Port-au-Prince, Haiti - The new UN Deputy Special Representative in Haiti has said that “unity is strength” as she committed the UN to carry on working in support of the country’s sustainable development agenda which aims to leave no-one behind.
Ulrika Richardson of Sweden made the comments on Thursday to the Haitian Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, who she met for the first time since arriving in the country last Thursday.
During the conversation between Ms Richardson and the Prime Minister, she emphasized her vision to reinforce the support of the United Nations by working “hand-in-hand with national authorities and civil society to tackle the structural and systemic causes of development deficits” in the country.
The UN is currently collaborating with the Haitian authorities on the drafting of a new cooperation framework for sustainable development, which will define how the UN, the Government and partners work together over the next five years across development, humanitarian and political dimensions.
Using a Haitian Creole phrase "Piti piti zwazo fè nich li" which translates as “little by little the bird makes its nest” she said she was keen to spend time learning about the challenges the country faces, but also its rich and beautiful culture.
Ms Richardson, who was appointed by the UN Secretary-General will act as the Deputy Special Representative, United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) and Resident Coordinator in Haiti. She will also serve as Humanitarian Coordinator.
She has more than 30 years of hands-on development, humanitarian and political experience. Before taking up her post in Haiti, she served from 2018, as the United Nations Development Coordinator in Kosovo. Before that she was Resident Coordinator in Cabo Verde (2013-2018).
Ms Richardson has broad experience in international affairs and development cooperation, having served as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Gabon (2012-2013), Deputy Resident Representative in Turkey (2007-2012) and in Cuba (2004-2007), where she also worked on regional disaster preparedness.
She joined the Organization in 1995 as a United Nations Volunteer.
Ms Richardson holds a master’s degree in development economics from Gothenburg University and a Bachelor of Social Science from Lund University, both in Sweden. She is fluent in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.
This piece was written by the UN team in Haiti.
To learn more about the UN’s work in Haiti, please visit: haiti.un.org/en.