Important stage in Haiti with the transformation of MINUJUSTH to BINUH [fr]
Statement by Ms Sheraz Gasri, Legal Adviser of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 15 October 2019
I join others in thanking Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix for his briefing, and I welcome the presence among us of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Peru, Mr. Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, to whom we wish every success in fulfilling his new responsibilities.
The relationship between the United Nations and Haiti has reached another important stage, with the transformation of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) to the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). In this regard, I wish to thank MINUJUSTH for the work carried out over the past two years — often in difficult circumstances — with a view to strengthening the rule of law, particularly in the justice and prison-system sectors, supporting the Haitian National Police and promoting human rights. These efforts followed the work carried out since 2004 by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti and were pursued with constant commitment from all MINUJUSTH teams, which should be commended. In this respect, I wish to commend Ms. Helen La Lime for her work and congratulate her on being appointed Head of BINUH yesterday.
We must be clear about the gravity of the crisis that has been afflicting Haiti for more than a year. The report of the Secretary-General (S/2019/805) accurately reflects the many dimensions of this worrisome crisis. The country’s political institutions are no longer functioning, owing in particular to the absence of the Government, and Haiti is facing a constitutional crisis with the postponement of legislative elections. The violence is widespread. Corruption is endemic. Haitians are being hit hard by the deteriorating economic situation and demanding better access to basic services. In the light of the situation, waves of protests have been a regular occurrence since the riots of July 2018, which has given rise to unacceptable levels of violence, which we strongly condemn.
The resolution of the crisis is in the hands of Haitians themselves, but the international community must continue to support Haiti along this demanding path, especially through the action of BINUH starting tomorrow. Given the systemic difficulties in Haiti, France believes that the solution lies in inclusive national dialogue, with the involvement of all political, business and civil society stakeholders. It is the responsibility of President Jovenel Moïse to put in place measures for genuine dialogue. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General will have as her top priority to contribute to this process through her good offices. France is ready to support this dialogue together with such other organizations as the European Union, whose observer will speak shortly, and the International Organization of la Francophonie.
BINUH should also advise the Haitian authorities in other key areas to allow for the restoration of political stability, including on preparing elections, promoting human rights and providing support to the Haitian National Police. It will carry out this work with the support of the United Nations country team in Haiti and by taking into account the lessons learned by the United Nations from its presence on the ground in Haiti for more than 25 years, especially through the Economic and Social Council Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti.
In this regard, I welcome the presence among us of the President of the Economic and Social Council. The fight against corruption and impunity at the heart of protesters’ demands must also be given top priority. By leading this fight, Haitian politicians can re-establish a dialogue of trust with the people.
The Security Council will remain vigilant in relation to the situation in Haiti, which it showed in the closed consultations it held on 3 October. In this regard, we hope that the Council will be able to publicly express its concerns about the current situation in the country, its support for inclusive political dialogue and the transition between MINUJUSTH and BINUH. The Council will continue to take into account the changing realities on the ground to determine the most appropriate forms of international community support for Haiti.
Lastly, I reaffirm that France stands by Haiti and Haitians more than ever to face the challenges of the current crisis and to achieve the stability and prosperity to which they aspire.