UN development specialist assumes Haiti prime minister role

UN development specialist Garry Conille arrived on Saturday in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, to take on his new role as Haiti’s prime minister.

Conille has been serving as UNICEF’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean since January 2023. Prior to this role, he held various positions for different UN branches. In the wake of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, he was nominated as Haiti’s prime minister, and he assumed the position from October 2011 to May 2012. This year, the Transitional Presidential Council of Haiti voted 6-1 to install Conille as the new prime minister, replacing current interim prime minister Michel Patrick Boisvert.

The role of prime minister has been taken by Boisvert since Ariel Henry’s resignation in March 2024. On 29 May 2024, Edgard LeBlanc Fils, president of the Council, announced the Council’s decision to appoint Conille after careful deliberation. The decision is welcomed by many, including the US, which expressed willingness to cooperate with Conille in implementing multinational security plans.

This move comes amidst surging gang violence in Haiti. Since Jovenel Moise’s assassination in 2021, Haiti has been in a state of turmoil and unrest. The problem further worsened this year, pursuant to which the government declared a state of emergency. The UN warned that the unrest in Haiti would lead to gross violations of women’s and girls’ rights. In March, Haiti and Kenya reached a security agreement, under which Kenya would send 1,000 police officers to curb gang violence.

Garry Conille has accepted the position. He pledges to improve and safeguard children’s rights in Haiti.