Ministers Baird and Ablonczy Conclude Visit to Haiti

February 25, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today visited Haiti to see first-hand the contributions that Canada has been making to the country’s development. The ministers also met with Haitian President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe to discuss both the challenges and the successes with accountable development assistance, and improvements to the rule of law, security, governance and sustainable prosperity.

“Canada plays a key role in international efforts to support Haiti and help its people overcome the immense challenges they contend with daily,” said Baird. “We share with Haitian leaders the goal of seeing a self-sustaining economy with opportunity for all Haitians and a greater role for private-sector actors, including Canadian companies.”

“Through our engagement in the Americas, Canada has been working in partnership with our neighbours, including Haiti, to build a safer and more prosperous hemisphere,” said Minister Ablonczy. “Our time in Haiti today will give us invaluable perspective on how Canada can best support the Haitian people in their progress toward these goals.”

The insight the ministers gained on the ground will assist the government’s review of its long-term engagement with Haiti.

Said Baird, “Our goal is to get real and lasting results for Haiti and value for money for Canadian taxpayers. The Haitian and Canadian people expect no less of their respective governments.”

The ministers also met with Pierre-Richard Casimir, Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and with representatives of the Organization of American States and civil society.

Canada stands ready to support the Government of Haiti in better coordinating non-governmental organizations, donors and partners currently operating in the country.

During their visit, the ministers noted the recent efforts toward dialogue between the executive branch of government, parliament and civil society, while reiterating Canada’s concern over the upcoming legislative and municipal elections and the need for the Haitian government to seek a consensus on a permanent electoral council.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Joshua Zanin
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
613-944-2300

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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