I would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Honoré, for her statement. The Argentine Minister of Defence’s presence in the Council shows the importance that the Argentine presidency attaches to the issue of Haiti.
France would like to associate itself with the statement to be made by the observer of the European Union, as well as the statement to be made by the representative of Uruguay on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti. I shall focus my statement on two topics, which are at the heart of the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), namely, the preparations for the elections and the reform of the Haitian National Police.
We are of course concerned by the cumulative delays in the organization of the electoral process, and we welcome the establishment, on 19 April, of the transitional College of the Permanent Electoral Council. We regret that this measure, which was expected since the end of last year, has remained for such a long time without any further action due to a lack of an electoral law and constructive political dialogue. Democracy is fuelled by elections, and those elections, under the terms of the press statement that the Security Council adopted on 28 January, must be free, inclusive and credible. The elections must also be carried out in line with an electoral time line that is clear and stable. The regularity of elections of course is a sign of the health of a democracy. Partial legislative and local elections have been delayed for too long, while other deadlines are soon approaching. It is therefore essential that the elections are held immediately.
We note with appreciation the information provided by the Secretary-General on the strengthening of the Haitian National Police. The reduction in certain criminal acts and the presence of the police on an increasingly larger territory in Haiti can be taken as positive signs. We also note the quality of cooperation between the Haitian National Police force and the police component of MINUSTAH. We noted, and I think it is very encouraging, that there is a lack of increase in violence in departments where the military component of MINUSTAH has withdrawn. Of course, much remains to be done.
The national development plan for the Haitian National Police foresees an increase from 10,000 to 15,000 officers by 2016, while the report of the Secretary-General underscores the difficulties that jeopardize the achievement of the goals of that plan. MINUSTAH must therefore remain committed in the collective effort to contribute to maintaining public order, but also contribute to the national ownership of the major instrument of the rule of law that a professional police force represents.
With regard to the rule of law, we welcome the signing of the decree that created the interministerial commission on human rights in Haiti, on 13 May. However, we remain as troubled others are by the persistent elements that call into question the independence and effective functioning of the justice system. In the area of human rights, we encourage the Haitian Government and MINUSTAH to integrate the advice and assistance supplied by the independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council.
We support the commitment of the United Nations and the personal efforts of the Secretary-General to assist Haiti in eradicating cholera. We consider it to be an attainable goal, and we encourage as a priority targeted interventions to be taken at active infection sites, as well as better coordination between epidemiological services and field activities. It is also necessary to pursue a sustainable policy for access to water and sanitation.
The consolidation of MINUSTAH continues according to the plan agreed by the international community and the Haitian Government. The Mission should continue to adapt to the evolving situation, both in scope and in quality. We favourably welcome the recommendation of the Secretary-General to renew the mandate of the Mission, while pursuing its reduction by 15 per cent through a reduction of the military personnel, specifically the engineering contingents, in order to enable the development of a local entrepreneurial fabric. We also urge — and this is a phrase that the Council has often heard in this debate — the preservation of the capacity of the Blue Helmets to communicate with the population in French.
Finally, we note with satisfaction the prospect that was suggested by the Secretary-General to undertake important consideration of the post-2016 period. The transformation of MINUSTAH must not be taboo; its possibility should be a catalyst. We must create the conditions for its success in the framework of a credible time line. And we must consider the presence of the United Nations after that deadline. I would like to conclude by again commending the staff of MINUSTAH for their dedication and the Special Representative for her dynamic action in the Mission’s transitional period. I would also like to pay tribute to Mr. Nigel Fisher for the work that he carried out as interim Special Representative of the Secretary-General.
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