitian police, provide a maritime base, vehicles, and operational support for police drug units, provide training to promote cross-border cooperation between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and sharpen the investigation and prosecution of drug crimes.
Once security is established, opportunity can take root, and nations from Canada to Spain to Japan offered generous assistance to help repair the damage from last year’s storms. But now is the time to take the step beyond – beyond peacekeeping and disaster relief to long-term reconstruction and development. Haiti has the highest unemployment rate in our hemisphere. Seventy percent of its people do not have jobs. It also has one of the region’s highest growth rates. Together, these trends have created what Paul Collier has called a youth tsunami. Nearly one million young people are expected to come into the job market in the next five years.
To spur the creation of jobs, the United States passed the HOPE Act of 2006 to give garments made in Haiti tariff-free access to U.S. markets. Last October, we did extend this trade preference for another decade. Apparel is one of the largest sectors in Haiti’s economy, and we see great possibility for job creation in this field, and we are especially gratified by Brazil’s interest in supporting the Haitian apparel industry.
But to build a diversified economy, Haiti needs more than trade deals. It needs an infrastructure to support the flow of goods and services. The roads in Haiti, for anyone who has ever visited, are beyond inadequate. Many communities are isolated, in the year 2009, by the lack of passable roads. That prevents people from holding jobs, children from going to schools, farmers from bringing crops to market. Better roads are essential.
Haiti also needs better roads and tourist areas to promote that sector of the economy. In addition, urgent infrastructure needs include digging water catchments to prevent floods, completing a garment workers training center, and creating canals to help irrigation. As part of the $287 million in nonemergency assistance we will provide Haiti this year, we have authorized $20 million in aid to generate jobs in building roads and infrastructure. And we know that there are other ways we can use this money, but we will be more effective if we coordinate together so that we are all working off the same page, the page of the recovery plan that the prime minister described.
Now even the most responsible government in the world cannot prevent a natural disaster. The hurricanes didn’t just wash away crops and houses. They washed away months of government planning. Haiti is facing an approximately $50 million budget deficit which could undermine its plans. We will provide $20 million to help pay Haiti’s upcoming debt service obligations and to free up other resources, and we invite other donors to join us in taking care of this budget deficit.
Now fourthly, there is an urgent need for sustainable agriculture and food security. The combined effects of rising food prices globally and the destruction of crops of hurricanes have exposed millions of Haitians to malnutrition and destructive effects on health and productivity. We all know the effect of malnourished people. They’re too weak to work. Children are too hungry to learn in school. So food security is not only a source of suffering; it is a direct threat to economic growth and global stability.
Here, we need to be creative. Now, the United States will provide a $15 million in-kind contribution of food to help Haiti as it rebuilds, but that is not an answer. We need to revitalize Haitian agriculture. We need to reforest the upper watersheds. We need to borrow from the intelligence of other nations to learn how, as we help rebuild Haiti, it can become more energy independent.
Brazil has shown the extraordinary energy efficiency of using sugar cane. What other crops could be used in Haiti? We know Haiti, like the Dominican Republic, have some of the windiest areas in our hemisphere. What more could be done to promote wind energy and solar energy? We are ready to partner with any of you who have such good ideas working with the Haitian Government. But think of the people we could put to work doing the work that Haiti needs.
Now, this work is not only a matter for governments, but it is a mission for the people of our country. I’ve heard from many individuals and groups who care deeply about Haiti, but they don’t know how to invest their time and money in a way to make a real impact. We will, through our government, help to create a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that the Haitian Diaspora and the United States can contribute to. And we will help coordinate other NGOs, particularly those that have been started by Haitian Americans who want to give back and are looking for the best way forward.
When I think about all of that eroded bare land that I see when I fly over Haiti – and I can always tell where the Dominican Republic starts, because that’s where the green starts – I think about what other countries have done to reforest. When our daughter was born, a dozen people paid to plant trees in Israel in her honor. Think of what we could do for individuals to pay to plant trees in Haiti, and then to pay Haitians to learn foresting techniques to nurture and grow those trees, and to come with alternatives to burning wood so people can be warm and cook their food. All of this is connected, and we’ve got to start making those connections working together.
Now, we know from empirical data that small investments go a long way, and I’ve seen this for myself in Haiti. In addition to traveling there as a newlywed, I traveled as First Lady. I traveled out into the country to meet a doctor who had emigrated to the United States, joined the United States Air Force, had become a colonel, but then wanted to give back to the country of his birth – return to Haiti to his hometown in Pignon, to run a center for health, women’s literacy and microcredit. They had few resources, but they offered a comprehensive range of services to thousands of clients.
I have visited a family planning clinic, one of the great urgent needs in Haiti, where young people were trained to educate their peers about how to protect their health and prevent teen pregnancy. And I have met with women from a group called Women in Democracy who had attended a global conference on women’s leadership that I helped to sponsor ten years ago in Montevideo. When they returned home, thanks to the Vital Voices network that they joined, they began to help support Haitian women running for office, who wanted to see a better life for their own families. Eleven years later, their organization is growing strong. They hold trade fairs for women entrepreneurs, run civic education programs to teach women their rights, support women journalists and build even more connections to the broader region. These Haitian women remind us of the resilience of the people of Haiti, but also that we will never achieve real progress unless we reach deep into Haitian society.
When I think of the successful Haitian Americans who serve in state legislatures and on city councils, who populate our hospitals as doctors and nurses from New York to Florida, who run businesses, who are creative entrepreneurs, there is no reason that could not have happened in Haiti. Talent is universal; opportunity is not. And it is our task through this donors conference to open the door of opportunity for Haitians and to send a message of what does occur through the power of collaboration.
Every poor nation that has worked hard to gain a foothold in the global economy that has been knocked off their footing is looking to see what we can do together. I’m confident that we will make not only significant pledges here, but we will match those pledges by our follow-up efforts and our coordination, and that we will demonstrate to ourselves as well as to the people of Haiti and far beyond that we can, working together, make a significant difference. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

Having lived in Haiti from 1972-1982, not as a tourist or American official, but among the Haitians earning Haitian wages, having studied at the Université d’État d’Haiti, and having adopted Haiti as my home for that period, I care deeply about what happens in Haiti. In all of those years, we were hit by only one hurricane. Last year, Haiti was hit by two hurricanes and two severe tropical storms that decimated the plantations, rice paddies, and orchards that sustain life on the island, washed away the few decent roads and many bridges, and, because of deforestation in the mountains, washed away and killed hundreds of people and countless livestock in the torrents that rush to the sea whenever the rains are heavy.

The plans Hillary outlines above are brilliantly conceived and sequenced – they are so brilliant, in fact, that if Haitians heard this speech, they would want to elect her their president, demonstrating their level of advancement beyond our own political development in our country.

I am proud of Hillary every day (and possessive – no, Haiti, she’s ours so you can’t have her), but I am especially uplifted today by this speech. Hillary hit every single mark here, every strike a bulls eye, and spoke so impressively (without a teleprompter) that I could burst with love and pride, and I could cry that she is not at the controls of our own dear land.

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