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Haiti making progress – Martelly

Thursday, September 27, 2012 | 10:12 AM    

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UNITED NATIONS – Haiti’s President Michel Martelly has sought to assure world leaders that his country is emerging from a myriad of problems and that he is committed to democracy.

The ideal space for peace in the world, for prosperity and for the fight against poverty remains the democratic framework," Martelly said during a 12-minute address to the 67th General Assembly on Wednesday.

He said his earthquake-ravaged, country, one of the world’s poorest, which over the past has suffered from political instability, a devastating earthquake, hurricanes and cholera, is making progress as it seeks to emerge from the morass of problems besetting it.

“Haiti under my leadership understands this and works at it actively by strengthening local institutions, which are considered weak or not functioning,’’ he said. “Haiti has understood that only a real democracy can produce stability.”

Martelly’s remarks came amid calls by UN Special Envoy for Haiti and former US President Bill Clinton for donors to live up to the US$5.33 billion in pledges they promised after Haiti’s devastating January 2010 earthquake.

On Tuesday, the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti, however, disclosed that more than half of the money pledged has been released.

The office said that US$2.79 billion, or 52.3 per cent of the US$5.33 billion pledged by 55 donors between 2010 and 2012, has been disbursed.

The Haitian leader is one of scores of national leaders and other high-level officials who are presenting their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends on October 1.

Martelly also met with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday. The two men discussed the current situation in Haiti, including political developments and its cholera epidemic, with the UN chief commending the President for his leadership in advancing reconstruction and stabilization efforts, the UN said.

Ban urged Martelly to continue working closely with his Special Representative in Haiti on the further consolidation of the peacekeeping operation based there, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti.

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