International Conference of World Cities and Regions for Haiti
Following his official visit to Haiti on 17 February, President Sarkozy announced the organization by France of the International Conference of World Cities and Regions for Haiti. This Conference will contribute to the equitable and sustainable development of Haiti and take place on Tuesday, 23 March in Fort-de-France, Martinique. Marie-Luce Penchard, Minister responsible for Overseas France, and Alain Joyandet, Minister of State responsible for Cooperation and Francophony, will represent the French government at this international conference.
On 12 January 2010, a devastating earthquake struck the Haitian capital and several towns in south-east Haiti. Given the scale of the disaster, the Haitian government appealed for international assistance.
Local authorities and their civil societies spontaneously expressed their solidarity following this announcement. A major mobilization was launched at international level to address the massive needs of Haitian society. Following the emergency phase, which had already mobilized many local stakeholders, four international sectoral meetings (private companies, diasporas, NGOs and local government authorities) are being organized under United Nations auspices in partner countries, in preparation for the International Donors’ Conference [Towards a New Future for Haiti] in New York on 31 March, where France will be represented by Bernard Kouchner.
The objectives of the meeting in Martinique are as follows:
1. To implement the regional authorities’ contribution in accordance with the Haitian authorities’ development plan, particularly with respect to support for local governance;
2. To coordinate the international assistance from foreign local government authorities;
3. To combine the efforts of the foreign and Haitian local government authorities;
4.To help strengthen Haitian decentralization, already under way before the earthquake;
In order to achieve these objectives, the conference in Fort-de-France will be structured around a plenary session debate, workshops and a presentation of the workshop findings at the end of the day. Five workshops will be set up (urban development and town and country planning, human resources, local funding, local economic development, pooling of resources and coordination) and co-chaired by a Haitian representative and third country representative. A summary of the International Conference of World Cities and Regions for Haiti will be issued to the press./.