Donors Conference, New York: UCLG announce the establishment of a platform for decentralized cooperation for Haiti


and recommend the instant allocation of concrete finances for local authorities.

Press release

New York, 31st of March 2010. UCLG, through its Vice President, Gerald Tremblay, Mayor of Montreal, has made heard the demands of Haitian local authorities and of local authorities across the world at the United Nations Haiti Donors’ Conference. 

Upon hearing of the tragedy which struck Haiti, local and regional authorities mobilized to assist their Haitian colleagues, ready to contribute to the reconstruction process.

Local authorities the world over, through United Cities and Local Governments, have already conveyed to the UN and the World Bank the importance of including a local government component in the reconstruction plans for Haiti. Local government experience in reconstruction following crises such as the Asian Tsunami and the war in Kosovo, have shown that reinforced local governance can be decisive for success.

The reconstruction of Haiti must begin with the reconstruction of Haitian towns. The essential role of local authorities must therefore be recognized and feature as a central consideration in the decisions taken for Haiti. Any action for Haiti should be based on the needs and expectations voiced by Haitians themselves and by their representatives at all levels of government.

It was with this objective that Charles Pierre, Mayor of Fort-Liberté and President of the National Federation of Haitian Mayors, entreated that Haitian local authorities be granted the necessary means to act. He further stressed the urgent need to swiftly return Haitian children to education.

Gerald Tremblay presented concrete local government demands which had been developed at the International Conference of Towns and Regions for Haiti, convened by the French Government on 23rd of March in Fort-de-France, Martinique, focusing on:

– De-concentration of State services to facilitate the re-establishment of essential services

– Creation on the ground of a task force, and at the initiative of UCLG, a platform for decentralized cooperation

– Development of the powers of local authorities to create jobs, to invest in human resources and to plan their development

– Establishment of financial resources to enable local authorities to carry out assistance in Haiti

Other speakers, in particular Bill Clinton, United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti, and Catherine Ashton, High Representative of European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, showed the strong consensus placing decentralization at the heart of the plan for development to be followed by the government of Haiti.