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Brazil committed to helping Haiti on multiple levels, senior official says

04-07-2011 11:14 BJT

A senior Brazilian official said here on Wednesday that Brazil has been committed to assisting Haiti in earthquake recovery and reconstruction through both national and international channels.

Antonio Jose Ferreira Simoes, Brazil's vice-minister for South America, Central America and the Caribbean, made the statement while addressing the UN Security Council during a high-level debate on Haiti. The Caribbean island country was devastated by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in January 2010 and has since faced both a cholera outbreak and violence surrounding elections.

"It is Brazil's belief that the active engagement of Latin America and the Caribbean in Haiti is not only a demonstration of solidarity toward a sister nation, but also a powerful message as to the willingness and capacity of our societies to live up to their international responsibilities," Simoes said.

The Brazilian official said that his country has been engaged on the international level through its role as the main troop contributor to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). He added that Brazilian peacekeepers on the ground in Haiti have developed a positive rapport with Haitians.

"This close relationship -- to which the implementation of quick impact projects is a key contribution -- has important consequences when it comes to implementing MINUSTAH's mandate and maintaining a secure and stable environment," said Simoes.

He said that the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), of which Brazil is a member, is helping Haiti from a regional perspective by implementing a cooperation program of work with the country and establishing a new UNASUR office in Port-au-Prince.

On a bilateral level, Simoes noted, Brazil has offered its cooperation with Haiti on agriculture, health, energy, job creation, institutional building and more.

For Haiti to attract investment and generate critically-needed jobs, it must be able to provide energy that is clean and supportive of sustainable development, Simoes said, adding that Brazil considers the construction of a hydroelectric plant in Haiti to help generate "a virtuous cycle of stability and prosperity" there.

The official noted that the newly-elected government in Haiti provides an opportunity to strengthen Haitian institutions and make governance more inclusive, as well as help Haiti rebuild.

"We trust that, with the final results of the electoral process and the transfer of power to the new government, we will be able to concentrate our efforts on reconstruction tasks that will pave the way for Haiti's development in an environment of sustainable peace and political stability," he said.

The preliminary results of Haiti's presidential runoff announced on April 4 showed that popular singer Michel Martelly has won the election with over 67 percent of votes. The final results are scheduled to be announced on April 16.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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