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Haitian President backs Paris climate accord, calls on UN to honour commitments on tackling cholera

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly today, Jovenel Moise, President of Haiti, expressed deep commitment to the environmental targets in the global goals on sustainable development and said his island nation is seeking to build its resilience against the natural disasters and extreme weather events that consistently beleaguer its people and other countries in the Caribbean.

“My Government is committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change,” Mr. Moise told delegations gathered for the Assembly’s annual general debate, adding that he wished to see those countries most responsible for greenhouse gas production contribute the resources necessary for implementing that accord.

In the Caribbean, recent back-to-back extreme weather events had drawn attention to the ways in which climate affects Haiti. “Such weather phenomena are due to the impact of humans on the environment,” he stressed, and noted that in January 2018, when Haiti assumed the presidency of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), it would organize a regional conference aimed at establishing an inter-State commission that would devise a strategy for addressing climate issues, such as the availability of climate insurance.

More broadly, he said Haiti has taken steps to consolidate democracy and the rule of law, having made significant efforts to promote development and political stability. Noting that corruption has “infected” and eroded Haiti’s economy, and compromised its political situation, he said it is time that official development assistance (ODA) and domestic resources upheld the interests of the Haitian nation. In the meantime, Haiti’s new leaders are waging an unwavering struggle against corruption.

Addressing two phenomena stemming from the UN presence in Haiti – heinous sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and other personnel, and the cholera epidemic – he said the Organization is morally obliged to provide the recourses to ensure that cholera left the country.

Improving Haiti’s health system, including by eradicating cholera, is a Government priority for his Despite some progress, the number of cholera victims stood at 10,000 people and continued to grow. Further, there were tens of thousands of cholera orphans. The United Nations must live by and give tangible form to its noble ideals, including the announced ‘new approach’ to dealing with cholera, he stressed, by shouldering all its responsibilities to remedy the situation, which had caused grave harm to the Haitian people.