Haitian Mayors head to Rotterdam with Stories of Hope and Frustration

15 Feb 2010

Summit to promote new alliances and city-to-city decentralized cooperation

Port-au-Prince - Four metropolitan mayors from the areas affected by the 12 January earthquake in Haiti today announced that they will attend the 7th edition of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP), organized by the United Nations Development Programme and the city of Rotterdam.  The mayors, representing Port-au-Prince, Tabarre, Carrefour and Croix-des-Bouquets, will share their experiences, successes, lessons learned and future plans in addressing poverty and reconstruction challenges.  

This conference, focusing on “Confronting the Crisis Collectively,” will bring hundreds of mayors from around the world to discuss, debate and deliberate strategies to strengthen solutions to global challenges at local and regional levels. WACAP 2010, which takes place from 24-26 February, will call upon local and regional authorities to work together with governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector in order to take concrete measures to combat poverty.

“Given the magnitude of the challenges the mayors are facing here in both the emergency and in reconstruction,” said Kim Bolduc, Deputy Head of the UN Mission and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti. “This is a great opportunity for them to connect with colleagues from around the world, and to establish alliances and partnerships. It is absolutely fundamental that the local authorities be supported in building and expanding an international network of solidarity to strengthen their capacity to accomplish their objectives.”

Muscadin Jean Yves Jason, mayor of Port-au-Prince, said he hopes the conference will enable him and his colleagues to exchange best practices in human, material and financial resources and to learn more about experiences and projects in different countries that could be replicated during the reconstruction of their municipalities in Haiti. “We’re looking forward to working with other mayors, to exchange experiences and establish partnerships that can be used in this post-disaster situation in Haiti,” he said. “Working together, I know that Haiti will rise like a Phoenix from this current crisis.”