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Bill Clinton to be UN special envoy to Haiti, say UN officials

Latest update : 2009-05-19

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to name former US President Bill Clinton as his special envoy to Haiti, according to UN officials, in a move that could bolster the foreign investment prospects in the American hemisphere’s poorest nation.

AFP - Former US president Bill Clinton is to be named UN special envoy to Haiti, a UN official said Monday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the formal announcement would be made at UN headquarters Tuesday.
He said this was a new post specially created for Clinton, who has been trying to focus world attention on the Caribbean island, which was devastated by hurricanes last year and is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
"It is an honor to accept the (UN) secretary general's invitation to become special envoy to Haiti," Clinton said in a statement published by the The Miami Herald, which originally broke the story of the former president's appointment to the post.
"Last year's natural disasters took a great toll, but Haiti's government and people have the determination and ability to build back better, not just to repair the damage done but to lay the foundations for the long-term sustainable development that has eluded them for so long," he was quoted as saying.
Last March, Ban and Clinton toured Haiti together and urged the international community to continue to aid the impoverished Caribbean country.
In April, participants at a donors conference in Washington agreed to donate 324 million dollars to help Haiti rebuild.
Clinton, who visited Haiti while president in 1995, was the first US leader to travel to the country while in office since Franklin Roosevelt in 1934.
Prior to the UN post on Haiti, the former president served as UN special envoy for tsunami recovery following the 2004 tsunami, raising tens of millions of dollars for the rebuilding effort in Indonesia and other flood-ravages areas of Asia.

Date created : 2009-05-19