Welcoming Haiti's first ever transfer of power from one democratically elected president to another, the United Nations has urged the country's new leader, his Government and the people to harness the political goodwill to “rebuild together a new Haiti.”
Michel Martelly was sworn in yesterday as President of Haiti in a ceremony in the capital, Port-au-Prince, attended by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan.
Mr. Martelly – who in March won the second, run-off round in the presidential election – succeeds René Préval as President.
In a press statement issued late yesterday, the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) congratulated Mr. Martelly on his inauguration and the people of Haiti for a “lesson in civic maturity” during the lengthy election process.
“The day of 14 May 2011 is historic and carries with it all the hopes of change for the people of Haiti: hopes for reconstruction, progress, stability, social peace, rule of law [and] development,” the statement noted.
The mission called on Mr. Martelly, his Government, Haiti's politicians, civil society groups and wider citizenry to “make this historic moment their rallying point for sealing a new political, economic and social pact to rebuild together a new Haiti.”
The new Haiti, the statement added, would be a country that “fully respects democratic values and human rights [and] which is proud of its entire human and cultural richness.”