Bill Clinton tapped as U.N. envoy to Haiti

May 19, 2009 at 5:02 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, May 19 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was named U.N. special envoy for Haiti, building his interaction with the nation, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said.

"I am confident that President Clinton will bring energy, dynamism and focus to the task of mobilizing international support for Haiti's economic recovery and reconstruction," Ban said Tuesday in a release.

The appointment builds on Clinton's extensive engagement with Haiti while in the White House and through his Call to Action on Haiti at the Clinton Global Initiative last September, the United Nations said.

Ban and Clinton worked together to help Haiti when they visited the Caribbean country in March to raise awareness of efforts to help its people and government bolster their economic security.

Haiti has been affected deeply by the rise in global food and oil prices, the United Nations said. In addition, four storms in as many weeks rocked the country, leaving 800 people dead and another million either homeless or badly affected.

Thanking Ban for the appointment, Clinton said, "Last year's natural disasters took a great toll, but Haiti's government and people have the determination and ability to 'build back better,' not just to repair the damage done but to lay the foundations for the long term sustainable development that has eluded them for so long."

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