Haiti : The presidential election must take place peacefully and with a democratic dialogue - 8 October 2015 [fr]
Haiti / Renewal of MINUSTAH’s mandate - Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 8 October 2015
I warmly thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti, Ms. Sandra Honoré, for her briefing and her commitment.
I associate myself with the statements to be delivered by the observer of the European Union and by the representative of Uruguay on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti.
Everyone knows that there are major challenges in Haiti. This country, which we hold dear, has not been spared by the scourges of poverty, insecurity and natural disasters during its recent history.
The structural difficulties it faces call for a sustained and long-term commitment by the international community. France fully plays its role through its general contributions to United Nations operations, funds and programmes, but also bilaterally, as demonstrated by the recent visit of the President of the Republic to Port-au-Prince, in May. As Council members know, during this important visit, President Hollande announced a pledge of €50 million for the education sector over the next five years.
It would not be fair to depict only the dark and negative side of Haiti. It is also a country where many dynamic forms of progress are at work at various levels, which are as many reasons to hope, and which we should appreciate and wholeheartedly encourage.The first and foremost reason for hope is democratic progress. The organization of the long-awaited and desired elections is finally here. The first round of the legislative and senatorial elections were held and the results were published.
While we naturally deplore the few cases of violence in which there was an unacceptable loss of life and some irregularities, those incidents were contained and duly noted. Most important, the security of the electoral process as a whole was ensured. The Provisional Electoral Council took up its responsibilities and announced, in particular, the organization of new voting in one quarter of the polling stations and the removal of the candidates involved in the unrest.France expresses the hope that the presidential elections, whose first round will be held in a few days, are conducted in a calm, serene and democratic atmosphere.
These elections should continue to be free, transparent and inclusive. The continued rigorous work undertaken by the Provisional Electoral Council and the responsible commitment of all political actors will be decisive in this regard.
Eleven years after its establishment and the approval of its first mandate, it is clear that the current configuration of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is no longer truly adapted to the realities of the situation in Haiti. Much progress has indeed been made since 2004, first and foremost in the area of security. Haiti and its people can now rely on a national police force whose level of professionalism and growing capacity should enable it in the near future to independently ensure the maintenance of order throughout the territory.Several signals recorded in the most recent report of the Secretary-General (S/2015/667) are encouraging and worth noting: the country’s security situation has remained generally stable since the adoption of the previous mandate of the force, including during the holding of the first round of the legislative and senatorial elections; the Haitian National Police now operates effectively at the front line in almost all situations; and the level of violence in departments where the military component has withdrawn has not increased.
Clearly, then, we need to do some deep thinking on the future of the United Nations presence and role in Haiti. We need to know how to collectively acknowledge the achievements obtained with the support of MINUSTAH in Haiti, while ensuring, naturally, that the gains are maintained.
A consolidation process for that purpose was begun last year; it is important to bring it to completion.It is in fact our responsibility to develop the means deployed locally to best meet the needs of the country and its people. The credibility of the work of this Council depends on it, as does its effectiveness.
France is convinced that it is now time to move from a logic of maintaining peace to a logic of peacebuilding in Haiti. Haiti’s long-term security and stabilization rests on the assumption of responsibility by the Haitian authorities and the sustainable development of the island.
A United Nations presence is obviously highly necessary today. However, it must be recalibrated around the main objective of strengthening the capacity of Haitian institutions, particularly in the areas of security, rule of law, governance and respect for human rights. Children’s rights, dysfunction in the judicial and prison systems and the problems of access to economic and social rights in the context of reconstruction are still of concern.
It is particularly crucial to address the significant gaps that remain in these areas, where, although the Haitian authorities are proactive, they are still not equal to the task.France therefore warmly welcomes the recommendation of the Secretary-General that a strategic review be conducted in Haiti. We hope that this leads to the presentation to the Council of concrete policy recommendations on the future of the presence and role of the United Nations in Haiti in order to complete the consolidation effort within MINUSTAH, in the interest, once again, of Haiti and its people.
We should like this exercise to be carried out the day after the conclusion of the electoral cycle in progress, and sufficiently in advance of the end of the next and possibly the last mandate—which the Council will consider next week— provided that the security conditions remain unchanged, of course.The situation in Haiti challenges us all. The support of the international community and the United Nations commitment remain more necessary than ever.
But our responsibility in this Council is to do what it takes for our efforts to be as appropriate and effective as possible. The challenges facing Haiti and the expectations of its population do not allow us the luxury of delaying before taking the necessary decisions.