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Friday, June 23 2017 @ 06:17 AM AST

OAS Assistant SG vows renewed commitment to Haiti

General NewsThe following are the remarks of the OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin.
Today we remember Haiti. Last yearís events were tragic for all of us. In honor of those who died in the massive earthquake on January 12th 2010, we are not only sad and concerned, a year later, we are hopeful for a brighter future for Haiti and its people.

Given the recent increase in natural disasters in our Hemisphere, and the enormous devastation, January 12th can be seen as a day to remember all victims of all natural disasters in the Americas.

Madam Chair, I personally have been to Haiti many times in different capacities. Haiti is undoubtedly faced with many problems but Haiti is also a country with opportunities. We must value and salute the resilience and courage of the Haitian population in overcoming the personal and collective tragedy.

Today we stand not only in solidarity but with commitment and collective will to assist and accompany the Haitian people. We are here for the long haul. We commit now that we will support Haiti and its people for many years to come. Not everything will be fine all the time but we cannot and should not give up.

We have to stand up and support Haitiís democracy, economy and social well being. I see this as a task for the Americas as a whole and we cannot afford to fail. The people of Haiti have suffered for far too long. It is time to focus on the needs of the Haitian people to improve their lives on a long term basis.

The priorities and needs established by Haitian leadership must be respected. Haitiís needs require focus on structural and long term planning in areas of job creation, investment, production, health care, and education to create a solid foundation for sustained economic growth. To this end, we acknowledge the efforts made by Member States, Permanent Observes, International Organizations and the OAS General Secretariat itself.

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