Friday, January 22, 2010

Ban Ki Moon speech on Haiti reconstruction

In the wake of the devastating quake which struck Haiti last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today emphasized the need to rebuild the impoverished Caribbean nation and “turn disaster into opportunity" in his address to the General Assembly.

“Haiti’s recovery must begin with its people – strong, resilient and impatient to get to work rebuilding their lives and their country,”

Last week’s disaster provides an “opportunity to build back better,” he said, quoting his Special Envoy Bill Clinton. On top of restoring the Government, governance must be improved,

Good. Bring back Aristide maybe?

and along with rebuilding factories, the right environment to draw ever greater investment must be created

Depends on who from, and what for. Not Halliburton we hope.

To this end, the UN has launched a cash-for-work programme to “help Haitians help themselves” by paying them to clear rubble from the street, distribute urgently-needed aid and build camps for those made homeless by the quake.

Good. It would be better if they were giving money to communities to do the work together, rather than acting as employers.

This is a good start, but the reconstruction effort needs to be based on community and ecological principles.

No mention (in the report at least) of the need for reforestation, and for new buildings to be made earthquake and hurricane proof.

I could find not working groups, committees or planning for earthquakes on the UN site. Nothing on disaster planning. Hmm. It looks as if there is a very large mad elephant asleep in one corner of the UNs china shop, and nobody quite knows what to do about it.

Call to cancel Haiti's Debt
No Shock Doctrine for Haiti

Link: Reconstructing Haiti


Anonymous said...

Also critical are the issues of credibility. Massive amounts of money and goods are being put into the tunnel on one end ... what is coming out in terms of aid in the hands of victims at the other end? Will waste, fraud, abuse and corruption siphon off the meat of the effort? A great statement of the importance of creating a system of accountability is published at and everyone who cares can push those ideas forward.

Anonymous said...

There is a petition to sign on line for all of us to insist on Haiti relief and reconstruction being safe from corrpution and waste -- no time to lose in setting up a system that works for a change. Haiti Accountability Project and the Petition for Accountability are right on target. Look for Haiti Accountability Project on

Anonymous said...

The NOVACK PROPOSAL is excellent. Letters to Congress are calling for its passage and that it needs to be put into effect immediately.