Gov. Gen. named special envoy to Haiti

OTTAWA — Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean says her appointment as UN special envoy to Haiti is an expression of the “solidarity and friendship” Canadians have demonstrated since the devastating earthquake in her homeland.

Governor General Michaelle Jean

Governor General Michaelle Jean

OTTAWA — Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean says her appointment as UN special envoy to Haiti is an expression of the “solidarity and friendship” Canadians have demonstrated since the devastating earthquake in her homeland.

“It is with great passion, conviction and enthusiasm that I have agreed to take on this important mission, which fits in perfectly with the people-to-people diplomacy I have practised throughout my term,” Jean said in a statement Tuesday.

Her appointment as special envoy for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is “a tribute to Canada’s leadership role in rebuilding Haiti,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who helped get her the high-profile job.

“She will be in a position to further advance the international community’s response to the urgent needs in Haiti as it recovers from January’s devastating earthquake.”

Jean, whose term as GG officially ends Sept. 27, said she’ll support efforts to rebuild Haiti’s heritage infrastructure and national education system.

“I will be encouraging the international community . . . to make basic education, vocational training and higher education a priority and to work with the Haitian government and population to ensure sustainable and human development.”

Jean said she’ll “remain engaged with my fellow Canadians” through the Ottawa-based Michaëlle Jean Foundation, which supports youth-oriented organizations engaged in constructive civic activities.