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In May 2009 the United Nations announced the appointment of former United States President Clinton as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Haiti. In August, Dr. Paul Farmer was appointed as Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti. Both the President and Dr. Farmer have a direct reporting line to the Secretary-General and are on a $1 a year contract.

This is not the first time President Clinton has worked with the United Nations. He has previously served as the United Nations Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

President Clinton’s appointment as the UN Special Envoy for Haiti builds on his engagement with Haiti while in the White House, his service as the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, and on his Call to Action on Haiti at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2008 and 2009, that generated more than 30 commitments in Haiti valued at more than $428 million.

Prior to the January 12, 2010 earthquake, President Clinton’s priorities as UN Special Envoy for Haiti included:

  • Work with the Haitian Government and people as they implement their vision for recovery and beyond in an effort to maximize job creation and sustainability;
  • Assist Haiti to “build back better” from the 2008 hurricanes, prepare for future tropical storm seasons, and promote environmental recovery and the development of clean energy in Haiti;
  • Encourage international donors to honor their pledges as quickly as possible and align their assistance with Haitian priorities;
  • Encourage international private sector investment in Haiti by elevating awareness of the economic opportunities there, and working with Haitian officials to improve the economic climate; and
  • Encourage philanthropists, non-governmental organizations, and civil society to provide additional resources and better coordinate their work with each other and with the Haitian Government.

Following the January 12 earthquake, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon asked UN Special Envoy for Haiti, President Bill Clinton to take on an expanded role in the relief and reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

Drawing on the lessons learned in the aftermath of past disasters such as the Indian Ocean tsunami, and through previous work in Haiti through the Office of the Special Envoy, President Clinton continues to work with the Haitian government and people to coordinate and sustain recovery and reconstruction efforts that achieve the vision they have for their country.

In this role, President Clinton continues to work with the Government and people of Haiti as they lead recovery and reconstruction efforts. President Clinton helps coordinate the work of UN agencies and other international partners in Haiti, including government donors, private investors, and non-governmental organizations.

He also liaises closely with senior UN officials, including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti, to ensure coherence of the United Nations system.

The Special Envoy for Haiti also continues to advocate for the international community to realize and sustain their commitments to Haiti for long-term recovery, and help channel assistance effectively to communities in need.

President Clinton and Dr. Farmer are supported by the Office of the Special Envoy at UN headquarters in New York.