France aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by the observer of the European Union. I acknowledge the presence of the Prime Minister of Haiti, Mr. Jean-Max Bellerive. As President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy said during his visit to Haiti in February, it is up to the Haitian people and to the Haitian people alone to determine the path their nation will take. Mr. Bellerive has, together with President Préval, worked vigorously and effectively to present this plan, which received the support of the international community at the conference in New York.
I should also like to pay tribute to the Special Representative and, through him, to all the staff of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the United Nations system, who work tirelessly in extremely difficult conditions. Despite the terrible losses, MINUSTAH has faced the situation with remarkable effectiveness. The security situation remains under control. The political process has not been interrupted. Humanitarian aid depends on MINUSTAH’s operational mechanisms. Mr. Mulet has played an indispensable role in ensuring the continuity of United Nations action. He enjoys the respect and trust of the Haitian people, as Prime Minister Bellerive said, and should have the full support of the Security Council.
The tragedy that befell Haiti has become an opportunity to invent a new political, economic and social model for Haiti based on a fairer redistribution of resources through political, institutional and economic decentralization. MINUSTAH has an essential role to play in this context — aiding in the establishment of a favourable political and security environment. This role has not changed since the earthquake, but the scale of the needs and challenges has increased.
We underscore our support for the approach set out in the report of the Secretary-General (S/2010/200). The political good offices, the maintenance of order, the promotion of human rights and the strengthening of the rule of law must, more now than ever, be at the core of MINUSTAH’s mandate.
We also believe, like the Special Representative, that it is time to develop a new approach that makes strengthening the Haitian State the priority. We therefore support the concept of strengthening MINUSTAH involvement in providing support to Haitian institutions. This is a pragmatic response to an extraordinary situation. The priority is to strengthen institutions related to the rule of law, in particular the justice sector. This action should, of course, be carried out in full respect for Haitian institutions and sovereignty, with MINUSTAH acting as a matter of last resort and on a temporary basis.
The New York conference was a financial and political success. The reforms that were announced — regular follow-up on the sums allocated and the status of progress projects — will be indispensable. We therefore welcome the adoption by the Haitian Parliament of the law establishing the Interim Haitian Reconstruction Commission, which will make it possible to implement the Action Plan developed by the Haitian Government. However, while ground needs to be broken in reconstruction efforts, we must not neglect the continuing urgency of assisting the hundreds of thousands of displaced persons threatened by the hurricane and rainy season.
For Haiti, there is a great deal at stake in the upcoming legislative and presidential elections. France commends the determination of the Government of Haiti to hold these elections within the established time frame so that the constitutional transfer of power can take place on 7 February 2011 as planned. Creating the practical and political conditions for the holding of credible elections within the electoral calendar will be another priority for MINUSTAH in the coming months. That will require, inter alia, the active engagement of the Special Representative on the issue of the reform of the Conseil Electoral Provisoire. We also encourage Mr. Mulet to use his good offices to promote consensus within the Haitian political class and civil society on the modalities of constitutional reform.
France is strongly committed to MINUSTAH; our contingent of 200 police officers has made our country one of the top police contributors to the Mission. Additionally, in cooperation with our partners, we will be supporting the deployment of French-speaking African police. France will also provide 110 vehicles in direct support to the Haitian National Police and fire service. In coordination with MINUSTAH, France has also deployed military engineers to assist in clearing Port-au-Prince and other areas requiring urgent efforts. France will continue its efforts and commitment alongside the Haitian people and Government and in close cooperation with the United Nations as part of the global effort involving the State as well as local groups, in particular the French Departments in the Caribbean, non-governmental organizations and the Haitian diaspora living in France.