The electoral choices made by the Haitians must be respected [fr]
Haiti - Statement by Mr. Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 17 March 2016
At the outset, I too thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for her comprehensive briefing, and reassure her of the full support of France for her work on the ground.
I endorse the statements to be delivered by the observer of the European Union and the representative of Peru on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti.
I will address three points in my statement: our strong concern over the interruption of the ongoing electoral process; our desire to revive consideration, in due course, of the reconfiguration of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH); and France’s support for the development of Haiti.
France is deeply concerned over the interruption of the electoral process in Haiti and by its resulting uncertainties. More than ever before, Haiti needs stable institutions that are vested with democratic legitimacy so as to be able meet the many economic, social and humanitarian challenges the country faces. The Haitian people must also be able to see that the choices they make through the ballot box are properly reflected and respected.
France has taken note of the inter-Haitian political agreement of 5 February. It is a compromise in the right direction that prevents a vacuum of governance and lays the foundations of a continuation of the electoral process. The success of the agreement remains nonetheless closely linked to the effective implementation of all its provisions as soon as possible. We call on all Haitian political actors, including the Provisional President, to do their utmost to make that happen and to ensure the restoration of constitutional order as soon as possible. Everyone must demonstrate responsibility and restraint and comply with the spirit of compromise of the agreement of 5 February.It is particularly important that the necessary measures be taken to enable the conclusion of the electoral process in accordance with the agreed timetable. The timely operationalization of an inclusive transitional Government confirmed by Parliament, as well as the reactivation of the Provisional Electoral Council, are essential and urgent steps in that regard. The Election Observation Mission of the European Union has concluded that, despite some irregularities, mostly due to the inadequate training of election officials, there was no significant alteration of the outcome of the first round of presidential elections. Nothing therefore precludes the results proclaimed by the Provisional Electoral Council from forming the basis for the organization of the second round.More than 11 years after the creation of MINUSTAH, the conditions on the ground have changed significantly, as has the form of the United Nations presence that the country needs. We have gradually moved on from a peacekeeping situation to a context in which the United Nations contribution is needed in development assistance and the building of a robust State of law. It is by recognizing this new reality that we will be able to deliver the most effective assistance possible to the Haitian people. Long-term security and stability in Haiti depend above all on the Haitian authorities shouldering their responsibilities and on the island’s sustainable development.France is pleased to note that the security situation is generally stable. According to the latest statistics issued by the United Nations system, the homicide rate in Haiti is now among the lowest in the region. While the situation remains precarious, due to the political tensions raised by the interruption of the electoral cycle, these tensions have been managed competently by the Haitian security forces. We welcome the ongoing strengthening of the Haitian National Police, as demonstrated by its ability to control recent events successfully and with relative autonomy.
We support the continuation of discussions on the future of MINUSTAH, based on the recommendations of the Secretary-General announced in his latest report (S/2016/225). We look forward to the presentation of those recommendations before the current mandate expires in October. To that end, we believe that it is important to underscore that the resumption of the mission-reconfiguration process cannot be delayed indefinitely by the current political stalemate, because that might jeopardize the United Nations capacity to best respond to the needs of the Haitian people.
France is a longtime friend of Haiti and was one of its first partners in development assistance, both bilaterally and through the European Union. The President of the French Republic recently recalled the priority of our commitment to Haiti and announced, during his visit in May 2015 to Port-au-Prince, a bilateral contribution of €50 million for the education sector over the next five years.
We remain concerned about the many challenges facing the country, in particular in terms of child protection. At the request of the Haitian authorities, the French President announced in May 2015 the launch of an ambitious bilateral cooperation programme for Haitian young people in general and for the Haitian education system in particular. However, France is also working to combat food insecurity and sanitation issues, given the resurgence of cases of cholera in 2015. On that point, France fully supports the efforts to that end undertaken by the Haitian authorities with the support of the United Nations, and has contributed to several projects on the ground in that area since 2010. France echoes the call of the Secretary-General for the international community to strengthen its engagement on that theme, including financially. We must do more as an international community to eradicate cholera in Haiti once and for all.
The support of the international community and the commitment of the United Nations remain more important than ever in Haiti. However, our responsibility in the Council is to do everything to ensure that that commitment be as relevant and effective as possible. The challenges that Haiti is encountering and the expectations of its people mean that we must take the necessary decisions. Haitian political stakeholders must be fully aware of that fact today.