Haiti, climate financing to be raised by UN Secretary General at CELAC summit
UN Secretary General António Guterres
March 1, 2024
Haiti, climate financing to be raised by UN Secretary General at CELAC summit

The United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres has promised to raise the issue of the crisis in Haiti at today’s Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit.

More than 400 delegates from CELAC Member States and the international community have converged on the Sandals Resort in Buccament for the eighth Summit which will see the temporary presidency of CELAC handed over from St Vincent and the Grenadines to Honduras.

“It is not for me to define the agenda of CELAC but two things I can guarantee is two issues will be raised by me very clearly in my intervention tomorrow,” the Secretary General told reporters at the Argyle International Airport on Thursday evening.

The 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse resulted in intensified gang violence and a worsening of the humanitarian crisis in the country with reports from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) showing that more 200,000 people have been internally displaced.

Haiti’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry said recently that he is committed to holding general elections by August 31, 2025.Out of a regional summit held in Guyana this week, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) pledged to send an assessment team to evaluate electoral needs by March 31 of this year.

Responding to questions from reporters, Secretary General Guterres said a solid political solution was the key to establishing stability.

“There was some progress with the institution of the Presidential Council, more checks and balances that were established and the scheduling of the elections. The problem that we need to be absolutely sure is solved is implementation, and that things are not postponed or that nobody is dragging his or her feet. Let’s be clear, you can put as many police forces as possible in Haiti. If there is no political solution the problem will not be solved.”

The UN official also pointed to relief from the international community as a priority area, noting that the humanitarian appeal of last year was insufficiently funded. Earlier this week, The United Nations launched an appeal for $674 million for humanitarian projects in Haiti.

“I hope that this time the world will understand that the people of Haiti are suffering so much that at least the minimum that corresponds to the basic needs, there is a response from the international community.”

Climate justice, particularly climate financing, is another issue that Secretary General Guterres has pledged to lay on the table at today’s summit.

Pointing to the loss and damage fund which was approved at the COP28 Conference last year Guterres said “we need much more than what was promised.

Just over $500 million in pledges were made from a handful of countries to the fund which is to be used to assist poor countries with mitigating climate disasters.