Pretoria – The UNIC Library was the venue for a moving ceremony to commemorate and honor the lives of the over 200 000 people who perished on 12 January 2010 in the Haitian earthquake.
The UNIC Director, Ms Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, welcomed staff to the Library and introduced the UN Resident Coordinator, Dr Agostinho Zacarias who delivered a message of remembrance to the UN staff present.
At 4.53pm, UN staff in Pretoria joined their counterparts around the world in observing 47 minutes of silence, the duration of the quake.
Dr Zacarias then spoke of the commitments that still need to be met to rebuild Haiti and urged collective action on the part of UN staff members to mobilize resources and assistance the humanitarian and development effort.
In her closing remarks, Ms Petrus-Barry spoke of the need to stay informed of the situation in Haiti and pledged to organize information-sessions on rebuilding Haiti in the UNIC Library.
The one-year anniversary was also marked by a formal commemoration at the MINUSTAH headquarters in Port-au-Prince. In New York, the Secretary-General conducted a solemn wreath-laying ceremony beginning at 4:45 p.m.