We received news yesterday of the passing of Myriam Merlet in Tuesday's disaster in Haiti. Merlet, a women's rights activist and Head of the Ministry of Women in Haiti, helped to call international attention to the widespread rape of girls and women as a political weapon in the country, where rape was only made a criminal offence in 2005. Merlet's essay The More People Dream appeared in the popular 2001 publication Walking on Fire: Haitian Women's Stories of Survival and Resistance.
We are saddened by the passing of one of our colleagues and friends. I imagine that in the coming weeks, there will be many tributes to those we've lost, and I look forward to contributing to those, to remembering the Myriam I knew, and her work. I want to reaffirm our solidarity in assisting Haiti, and in working towards the peace and security of all its citizens as they work to recover and rebuild not only now, but for years to come. I believe we appreciate that the support needed goes way beyond 'fixing' the fallout from Tuesday's disaster, and I'm hopeful that as a region, we will listen to the needs of the Haitian people, and stay committed .