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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

U.S. AMBASSADOR POWER'S REMARKS IN PORT-AU PRINCE, HAITI

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT 
Samantha Power
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
January 23, 2015


Thank you. I am Samantha Power, the American Ambassador to the United Nations, and co-lead of this trip with my colleague, the Chilean Ambassador, Cristián Barros.

Each of the 15 individuals standing here have the privilege of representing countries on the UN Security Council and the privilege, in that role, of trying to support the Haitian people in their journey toward stability, prosperity and democracy.

The United Nations, as a community of nations and as MINUSTAH, and the 15 counties here each have stood with the Haitian people through good times and bad times.

Haiti has experienced many challenges throughout its long and rich and vibrant history. What always defines the Haitian people’s response is the spirit of resilience and determination.

We have just had a very important meeting with President Martelly and his Prime Minister and his Cabinet. Over the next two days we will meet with civil society, with opposition parties, with senators and with Haitians outside of Port-au-Prince in Cap-Haitien and here as well, in the capital.

In our meeting with President Martelly, we expressed our collective appreciation for his efforts before the Parliament lapsed to try to (inaudible) consensus in order to maintain the functioning of the Parliament and to pass electoral legislation.

This Council also expressed to President Martelly and his ministers the same disappointment that the Haitian people probably feel, that these efforts to seek consensus and to find a path forward did not prevent the Parliament from lapsing and did not produce the necessary compromise.

We support the President in his efforts to find a solution to the political stalemate and his efforts to ensure fair, transparent and inclusive elections in 2015.

Haiti has made tremendous progress in recent years in terms of health and education, and the President described much of that progress and more, in terms of the development of his country.

The democratic contract between the government and the governed is a critical part of Haiti’s development and we, on the UN Security Council, want to offer Haiti all of the support we can to ensure that elections take place, as they need to, in 2015, and to ensure that all Haitians are invested in the democracy and in the economy and in the development of this rich country.

We are very encouraged by the effort at consultation with the opposition, with civil society, that the President has made, and out of this meeting, even more encouraged by his determination to continue those consultations even after the lapsing of the Parliament.

And it is clear that even as this political stalemate frustrates people in this country, it is not getting in the way of the government continuing to focus on health, on the economy and on the other functions that the Haitian people count on the President and his ministers to advance.

And my last point is simply that we are very pleased that the Provisional Election Council[i] has been formed, which is of course a critical and necessary step to the holding of elections and we hope it is just the beginning of the kinds of mechanisms that can evolve here in this untraditional period where the Parliament is not functioning.

(Of mic)

Simply to say that we…were pleased by the creation of the Provisional Election --

(Of mic)

It is an example of the kind of compromise among civil society, the opposition and the government that will create a path forward.

And lastly, you have our full support on behalf, again, of the broader international community. We are privileged to be here to see what more the United Nations and each of our nations can do to help the Haitian people through another difficult chapter, but one we are confident that they will come out stronger for having been through on the other side. Mèrci.