24 March 2014 - Security Council - Haïti/ MINUSTAH - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
I wish to thank Ms. Sandra Honoré for her briefing. I align myself with the statements to be made on behalf of the European Union and the Group of Friends of Haiti.
Since the arrival of United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Haiti has made enormous progress. The adoption of an electoral law last October is evidence of the ongoing normalization and progressive strengthening of the rule of law. We look forward also to the forthcoming partial local and senatorial elections that have been postponed several times.
In addition, the progress made by the Haitian National Police is encouraging. The significant decline in crime noted in the report of the Secretary-General(S/2014/162) is an important step forward. We are also pleased to note that an increasing number of cadets are graduating every year and that a growing number women are joining their ranks. Cooperation between the police component of MINUSTAH and the Haitian National Police is fruitful and useful. In a context of reflection on the size and mandate of the peacekeeping operations, the example of Haiti gives us food for thought.
We also note with satisfaction the progress made in the humanitarian sphere. The return of refugees to their areas of origin and the drop in the number of people affected by food insecurity are encouraging signs. The wounds opened by the earthquake are gradually disappearing, thanks to the joint work of the Haitian Government, the people, MINUSTAH and the United Nations country team.
Much remains to be done, nonetheless. The rule of law and the country’s institutions need to improve their efficiency, transparency and accessibility. The many protests by the civilian population illustrate the frustration, even exasperation, of the citizens who care to participate in the political life of their country. The launch of an inter-Haitian political dialogue in January, which is a praiseworthy initiative, should lead to an inclusive agreement. We therefore welcome the signing of the memorandum of understanding on 19 March. We call on all parties to engage resolutely in the road map it defines.
In the field of human rights, we welcome the appointment of a human rights ombudsman on 4 December, the authorities’ willingness to renew the mandate of the independent expert of the Human Rights Council and the denial of the appeal of Jean-Claude Duvalier, accused of crimes against humanity. Those
decisions are encouraging, but violations of human rights continue. It is the responsibility of the State to pursue a proactive policy in that area.
Finally, the remaining humanitarian challenges are substantial. We are very concerned about a possible resurgence of the cholera epidemic during the next rainy season. We fully support the action and the commitment of the United Nations in its efforts to completely eradicate the disease. For those challenges that persist, the United Nations should support and complement the action of the Haitian State, but it cannot and should not replace it. The Haitian State must mobilize more resolutely to exercise its regulatory functions independently.
MINUSTAH was deployed in 2004 in a context of acute crisis. That crisis was exacerbated a few years later by the earthquake. Ten years later, as described by the Secretary-General in his report, the progress is real. MINUSTAH must therefore adapt and reflect the positive developments, which are proof of its success. A consolidation plan already oversees the reduction process initiated since 2013. That process will be completed in 2016.
We must go further and more quickly. Starting today, we must reflect on the post-MINUSTAH period and on the future of the United Nations presence in Haiti. In that regard, we welcome the five scenarios presented by the Secretary-General for the reconfiguration of the Mission beyond 2016. We consider them to provide the framework for the reflection that we want to undertake.
In that context, a strategic review conducted by the Secretariat as soon as possible will be invaluable to the Council. Based on an accurate assessment of needs on the ground and presented to the Security Council by August 2014, such a review will allow members of the Council to define what type of mission is best suited after 2016 to the political and security situation in Haiti. Moreover, between now and 2016, it could also tells us whether it is possible to adapt the Mission more quickly and more radically.
Beyond its mission of good political offices policies, it seems essential at this point that the future United Nations mission in Haiti will maintain a strong police component. Needs in terms of public order and of training and support of the Haitian National Police and, more broadly, the building of the rule of law, are indeed the main challenges Haiti is facing and for which a response of the United Nations is the most relevant. It will be the heart of the future mission. We will therefore have to determine its contours in close coordination with the Haitian authorities and the Friends of Haiti.
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