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International Conference for Haiti’s Economic and Social Development

At the International Conference for Haiti’s Economic and Social Development held in Port-au-Prince on July 25, 2006, the representatives of donor countries and international organizations were invited by the Haitian Government to discuss its strategy for economic and social development and to commit additional to finance the budget deficit and the Government’s public investment program from July 2006 through September 2007.

Represented by more than 30 delegations, the International Community highlighted speed with which the newly democratically elected leaders put in place a government of openness, as reflected in the General Policy Statement.  The International Community also congratulated the Haitian authorities for the draft Conference document that expresses a vision shared by the Executive with the legislature, the political parties and civil society.

The partners have recognized the leadership shown by the new authorities and acknowledged the new dynamism dedicated to the country’s overall recovery.  They agreed with the principle of a vision that states the conditions of real economic growth essential to prepare a Poverty Reduction Strategy, which will be a participatory and inclusive process to resolutely place the country on the path of sustainable development. 

The partners have highlighted the stabilization work achieved by MINUSTAH and congratulate the UN Secretary General for his decision to continue discussions with the Haitian Government on the evolution of MINUSTAH’s mandate.  They also underlined the need for a coordinated and rigorous action from all partners for reestablishing a climate of security, which is indispensable to achieve social and economic objectives.

The International Community has recognized that this conference is a new beginning and applauded the will expressed by Haiti’s Government to pursue the efforts undertaken to improve political and economic governance.  Members of the International Community subscribe to an “agreement of good governance” with the Government and its elected officials.

On the political level, the International Community has reaffirmed its willingness to work with the new executive and legislative authorities in their undertakings for reform.  It has particularly appreciated:

  • The willingness of the Executive to hold municipal and local elections before the end of 2006 and, has therefore, agreed to mobilize the necessary resources to help reaching this objective and assist the newly elected officials in their function and support the decentralization process;

  • The priority to increase the number and the professionalization of the Haitian National Police together with required investments in infrastructures and equipment;

  • The importance of in-depth reform of the judiciary system, including a significant improvement of the penitentiary system, and in order to do so, has called on close cooperation between national authorities and international institutions;

  • The importance of social appeasement measures and a program of decriminalization, rehabilitation, and social integration towards establishing of a climate of permanent security throughout the country.

On the economic front, the partners have agreed that “Priority Projects” selected by the Haitian Government identify practical results to be achieved in order to provide the country with basic infrastructure, create the secure social climate that will foster investments, and launch true economic take off in a enabling environment of macroeconomics stability.

The international community has responded enthusiastically to the Government of Haiti’s invitation to mobilize the required expertise to launch and implement identified priority projects.  This exercise will allow us to plan the means that are needed to implement and identify adequate financing.  The donors have acknowledged the importance of remaining engaged over the long-term in Priority Project to ensure the economic and social development of Haiti.  They commit themselves to contribute to their financing.

Donors have recognized with the Government that it is imperative to continue reform efforts within the areas of economic governance, the fight against corruption and smuggling, as well as tax evasion, and as such, they have congratulated this new administration for the concrete measures that are envisioned for with customs and in tax collection as well as for its willingness to increase fiscal pressure.

The International Community is most happy for Haiti’s reintegration into the CARICOM.  Indeed, Haiti sustainable development must also occur in enabling regional framework.

The International Community has accepted the Paris Declaration (2005) as reference in the quest for more efficient assistance and has ratified the proposals expressed by the Haitian Government in order to use the budget process (operating budget and Public Investment Program) as a framework for international assistance.  The objective is to guarantee greater transparency of assistance through firm commitments related to budget cycles.

Therefore, the delegates present today have committed a total of approximately US$ 750 millions. This amount should bridge the budget gap and the investment needs for the period of July 2006 to September 2007.

Generally speaking, the International Community acknowledges that this Conference as launched a dialogue in which, in due time, should permit the establishment of the necessary conditions for Haiti’s true economic and social development.  It has reiterated its unceasing support to the country’s legitimate authorities and to the Haitian people in its efforts to establish a Rule of law as well as sustainable and democratic development.

The Government of Haiti thanked its partner countries and international organizations for having responded to its invitation, and for having initiated this new dialogue. The participants accept Spain’s invitation and agreed to meet in Madrid on November 30, 2006 for the next International Conference on Haiti’s Economic and Social Development.

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