Minister Cannon Supports Haitian Diaspora

(No. 171 - May 20, 2010 - 3:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will be a guest of honour at the Rebuilding Haiti: Horizon 2030 conference to be held by the Groupe de réflexion et d’action pour une Haïti nouvelle [Reflection and Action Group for a New Haiti] (GRAHN) on May 20 and 21 at the École Polytechnique de Montréal.

The conference, at which over 450 guests from the worldwide Haitian diaspora are expected, is a follow-up to the March 4-5 GRAHN conference in Montreal attended by Haiti’s Prime Minister, Jean-Max Bellerive. The May conference will be an opportunity for GRAHN to present the results of its reflections and proposals for keystone projects for rebuilding Haiti.

“Canada recognizes the invaluable resources available in the Haitian community abroad. The presence in Canada of one of the largest and most active Haitian expatriate communities is a treasure for Canadian society,” said Minister Cannon. “The GRAHN initiative is remarkable, collectively taking responsibility at a critical time in Haiti’s history. Canada congratulates the Haitian community for its efforts following the earthquake and encourages it to participate in Haiti’s reconstruction and development.”

The reflection process led by GRAHN aims to produce concrete proposals for the authorities involved in Haiti’s reconstruction and draw on the knowledge and expertise available both inside and outside Haiti.

The Haitian diaspora has experience, knowledge and understanding of local conditions in Haiti, enabling it to make a key contribution to the country’s reconstruction. It is important for Canada to listen to the GRAHN proposals to determine how all parties can work together more effectively.

It was in that spirit of cooperation that Canada hosted the Ministerial Preparatory Conference on Haiti held in Montreal shortly after the earthquake and attended by partners with long-standing commitments in Haiti. The conference endorsed the Montréal Principles, which were reaffirmed at the New York conference and form the framework for action by all Haiti’s partners. The principles of ownership, coordination, sustainability, effectiveness and accountability will be the keys to future success.

Canada has maintained solid ties with its Haitian community since well before the earthquake. Through the Canadian International Development Agency, Canada funds a number of initiatives implemented by the Haitian diaspora or drawing on its expertise.

For more information on Canada’s commitment in Haiti, please visit Haiti Task Force.

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Ève Cardinal
Press Secretary
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Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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