Sommaire: 25 January 2010, Brussels - The First Deputy Prime Minister of the Spanish Government, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, representing the European Union at the International Conference on Haiti in Montreal, announced this week that the EU will deploy a mission to identify the most pressing needs facing the Caribbean nation. This mission will join the 300-strong European Gendarmerie Force.
In a separate press conference, Fernández de la Vega affirmed that Spain and the European Union are "willing and wanting" to make the best possible contribution to help Haiti. Ms. de la Vega also pointed out that significant help is already being sent for emergency relief, including more than €420 million earmarked by the EU for use "as soon as the damages have been assessed."
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Haitian Government and people must take the leading role in rebuilding their country and designing their future and she applauded the Conference for taking this approach.
The Conference participants also clearly expressed the need for efficient global co-ordination, not only in these early stages, but in the medium and long term, with a comprehensive development vision for the country.
De la Vega stated that the international community must respond to "citizens from all over the world, that have expressed a clear mandate with their solidarity".
María Teresa Fernández de la Vega added that all actions must be taken "under the leadership of the United Nations and the international organisations that represent us all. These agencies should guide the entire process, with the collaboration of individual countries and regional and financial institutions".
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, also at the opening of the forum in Montreal, stated that "the world has ten years of hard work in front of it" to rebuild Haiti.
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