A resolution of the political, electoral and institutional crisis that has plagued Haiti since 1997 is a prerequisite for the formulation and implementation of a long-term development programme with Port-au-Prince, Secretary-General Kofi Annan writes in a just released report on the situation in the Caribbean nation.
Specifically, Mr. Annan says the country's political instability has limited preliminary work on a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, which was to be prepared by the Haitian Government following a recommendation by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in September 1999. Once completed, the Paper will set out the conditions under which Haiti can access financing under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, and obtain debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.
The Paper is part of a multi-pronged approach to identify the country's development priorities, along with the preparation of a UN Development Assistance Framework - a programming exercise based on a Common Country Assessment (CCA), which was prepared by some 200 people representing the main sectors of Haiti's development partners.
"The importance of the [Paper] goes without saying and requires as much participation as the CCA/UNDAF in order to strengthen international action by means of a homogeneous and complementary strategy," the Secretary-General writes.
Referring to a letter from Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in which he expressed the desire that the post of the Secretary-General's Representative should be retained to facilitate dialogue between the political parties, the Secretary-General says he is currently engaged in consultations with various parties - in particular the Friends of Haiti (Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, United States and Venezuela) and the Organization of American States (OAS) - to assess the best way to respond to the request.
Mr. Annan's report came in response to a July 2000 request by the UN Economic and Social Council for updates on "steps taken by the Haitian Government, the United Nations system and the international community towards the elaboration of a long-term programme of support for Haiti and practical modalities for its implementation."