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Ceremony to honour the memory of the victims of the Haiti earthquake

Sergei Ordzhonikidze

12 janvier 2011
Ceremony to honour the memory of the victims of the Haiti earthquake (en anglais seulement)

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Across the world today, the United Nations and the entire human family honour the memory of the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti one year ago. More than 3 million people were affected by the earthquake. In just 47 terrible seconds, millions of homes were destroyed, thousands were killed and a nation was in ruins. We pay tribute to the dedication and determination of our colleagues that we lost and to all those affected by this tragedy, and to the fortitude and resilience of the Haitian people in overcoming the impact.

The entire United Nations family was touched by the calamity of the earthquake. Remembering brings back the shock and the sadness, the disbelief at the magnitude of our loss. It is an emotional and difficult time for many, as we reflect on the memories of friends who perished. With 102 colleagues lost, this was the greatest single loss that the United Nations has suffered in its history.

The earthquake in Haiti also showed the United Nations at its best – pulling together as one, in solidarity and drawing on all the expertise that we have, to help those who need us the most, even when we ourselves are suffering. The commitment and courage of those who contributed in the aftermath of the earthquake continues to inspire us all.

Over the past year, the Government of Haiti and the international community have worked to bring relief to vulnerable fellow human beings who continue to live in extremely difficult conditions. Over 800,000 are still in camps, and millions outside of the camps live without access to basic services like clean water, sanitation and healthcare. The humanitarian community’s work is still critical to the survival of hundreds of thousands of Haitians.

Today, we pledge to continue our efforts to respond to the needs of the people of Haiti as they rebuild and reconstruct their country and their future. We must accelerate the recovery effort and stay the course to put in place long-term solutions.

Dear Friends:
We will never forget the colleagues we lost in Haiti. Just as we do not forget any colleagues who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace and progress. As we gather today, we pledge to continue to their work, to carry forward our shared vision of a better world, as the most fitting tribute to their memory.

Our ceremony today now comes to a close. But, our efforts in Haiti continue and the memory of those we lost lives on. Thank you for sharing this moment today.

This speech is part of a curated selection from various official events and is posted as prepared.