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Despite last year's hurricanes and a serious food crisis, real progress is being made in Haiti, said U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Susan Rice. At the September 9th Open Security Council Debate, on Haiti and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti [MINUSTAH], Ambassador Rice told Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis that the U.S. looks forward to continuing its close cooperation with Haiti.
"The United States is pleased to see increased political cooperation, which allowed for Senate elections and the passage of several key pieces of legislation," said Ambassador Rice. "We continue to urge the government of Haiti to deepen its efforts to foster an all-inclusive political dialogue and we thank MINUSTAH for its on-going support of Haiti's electoral process."
Another positive development was the successful completion of the April 14th Donors Conference in Washington, D.C., which the Inter-American Development Bank reports has resulted in $353 million in new pledges for Haiti. The United States pledged $57 million in new funding.
"Let me again stress the need for the government of Haiti and its partners to continue their good efforts to advance economic growth and development in the country," said Ambassador Rice, "including by supporting the country's Plan for Reconstruction and Economic Recovery."
Real gains have been made to improve security in Haiti, but stability there is still threatened by transnational crime, gang violence, drugs, and civil unrest. Ambassador Rice noted that in Haiti as elsewhere, "there can be no security without development, and there can be no sustained development without security."
The United States remains optimistic about the gradual improvements in the capabilities of the Haitian National Police to meet the security challenge. But the force still lacks the capacity, training, and equipment to respond independently to the full range of threats that Haiti now confronts.
The role of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti remain vital in maintaining stability and providing technical support and contributions to the build up the Haitian National Police. The United States firmly backs the recommendation of the U.N. Secretary General to extend MINUSTAH's mandate for another year and salutes the mission's brave men and women for dedicated service.
"Haiti is our neighbor and friend," said Ambassador Rice. The U.S. will work with its Caribbean neighbor and the international donor community "to produce results that will better the lives of the people of Haiti.