Haiti: Is Economic Security Possible if Diplomats and Donors Do Their Part?
In 2009, Haiti has been the subject of an unprecedented diplomatic initiative led by the United Nations. In rapid succession, Haiti received visits from the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the UN Security Council, former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and numerous senior delegations from Caribbean and South American countries. In April, Haiti was the subject of an international donors’ conference hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank that reaffirmed previous commitments and pledged $324 million in new economic assistance. The visits and the donors’ conference were preceded by a UN sponsored report by Oxford economist and bestselling author Paul Collier on specific steps that could help Haiti achieve economic security.
The question of whether international goodwill and donor support could free Haiti from political instability, poverty, crime and environmental degradation was discussed by a panel of distinguished experts at a public forum hosted by the Institute’s Haiti Working Group on May 6, 2009. Principal speakers included:
- Ambassador Albert Ramdin, Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States
- Dr. David Harland, Acting Director of the Europe and Latin America Division of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations;
- Dora Currea, Manager of the Caribbean Department of the Inter-American Development Bank; and
- Belinda Bernard, Senior Advisor for Haiti at the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean of the U.S. Agency for International Development
Robert Perito, director of the Haiti Program and a senior program officer at USIP, served as moderator.
This USIPeace Briefing was written by Robert Perito, senior program officer in the Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations at the United States Institute of Peace. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of USIP, which does not advocate specific policies.
The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and development, and increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide. The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by directly engaging in peacebuilding efforts around the globe.