UN Representative Tours The Coast And Talks Solutions

Officials with the United Nations say the situation in South Mississippi is not just about recovery but human rights.

UN representative Walter Kalin toured the coast and stopped by the Good Deeds Community Center in Gulfport, Wednesday afternoon, where he talked to residents about working toward solutions.

"It's about looking hard at the recovery plans and starting a discussion about how these recovery plans can be improved.  It's late but it's not too late."

Rose Johnson, with the North Gulfport Community Land trust, says the UN's influence could help get money where its needed the most.

"If they could help us in any way to speed up or maybe do away with some of the red tape or bureaucracy of the funds getting into the hands of the people who need it, it would help."

"We have the power of argument and the power of persuasion that's why it is important for local organizations and local authorities to take up...and use our guidance which is based on recommendations that work," says Kalin.

Kalin will hold workshops and presentations for the next two days sharing strategies communities can use to help with recovery.  Johnson, like others, hopes Kalin's visit will keep attention on the Gulf Coast and the help still needed in the ongoing rebuilding process.

"A lot of the victims from Hurricane Katrina are just falling off the radar screen.  We want to make sure not only the governmental officials here locally but the world knows that all is not well and people are still suffering.

This was Kalin's first visit to the coast.  He'll be in New Orleans for the next two days.  To find out more information call (504) 799-3060.