The ongoing and close partnership between the United States and Haiti was front and center this week, highlighted both at the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City and at the "Partnering for Haiti's Future" day-long conference at the State Department in Washington, D.C. Haiti's President Michel Martelly, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Haitian Parliamentarians and leaders from 20 nations and international organizations reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that the Haitian people enjoy a future filled with hope and potential.
In her remarks at the Haitian government's ministerial meeting in New York, Secretary Clinton highlighted the progress that has been made since the devastating earthquake in January 2010. She also took the opportunity to encourage the leaders of Haiti to work together to complete the formation of a full government and to move along the road of progress, hand in hand with the countries and organizations that have pledged to help all Haitians achieve a bright future. Secretary Clinton also highlighted some success stories that demonstrate the close partnership between the United States and Haiti, including development of a world-class industrial park in northern Haiti that is scheduled to break ground for construction in the next month and will create at least 20,000 new jobs.
President Martelly welcomed the opportunity to address donors, and reflected on the tragic losses caused by the earthquake, and repeated his promises to work hard to push forward Haiti's reconstruction. He acknowledged that the road would be bumpy, but reiterated his determination to ensure close cooperation between Haiti and the international donors in the best interests of Haitians, stressing as his government's two key priorities: strengthening Haiti's institutions and improving Haiti's economic climate by attracting more investment.
Four days later, the Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator held a day-long conference at the State Department to emphasize doing business in Haiti, especially for Haitian-Americans who continually express a strong interest in being involved in Haiti's recovery. Cheryl Mills, the Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, summed up the conference by reviewing the goals of U.S. assistance to Haiti, and encouraging the attendees to consider the broad ways in which they could partner with the U.S. Government to help in Haiti's recovery and reconstruction. She emphasized the vital role of the Haitian Diaspora in bringing its experience and dedication directly to the people of Haiti.
Throughout this week, Haiti has been in the spotlight, and we hope to build on this momentum and generosity of spirit to ensure that no one forgets about the devastating earthquake and the consequences that the Haitian people still suffer today. Haiti's future will be bright if the close cooperation and linkages between countries, donors, NGOs, international organizations, Diaspora groups, and most importantly, Haitians themselves, strengthen more and more each day.