UN spotlights conditions in Haiti

April 7, 2009 12:00 am

, UNITED NATIONS, Apr 7 – The UN Security Council has called for stepped-up social and economic development in impoverished Haiti to deal with deteriorating living standards for most of its 8.7 million people.

The 15-member council wrapped up a day-long debate on Monday by unanimously adopting a non-binding statement expressing concern over "a marked deterioration in the living standards of the vast majority of Haitians."

It stressed the need for "security to be accompanied by social and economic development as a way for Haiti to achieve lasting stability."

In this connection, council members underscored "the vital importance" of a high-level donors conference to be hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington April 14.

It urged donors to provide the additional technical and financial aid required by the Haitian government to meet the country’s immediate, early recovery and reconstruction needs.

Haiti, which was devastated by hurricanes last year, is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has a long history of political instability.

The Security Council welcomed the progress achieved so far in the areas of political dialogue, extension of state authority and strengthening of security, the rule of law and human rights.

It reaffirmed the need "for the upcoming elections for the renewal of one-third of the Senate to be inclusive, free and fair." The polls are scheduled for April 19.

Last month, council ambassadors paid a four-day visit to Haiti to take stock of the dire economic conditions threatening the Caribbean country’s recovery from decades of dictatorship and violence.

The UN envoys met with lawmakers, opposition and business leaders to mull how to best ease economic hardship in the country.

UN officials have warned that UN peacekeeping efforts will fail unless something is done to ease social conditions in the country, which has been battered by the current global economic crisis.


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