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SENIOR UN HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICIAL TO VISIT HAITI
21 August 2012

NEW YORK / PORT-AU-PRINCE (21 August 2012) – United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonoviæ, will visit Haiti starting Wednesday to discuss deep-rooted human rights challenges with the government, United Nations officials, the international community and civil society.

The four-day visit, 22–25 August, comes as Haiti is recovering from a  humanitarian crisis created by the devastating January 2010 earthquake in which more than 300,000 people died and much of the infrastructure was destroyed.

Last year, President Michel Martelly declared that “Haiti is open for business” signaling the shift of attention to long-term socio-economic development. The government has since identified the employment, education, energy, environment and rule of law as priorities.

“As Haiti focuses its efforts on poverty eradication and social economic development, it is vital to tackle structural human rights challenges for these efforts to achieve the desired results and to benefit all Haitians,” said Šimonoviæ. “I am therefore encouraged that the rule of law is one of the government’s priorities”.

Among other government officials, Šimonoviæ is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, the President of the Senate, Dieuseul Simon Desras and the President of the Lower Chamber, Levaillant Louis Jeune. He will also meet with the leadership of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the UN Country Team, the diplomatic corps and civil society representatives. 

The UN Security Council is reviewing MINUSTAH’s mandate which is due to expire in October this year.

Media contacts:

New York: Linnea Arvidsson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (+1 917 288 0529 / arvidsson@un.org)

UN Human Rights Country Page – Haiti: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/LACRegion/Pages/HTIndex.aspx

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Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en


For use of the information media; not an official record

HR12/197E