Haiti : France calls for the renewal of the mandate of MINUJUSTH [fr]
Haiti / MINUJUSTH - Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council – 3 April 2018
At the outset, allow me to warmly congratulate the delegation of the Netherlands on its presidency of the Security Council last month and, on behalf of France, offer our
full support for the Peruvian presidency.
I thank the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, for his very enlightening briefing on the implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH). France aligns itself with the statements to be made by the observer of the European Union and by the representative of Canada on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti.
Following the remarkable work done by the women and men of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, at great risk to their lives — as was the case in the 2010 earthquake — MINUJUSTH took up the effort by focusing on three tasks: strengthening the Haitian National Police and the rule of law, and monitoring the human rights situation. I should like to come back to these three axes of MINUJUSTH’s work during my statement.
The first point I wish to address is the strengthening and the role of the Haitian National Police. The stability of the country depends on its ability to train and field police personnel able to contribute to building social peace. It is their presence on the ground that often helps to ease tensions, as we have seen with the significant decrease in crime. In order to maintain this positive trend, MINUJUSTH must enjoy the means to support the Police Force in optimal conditions during its operations on the Haitian territory, including with the support of air and medical capabilities.
This international support, however, represents only a transition towards full ownership by the Haitian authorities of the maintenance of public order. Indeed, all the efforts of the United Nations Mission are now focused on developing a National Police that will be increasingly capable of independently fulfilling its missions without international support, from decision-making to the deployment of police officers on the ground. It is therefore up to the Haitian Government to ensure the successful training of more than 15,000 police officers in order to guarantee order and justice.
The second part of the MINUJUSTH mandate is the strengthening of the rule of law on which social, economic and political stability is based. We commend the drafting and adopting of legislative texts jointly carried out by the Haitian Government and Parliament in 2017. France will pay particular attention to the next steps, in particular the enacting of a penal code and a code of criminal procedure, which will be criticial before the MINUJUSTH mandate comes to an end.
As with the Haitian National Police, the successes achieved through international support, including the good offices of the Special Representative, now depend on the resolve of the Haitian authorities to take ownership of the work done so far. This political commitment is crucial in the fight against the scourge of corruption, which weakens democracy. We welcome the announcements issued by the Haitian Government, especially with respect to corruption, and encourage it to take all measures necessary to strengthen the rule of law, which is a prerequisite for the development of the country.
I will end on the issue of human rights, which are the keystone of the maintenance of peace and international security in Haiti. All the objectives that the international community has set for itself in that country — strengthening the Haitian National Police, strengthening the rule of law and the sustainable development of the country — depend above all on an active and ambitious human rights policy.
France calls for the careful monitoring of this significant issue in the implementation of the mandate of MINUJUSTH, always bearing in mind the objective of the assumption of ownership by the Haitian authorities and civil society, which is the sole guarantor of the progress that can be accomplished in all aspects of human rights. I will cite but a few: the improvement of the penitentiary system, the defence of women’s rights, and respect for the rights of Haitian citizens vis-à-vis the State. The United Nations also has a full role to play and will have to continue to pay close attention to the fight against sexual abuse in particular.
In conclusion, we call for the renewal of the mandate of MINUJUSTH before embarking on a transition to a new form of the United Nations presence in Haiti. The United Nations and France continue and will continue to stand alongside the Haitian people, whose courage in the face of adversity deserves our greatest admiration. We recall in that regard the suffering endured as a result of the tragic cholera epidemic, which is now on the verge of eradication. Given the successes observed in recent years in many areas, a stable Haiti firmly on the path of development must be our shared ambition.