Haiti: From MINUSTAH to MINUJUSTH [fr]
Haiti - Security Council - Intervention of François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Tuesday 18 july 2017
Let me begin by thanking the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti, Ms. Sandra Honoré Braithwaite, for her very enlightening briefing, as well as for her contribution and that of her teams to the stabilization of Haiti.I associate myself with the statements that will be made by the observer of the European Union, as well as by the representative of Peru on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti.
France welcomed the adoption of resolution 2350 (2017), which formally acknowledges the closure of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) by October 15, and establishes a new mission focused on the issues of police, the rule of law and human rights. That decision, which was made unanimously by the Council, is essential. More than 13 years after the establishment of MINUSTAH, it was time to formally acknowledge the successes of the mission in stabilizing Haiti and to move towards a new form of United Nations presence more adapted to the needs of the country and the conditions on the ground, which have evolved considerably and in a favourable direction.
As underlined in the Secretary-General’s report (S/2017/604), the work of MINUSTAH in recent years has been essential to getting Haiti out of the emergency situation in which the country found itself even just recently. It has made it possible to restore a general climate of relative security, participated in the reconstruction efforts after the terrible earthquake of 2010 and contributed to the significant firming up of the Haitian National Police, the increasing strength of which is a guarantee of stability for Haiti. That is a collective success, which, naturally, is due in great part to Haitians themselves. However, we must also give credit to the United Nations, the Council, as well as to the troop-contributing countries, without which this Mission could not play its role.
The new United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti, which will begin operations in October, should consolidate the progress achieved. It should make the Haitian National Police an autonomous actor, but also undertake major new projects in the area of the rule of law, such as the fight against impunity, the strengthening of professionalism and the independence of the judiciary, as well as the establishment of a prison system that is compatible with the needs of the country and the requirements in terms of respect for the rights of prisoners. The human rights situation, which remains a source of concern, should also be closely monitored, with regular recommendations made. This last component seems indispensable to robust and effective peacekeeping, and is therefore inseparable from the rest of the activities of the next mission. The commitment of Haitian authorities will naturally be essential to ensuring the success of the Mission.
France has long called on the Council to shoulder its responsibilities with respect to the question of Haiti, by making the necessary decisions to ensure that the engagement of the United Nations on the ground remains as appropriate and effective as possible over time. It is now done, and we are very glad of it. This new essential step does not mean the end of the commitment of the United Nations alongside Haiti. On the contrary, it demonstrates the Council’s ability to continually adjust how the United Nations is involved on the ground, with the main concern of responding to the needs of the populations concerned. It also marks the establishment of a more responsive and powerful tool at the service of Haiti and Наitians, the success of which depends on maintaining our collective commitment. In that framework, the fight against the terrible cholera epidemic must of course continue to bring us together.
We believe that it is also essential — and this is a crucial point — to help Haiti move from a logic of assistance to one of sustainable development. That is the priority. That will be the mission of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti, in conjunction with the country team. The latter will also have an important role to play in future developments.
I would like to conclude by paying tribute once again to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Sandra Honoré Braithwaite, as well as to all MINUSTAH personnel for their exemplary commitment to peace and security in Haiti.