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Bill Clinton to shepherd UN Haiti aid effort

[ 2010-02-04 13:47]     字号 [] [] []  
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Bill Clinton to shepherd UN Haiti aid effort

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has asked former U.S. President Bill Clinton to head up coordination of international aid efforts on Haiti. Mr. Ban said the massive effort will need "extraordinary leadership" and that he hoped Mr. Clinton would be a spokesperson for rallying international assistance for the earthquake-stricken country.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed former U.S. President Bill Clinton as his Special Envoy for Haiti last May. Mr. Ban said that his long-standing commitment to the people of Haiti is one of the reasons he has asked Mr. Clinton to take on this additional role.

"I ask you, on my behalf, to assume a leadership role in coordinating international aid efforts from the emergency response to reconstruction of Haiti. This will need extraordinary leadership and I cannot find any other, better-suited leader than yourself, Mr. President," he said.

He said he hoped Mr. Clinton would work closely with U.N. agencies and the acting head of the U.N. mission in Haiti to provide strategic guidance to the organization's involvement at the international level.

Mr. Clinton has a long relationship with the Caribbean island nation, often saying it extends back decades to when he and his wife, Hillary, spent their honeymoon there.

Mr. Clinton said he would do the best he could, but warned the challenges ahead are great.

"The trick is to get the Haitian people back where they can stop living from day-to-day and start living from week-to-week or month-to-month and then start the long-term efforts," he said. "They, the leaders there, want to build a functioning, modern state for the first time, and I will do what I can to faithfully represent and work with all the agencies of the U.N. and help them get it done," said the former president.

Mr. Clinton commended the United Nations for its work in Haiti, saying it had performed very well under adverse circumstances. The United Nations has confirmed 92 of its personnel died in the January 12 earthquake, and many of its buildings were badly damaged or destroyed.

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(来源:VOA 编辑:陈丹妮)