We must start thinking today of a Haiti after Minustah (03/18/2015) [fr]
Haïti/Minustah - Statememnt by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 18 March 2015
I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti for her briefing. I also welcome the presence here today of His Excellency Ambassador Denis Régis, Permanent Representative of Haiti.
I associate myself with the statements to be delivered on behalf of the European Union and the Group of Friends of Haiti.
It is always a pleasure to have Ms. Honoré with us to discuss the situation in Haiti. We commend her outstanding work as Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and we reiterate our full support to her and her team.
We have carefully considered the report of the Secretary-General (S/2015/157) on the work of MINUSTAH six months after the renewal of its mandate under resolution 2180 (2014). The report confirms the pattern for MINUSTAH’s evolution decided at the time. We agree with the analysis of the security situation and with the means to respond to it.
We believe that MINUSTAH’s evolution is moving in a direction in line with choosing a response and mobilizing all available means on the basis of an overall assessment of the situation. That decision was endorsed by the Security Council, which also included a provision to revisit its position. We have given ourselves time to consider the issue, and the Council has visited the country. We understand the concern of some. We take particular note of the request by President Martelly to the Council. It is clear that the situation in Haiti includes risk factors. We continue to follow with the greatest interest the evolution of the situation in Haiti. That is our responsibility as a member of the Council and as a friend of Haiti. But we have not heard any argument to support maintaining the current arrangement, or for scaling back at a different proportion or according to some other schedule.
We believe it is now important to implement what we decided in October. This is a matter of the authority and credibility of the Council, which, let us recall, voted unanimously on how MINUSTAH would evolve. This is also about the confidence we have in the vitality of Haiti’s democracy as an element of stability and development in the country. As we enter a major chapter in Haitian history, replete with so much promise, it is essential that MINUSTAH act without fear or paralysis. Furthermore, the Council does not overlook the security uncertainties. It is wrong to speak about a reduction of MINUSTAH; we are talking about a reconfiguration of its posture in accordance with the evolution of the situation.
In the run-up to the upcoming elections, the police force will be called upon to take a leading role, relying as a last resort on a military component with increased mobility.
It is also a matter of great conviction for France that the country’s future problems must be met with solutions aimed at maintaing public order. As such, we welcome the decision of MINUSTAH to increase the number of its police component and make full use of troops up to the ceiling authorized by the Council.
Moreover, as a vision for the future of MINUSTAH finally emerges, we note the start of a reflection among MINUSTAH, the country team and the Government on how to conduct the transition of the international presence in Haiti after 2016. That is a positive message both for the Haitian authorities and the international community: we can finally look to the horizon.
This horizon is emerging now. An electoral calendar has been approved and published. Haitian voters have been called to the polls. The electoral machinery has been set into motion.
We welcome the establishment of the essential framework for holding the long-delayed elections and the renewal of democratic institutions. All stakeholders must continue to work together to strengthen mutual trust to allow for the holding of fair, transparent and inclusive elections. We call on all stakeholders to engage resolutely in defining a better future for Haiti and all Haitians.
Much remains to be done. There must be more efficiency, transparency and accessibility with regard to the rule of law and institutions. In terms of human rights, the determination of Haitian authorities has been clearly demonstrated. But human rights violations continue, and it is the responsibility of the State to turn words into deeds in this area. In that regard, we have in mind in particular the situation of prisoners, many of whom are still awaiting a court decision.
Finally, humanitarian challenges remain. The news looks good with regard to the cholera epidemic, but some prevalence remains. We fully support the work and commitment of the United Nations for the total eradication of the disease.
On those remaining challenges, it is imperative that the Haitian authorities take full ownership for the assistance provided to them. The United Nations should complement and support the work of the Haitian State, but it cannot substitute for it.
In conclusion, I would like to recall that MINUSTAH was deployed in 2004 in the context of acute crisis. That crisis was compounded a few years later by a tragic earthquake. Eleven years later, the situation has, fortunately, changed considerably. MINUSTAH must adapt to that favourable evolution, which is proof of its success. We expect the Secretary-General to present again in his next report recommendations for the next phase of the reconfiguration of MINUSTAH launched last October. We must go further, in the context of seeking greater efficiency in peacekeeping. We must start thinking today of a Haiti after MINUSTAH. As such, we are eager to engage with our partners to consider the role that the Peacebuilding Commission could play to prepare for the future United Nations presence in Haiti.
For France, Haiti continues to be a dear friend. We will continue to stand resolutely by its side.