Haiti President Michel Martelly Addresses European Parliament

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - November 20, 2012

Above: Haiti President Michel Martelly in a speech to the European Parliament

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Continuing his tour of the European Union’s political institutions, Haiti President Michel Martelly addressed the European Parliament Tuesday.

Martelly, speaking to a plenary session in Strasbourg, said he expected the EU’s support in boosting trade and fostering direct investment.

“Haiti is changing,” he said. “But she still needs roads, airports, hotels, companies generating electricity, jobs and sustainable development.”

He said Haiti was resolved to break the “chains of underdevelopment” and reduce its vulnerability to the natural disasters that have ravaged the country.

“No country can recover from poverty by simple handouts and charity,” he said. “Surely we still need your help. But we also need productive work, trade and direct investment. Haiti is a strategic platform, a hub, investment-friendly, a jump-off point.”

In his speech, Martelly praised Europe for its “place in the world, its convictions, resource flows and its role in emerging countries.”

“I came here to tell you that, come hell or high water, and despite its bruises, Haiti has not lowered its guard,” he said. “Slowly, but surely, Haiti is standing up again.”

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said his institution would not allow the EU to fail to meet its international commitments, despite current budgetary issues.

Following Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, the EU provided Haiti with more than $411 million in humanitarian relief.

At an international donor’s conference in March 2010, the EU pledged long-term reconstruction aid commitments of $1.58 billion.

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