Recognizing Interconnected Nature of Haiti’s Long-term Development Challenges, Security Council Reiterates Need for Sustained International Support
Recognizing Interconnected Nature of Haiti’s Long-term Development Challenges, Security Council Reiterates Need for Sustained International Support
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6510th Meeting (AM & PM)
Recognizing Interconnected Nature of Haiti’s Long-Term Development Challenges,
Security Council Reiterates Need for Sustained International Support
Council Adopts Presidential Statement in Day-long Meeting,
Addressed by Secretary-General, President Préval, Special Envoy Clinton
Recognizing the interconnected nature of earthquake-devastated Haiti’s long-term recovery and development challenges and expressing concern for the most vulnerable groups of Haitian society, the Security Council today called on the international community to continue supporting Haitian authorities strengthen core governance structures and ensure that vulnerable people had access to basic social services, justice and protection.
In a statement read out by the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, the 15-member body also stressed the importance of completing Haiti’s ongoing electoral process in a peaceful, credible and legitimate way that would consolidate democracy, complete the constitutional reform process and create a strong basis for continued reconstruction (S/PRST/2011/7).
Reiterating the need for Member States and other stakeholders to continue helping Haitian authorities to efficiently and effectively implement the island nation’s national recovery and development action plan, the Council called on donors to fulfil their pledges without delay and to channel their efforts into top priority areas for recovery through the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission.
The Council also stressed the importance of promoting development strategies “that are mindful of a cohesive framework”, and of consistent coordination and joint efforts among the Haitian Government, the United Nations, the Recovery Commission and other stakeholders, “with a view to producing sustainable results”.
It also called on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to continue to help vet, mentor and train the Haitian National Police, including through stepped up cooperation for counter-narcotic efforts and human rights training, to help it maintain law and order and tackle sexual violence and other violent crime.
Council members, stressing that there could be no genuine stability or sustainable development in Haiti without strengthening its democratic institutions, reaffirmed MINUSTAH’s responsibility in supporting formation of the rule of law, good governance, human rights and State authority.
Echoing the Council’s concern over his country’s long history of political instability, outgoing Haitian President René Garcia Préval noted that he would be the only President in the last 25 years to have finished a constitutional term in office and to never have been jailed or exiled. Still, his first term was inaugurated in the presence of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, and Haitians had only themselves to blame.
“To my compatriots who are living with the genuine pain of the presence of foreign soldiers on our soil, I would say that United Nations peacekeeping operations were made necessary by instability created by the citizens themselves,” he said. He called on his country’s newly elected leaders to govern in a spirit of peace, openness, inclusion, dialogue and respect for the rights of association and expression, and on the opposition to adopt a positive, cooperative attitude, even in their role as Government critic.
At the same time, he also criticized the United Nations for not moving quickly enough, once violence and political instability had eased, to transform MINUSTAH’s engagement in Haiti to address the devastating impact of endemic poverty. “Tanks, armoured vehicles and soldiers should have given way to bulldozers, engineers, more police instructors, experts in support to justice and to the penitentiary system, but they did not,” he said, expressing the hope that conclusions could be drawn from those facts to better ensure peace and stability in Haiti today. He also urged donor countries to act quicker to disburse the billions of dollars promised to Haiti for recovery and reconstruction from last year’s earthquake.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said rule-of-law reform must be a top priority for Haiti’s next President. “Without the rule of law, lasting peace and prosperity will remain elusive” he said, pointing to Haiti’s deeply dysfunctional judicial system, dangerously overcrowded prisons, unreliable property records and non-transparent public expenditures.
He said that Haiti’s economy was “on its knees”, with public institutions barely able to deliver essential services and millions of Haitians dependent on aid from non-governmental organizations for their basic needs. While the cholera epidemic seemed to have stabilized, only large-scale investments in Haiti’s water and sanitation system would protect against another outbreak. Additional financial support was urgently needed for the Cholera Appeal, which had only received 45 per cent of the requested funding.
As Haitians looked to their new Government to deliver on their commitment to change, following last month’s presidential and legislative elections, the Parliament should complete the process of amending the Constitution before the next President was inaugurated, he said. At the same time, the international community must seize the chance to “make a fresh start”, focusing its aid on empowering rather than prolonging the dependency of Haiti’s people and institutions.
Colombian President Santos Calderón, whose country holds the Council presidency for the month and had convened the meeting, agreed, saying the incoming Haitian administration would provide an “ideal opportunity” to reorganize cooperation with the country “because peace is not built by increasing dependency and welfare-ism”. A coordinated, coherent international effort must replace the current system of non-governmental organizations working in a fractured manner, which had only served to undermine efforts to strengthen institutionalism and carry out long-term initiatives, fuelling the vicious cycle of poverty.
Moreover, the “one-plus-one” framework involving Haiti’s Government and society in its own recovery, with a focus on health care, agriculture, education, roads and infrastructure, was the only viable way to strengthen institutionalism, he said. Health and education could not remain in the hands of foreign charities, but should be progressively transferred to Haitian leadership and management. “We are talking about training a population where 60 per cent are youth, who cannot depend on sporadic aid,” he said.
In his address, William Clinton, United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti, urged the international community to recognize the challenges Haiti faced, but to also recognize the “small miracles that were occurring on the ground, especially the recent peaceful holding of elections. Also, since last summer, the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission had approved 87 projects valued at $3.26 billion that would help 2 million Haitians.
At the same time, however, only 37.2 per cent of the funds pledged during last year’s International Donor Conference had been disbursed, he said, calling on donors to make good on their pledges in order to advance Haiti’s reconstruction and deliver the improvements the Haitian people expected and deserved.
Honduras’ delegate, one of the more than 30 representatives of Member States participating in the debate, further called on the international community to write off Haiti’s foreign debt, which at 12 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), was too heavy a burden for the battered country to bear.
Norway’s representative, blaming Haiti’s failure on the lack of a social contract between Haiti’s rich and poor and its weak institutions, called on the country’s political and economic elite to invest trust and money to make national institutions stronger and more accountable, thus ensuring stability, development and justice for all.
Speakers also applauded Haiti for peacefully holding presidential and legislative elections on 20 March, whose preliminary results were announced on 31 March, and urged the Government to meet the 16 April deadline for announcing the final results. They expressed hope that the electoral process would usher in an era of democratic reforms, stability and socioeconomic progress.
In addition, they stressed the urgent need to remove the 8 million metres of rubble still remaining from the 2010 earthquake, which had impeded the development of schools, sanitation systems, power grids and communities.
Also addressing the Council today were the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Relations of Cuba, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay, as well as Spain’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Ibero-American Affairs and the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom.
The Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua and Venezuela also spoke, as did the Vice-Minister for South America, Central America and the Caribbean of Brazil and the Head of Unit for Economic Relations and International Cooperation in Mexico’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Also making statements were the representatives of the United States, Russian Federation, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria, China, Lebanon, South Africa, India, Germany, Gabon, France, Portugal, Guatemala, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea, Canada, Bahamas (on behalf of the Caribbean Community) and Australia.
The Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations also spoke, as did the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS), the President of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Special Representative of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for Haiti.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and suspended at 1:50 p.m. Resuming at 3:44 p.m., it ended at 5:40 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2011/7 reads as follows:
“The Security Council reaffirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of Haiti, and emphasizes that the Government and people of Haiti bear the primary responsibility for the attainment of peace and stability, and for the recovery efforts in Haiti. The Council acknowledges the contribution the international community is making to support the stabilization process in Haiti, including the strengthening of its legislative, judicial and executive institutions.
“The Security Council recognizes the interconnected nature of the challenges in Haiti, and reaffirms that sustainable progress on security, institutional capacity building, including rule of law, as well as consolidation of national government structures, democracy, promotion and protection of human rights and development, are mutually reinforcing. The Council appreciates the efforts made by the Haitian Government and the international community to address these challenges.
“The Security Council welcomes the ongoing electoral process in Haiti and stresses the importance of its completion in a peaceful, credible and legitimate way, which will contribute to the consolidation of democracy, allow for the completion of constitutional reform and provide a strong basis for the continuing reconstruction efforts. The Council recognizes the important contribution of MINUSTAH and the OAS and other international, regional and subregional organizations in supporting the political process.
“The Security Council underlines that security and development are closely interlinked and mutually reinforcing, and reiterates the need for security to be accompanied by social and economic development. In this context, the Security Council acknowledges that rapid and tangible progress in the recovery and reconstruction of Haiti is fundamental to achieving lasting stability.
“The Security Council recognizes the various challenges in Haiti and stresses MINUSTAH’s fundamental role in supporting the Haitian authorities in creating a secure and stable environment conducive to economic recovery including by implementing labour intensive projects, and the provision of basic services in Haiti.
“The Security Council expresses its concern at the situation of vulnerable groups, including internally displaced persons, children as victims of trafficking, and the increase of sexual and gender-based violence. In this regard, the Security Council encourages MINUSTAH and the United Nations Country Team to continue assisting the Government of Haiti in providing adequate protection to the civilian population, with particular attention to the needs of internally displaced persons and other vulnerable groups, especially women and children.
“The Security Council stresses that there can be no genuine stability or sustainable development in Haiti without strengthening its democratic institutions. In this regard the Council emphasizes the importance of promoting the rule of law in strengthening the Haitian institutions. The Council further reaffirms the responsibility of MINUSTAH in supporting the Haitian State in the fields of rule of law, good governance, extension of State authority and the promotion and protection of human rights, in accordance with its mandate.
‘The Security Council stresses the crucial importance of strengthening the Haitian National Police to ensure its ability to maintain law and order and to tackle violent crime, particularly sexual and gender-based violence, as well as gang violence and transnational organized crime. In this regard, the Council welcomes the continued support of the United Nations and the international community to the Haitian authorities and calls for MINUSTAH continued support in the vetting, mentoring and training of the Haitian National Police and corrections personnel and intensification of cooperation to face this challenge, including assistance in counter-narcotic efforts and training in human rights.
“The Security Council recognizes Haiti’s long-term recovery challenge and calls upon the international community to continue to support Haitian authorities in order to ensure that, the most vulnerable segments of the population have access to basic social services and justice.
“The Security Council acknowledges the efforts of the donor community and calls upon them to fulfil without delay all pledges, including those made at the International Donors’ Conference “Towards a New Future for Haiti” held on 31 March 2010. The Council welcomes the work of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission in focusing donor efforts on the top priority areas for recovery, and encourages all reconstruction donors, nongovernmental and international organizations to continue to channel their efforts through the Commission.
“The Council reiterates the need for Member States and other stakeholders to continue to support the Haitian authorities in strengthening Haiti’s core governance structures, implementing the Government of Haiti’s action plan for National Recovery and Development, as an efficient and coherent framework.
“While acknowledging the willingness of the international community to continue to partner with the government of Haiti in establishing future long-term security and development strategies that are mindful of a cohesive framework, the Security Council stresses the importance of consistent coordination and joint efforts among, the Government of Haiti, the United Nations, the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission and other stakeholders with a view to producing sustainable results.
“The Security Council welcomes the willingness of regional and sub regional organizations to contribute to the ongoing process of stabilization, reconstruction and further consolidation of democracy in Haiti. In this respect, the Council calls on MINUSTAH to continue to work closely with such organizations, as well as international financial institutions and other stakeholders, among them the Organization of the American States (OAS), the European Union (EU), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Inter-American Development Bank.
“The Security Council expresses its appreciation to the Member States who support the recovery and stabilization process in Haiti, including the troop and police contributing countries of MINUSTAH. The Council expresses its gratitude to the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Haiti, former United States President William J. Clinton, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ambassador Edmond Mulet and the personnel of MINUSTAH for their dedication and personal involvement in the ongoing stabilization and recovery efforts in Haiti in accordance with their respective mandates and in a strong coordination with all United Nations entities and Member States.”
Meeting today for an open debate on the question concerning Haiti, the Security Council had before it the Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)(document SC/2011/183), which covers major developments from 10 September 2010 to 20 March 2011.
In the report, the Secretary-General says the year following the catastrophic 12 January 2010 earthquake has been deeply challenging and that the ongoing displacement and continued precarious living conditions of more than 800,000 Haitians illustrate the need to expedite reconstruction. Haiti’s incoming President and Parliament will need to work together to bring long overdue reform, as well as put an end to State-sponsored political violence and prosecute those responsible for crimes against their own people.
“ Haiti has the chance to make a fresh start under a new Administration,” he said, advising the incoming leadership to “heal the wounds” of a deeply polarized society and provide jobs, education and services to the impoverished population.
The Secretary-General, however, says he is encouraged by the continuing consensus on the need to ratify constitutional amendments the Parliament agreed to in September 2009 before the swearing in of the incoming President, scheduled for no later than 14 May. The new Parliament will also have to decide whether to renew the 15 April 2010 State of Emergency Law in order to extend beyond October the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission.
He states that a first round of presidential elections held on 28 November 2010 were marred by intimidation, fraud, and following the announcement of their preliminary results on 7 December 2010, violence and civil unrest. The second round of elections was held on 20 March, in a generally calm and peaceful atmosphere.
He says that to achieve lasting peace and prosperity, Haitians must embrace the rule of law, including by creating an independent, effective judiciary, an effective Parliament and transparent Government responsive to the people’s needs, comprehensive land and civil registries, building codes and commercial laws. He called on all international partners to help with that process, based on an agreed framework.
He notes that, since his last report, Haiti’s overall security situation remained generally calm, but prone to localized violent episodes of unrest. In November 2010, violent public demonstrations occurred partly due to the perception that MINUSTAH may have been responsible for the cholera outbreak. An independent panel of experts appointed by the Secretary-General travelled to Haiti between 7 and 9 March to investigate the situation and are expected to report on their findings in April.
On 11 November 2010, the United Nations and national authorities launched an additional $175 million strategic appeal to respond to the epidemic through health care, water, sanitation and hygiene; camp management and coordination; logistics and communication. As of 15 March, the cholera-related sectors of the appeal were 46 per cent funded.
According to MINUSTAH, there was a steady increase in serious crime, including murder, from 2009 to 2010. Rape remains significantly underreported. MINUSTAH estimates that only 8 per cent of the 5,600 prisoners who escaped in the aftermath of the earthquake have been rearrested to date. The Secretary-General says he will more comprehensively assess Haiti’s security challenges and needs, and their impact on MINUSTAH’s mandate, in his next report to the Council.
The report also provides updates on the humanitarian situation, recovery and development. It states that from June to December 2010, the United Nations country team in Haiti jointly submitted to the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission 14 projects valued at approximately $300 million in education, employment, agriculture, health care, gender-based violence and natural disaster risk reduction that enabled the Organization to make some progress in meeting the population’s humanitarian needs in 2010. Of that amount, 75 per cent remains unfunded. As of 10 March, international public sector donors had disbursed 30.4 per cent of the money pledged for earthquake recovery efforts during 2010 and 2011.
Also before the Council was the Letter dated 31 March 2011 from its current President, the Permanent Representative of Colombia, addressed to the Secretary-General (document S/2011/218), which contains a concept paper on Haiti: a renewed commitment by the international community. The document, which outlines the international community’s support for Haiti and related Council action, aims to guide today’s debate.
It notes that, while the international community has shown determination in assisting Haiti to meet the challenges it faced even prior to the devastating effects of the January 2010 earthquake, there is still a need to maintain a commitment to strengthening reconstruction and humanitarian programmes in the island nation. Such commitment should aim at the total fulfilment of the objectives of peace and security, on one hand, and social and economic development, on the other, allowing all stakeholders to join Haitians in the formulation and implementation of long-term strategies for reconstruction and recovery.
In that context, the Security Council open debate proposed by Colombia intends to discuss how the international community can better contribute to peace, security and development in Haiti. While proper consideration should be given to the mandate and role of MINUSTAH, these initiatives would allow Haiti to move towards sustainable peace and the creation of an environment in which security and development become long-term realities under the rule of law.
The concept paper goes on to say that, while it is true that the main focus of the Council’s action is related to the maintenance of international peace and security, on several occasions the 15-member body has underlined the interdependence between security and development in the need to implement measures to address conflicts. The Council recently underlined that security and development were closely interlinked and mutually reinforcing, and recognized that their relationship was complex, multifaceted and, above all, case-specific.
This last consideration is particularly relevant for present purposes, since among the situations in the programme of work of the Security Council, the situation in Haiti is in many ways a unique case. In a recent statement, the Head of MINUSTAH and Special Representative of the Secretary-General recalled that in 2004, there was no war in Haiti but rather a situation of chronic political, social and economic instability to which the Council chose to respond with the deployment of MINUSTAH.
From the outset, that Mission was aimed not only at preventing a potential civil war and breaking the cycle of chronic instability of the past decades but also at supporting the State in its most fundamental functions. As he put it, a peacekeeping operation was deployed in Haiti because, to some extent, the international community had no better tool at its disposal to prevent the country from failing.
The concept paper stresses that the situation in Haiti remains essentially the same today and it has even been aggravated on account of the effects of the 2010 earthquake, which is why Colombia considers that the special character that the Council has given to the mandate of MINUSTAH must be maintained and reinforced, in the understanding that it will not constitute a precedent or affect the construction or the handling of other mandates.
Therefore, among other things, the debate should consider, within the broad existing mandate of MINUSTAH and the responsibilities of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, “fresh options for Member States, United Nations organs, bodies and agencies, the donor community and other subregional, regional and international organizations, international financial institutions and non-governmental organizations, to support Haiti more efficiently during the formulation and implementation of all programmes and projects aimed at consolidating a democratic, prosperous and secure country where social and economic development for all Haitians is the result of coherent and sustainable development strategies”.
JUAN MANUEL SANTOS CALDERÓN, President of Colombia, whose delegation had convened today’s meeting, said the meagre results achieved in Haiti since the devastating 2010 earthquake required the international community to reflect on the manner in which it was carrying out its work. It was necessary to rebuild the country in a coordinated, coherent manner, aiming for concrete, sustainable and long-term achievements. The current proliferation of organizations working in the island nation — generally disorganized and acting in an uncoordinated way among themselves and Haitian authorities — undermined efforts to strengthen institutionalism and carry out long-term initiatives. That failure, he said, fed the vicious cycle of poverty.
An international community that did not take in account Haitians’ views of their own challenges did not serve Haiti, he continued. New international support for Haiti must be built on foundations that guaranteed effective joint action, including development of concrete, transparent projects that improved the quality of life, long-term development strategies, a commitment to accountability, and ownership by all Haitians of their common destiny.
It was necessary to combat the “greatest enemies” of development and stability, such as institutional weakness, the absence of laws or the failure to comply with them, and the fragile control and supply of basic services by the State, including the provision of justice, he said. “We have to believe in and think about Haiti in the long-term to contribute to solving these pressing problems, something that, we must admit, we have not achieved under the current cooperation framework,” he said, adding: “We must all commit to a different vision for rebuilding Haiti.”
By using available resources more efficiently and effectively to ensure economic and social welfare, the international community would be able to take more concrete steps, such as using the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, he said. Haiti’s medium- and long-term development goals should be the reference point for coordinating the activities of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and United Nations agencies. More could be achieved, including providing MINUSTAH with more civilian personnel and engineers to coordinate priority projects such as debris removal, which would bring back a sense of normalcy to Haitians, as well as create job opportunities.
“If we already have a United Nations operation in Haiti, why not use it to address immediate needs and begin to lay the foundation for [the country’s] transition towards development?” he said. The international community could also help rebuild housing through bilateral and multilateral projects in order to create jobs and resolve the situation of the thousands of people still living in tents. The “one-plus-one” framework involving Haitian Government and society in its own recovery was the only viable way to strengthen institutionalism. The framework must focus on development of health care, agriculture, education, roads and infrastructure, and aqueducts.
Health and education could not remain in the hands of foreign charities, he said. It must be progressively transferred to Haitian leadership and management. “We are talking about training a population where 60 per cent are youth, who cannot depend on sporadic aid,” he said. Security was necessary for the rule of law, healthy democratic institutions and sustainable development. That was why Colombia had contributed 32 police officers to help strengthen the Haitian National Police.
The incoming Haitian Government would provide an “ideal opportunity” to reorganize cooperation with the country “because peace is not built by increasing dependency and welfare-ism,” he said, adding: “We must imagine the Haiti of the future, and lay the foundations so that it is Haitians themselves who continued its reconstruction.” He recognized Haitians for conducting peaceful, orderly presidential elections in March, with preliminarily reports showing Michel Martelly as the winner.
BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General, said it was important to reaffirm the international community’s collective commitment to Haiti. “We meet as Haitians and their international partners look to consolidate progress following last month’s presidential and legislative elections”, he said, commending the people of Haiti for that important step on the path of democracy.
That achievement built on the gains Haiti had already made, with the support of MINUSTAH, towards security, respect for basic freedoms and an end to the State-sponsored violence that had been carried out with impunity for so long. With more than 20 per cent of the estimated 10 million cubic metres of rubble from last year’s earthquake having been removed, he said, recovery and reconstruction were slowly gathering momentum.
While the cholera epidemic seemed to have stabilized, only large-scale investments in Haiti’s water and sanitation system would protect against another outbreak, he said. The withdrawal of some humanitarian agencies from cholera treatment centres and camps risked creating a shortage in the provision of services. With the Cholera Appeal 45 per cent funded and only 10 per cent of the overall requested funds of the Haiti Appeal received, additional financial support was urgently needed.
He said that Haiti’s economy was “on its knees”. Public institutions were barely able to deliver essential services and millions of Haitians remained dependent on the assistance of non-governmental organizations for their basic needs. At the same time, too many women and girls lived in fear of sexual violence.
“Without the rule of law, lasting peace and prosperity will remain elusive” he said, noting that Haiti’s judicial system is deeply dysfunctional. Prisons remained dangerously overcrowded. Property records were unreliable or non‑existent. Public expenditures often lacked transparency, resulting in a loss of confidence in the State. In that context, rule-of-law reform must be a top priority for Haiti’s next President, he stressed.
He said that with Haitians looking to the new Government and Parliament to deliver, and as a signal of its commitment to change, the latter should complete the process of amending the Constitution before the next President was inaugurated. At the same time, the international community must seize the current opportunity to make a fresh start. Its assistance should empower rather than prolong the dependency of Haiti’s people and institutions. “The United Nations will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Haitian Government and people in the noble and necessary work of building a more just and prosperous future”, he pledged.
WILLIAM CLINTON, United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti, thanked Colombia for fully disbursing its pledge to Haiti and for sharing its experiences on job creation, including through the coffee sector. He thanked Haitian President René Préval for his efforts. “ Haiti, for all its troubled past, is now seeing a peaceful transfer of power,” he continued, noting that sometimes, there was too much focus on the problems, and not enough on the small miracles. Haiti’s election process had been “remarkable”, as it was conducted while tens of thousands of people lived under tarps.
Good progress was being made on development before the earthquake. Even before the earthquake a series of hurricanes had destroyed 15 per cent of Haiti’s gross domestic product (GDP). The earthquake destroyed a lot, he said, but it had also created new opportunities. The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission was unique in that half of its members comprised every aspect of Haitian society, while the other half represented the international community. More than 87 projects already approved by the Commission would help 2 million Haitians.
The idea, he continued, was to take the Haitian Government’s development plan and ensure that international projects were tailored towards it and then audited for efficiency and success once completed. The plan was modelled on the mechanisms put in place in Indonesia following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Still, there was much work to do in solving land issues, housing construction needs, and the future structure of education, health care, port and airport infrastructure, he said. Granting dual citizenship to Haitian diaspora, as proposed by President Préval, would dramatically increase the scale of socio-economic development in the country.
Mr. Clinton said he had helped set up Haiti’s first mortgage process and a systematic small business loan procedures. He cited projects of the Clinton Global Initiative in Haiti, including with the Haitian Ministry of Health to create a sustainable health-care system. He lauded MINUSTAH’s work, but stressed that long-term peace was not possible without development. He recommended that when Haiti’s new President was inaugurated, it was more important than ever to continue the coordination among stakeholders started by President Préval.
“It’s very important that all this be done in a way that rebuilds the long-term capacity of the Haitian Government,” he said. “This is an enormous opportunity to rebuild the Haitian economy as we move people out of tents.” But for Haiti’s reconstruction to be successful, more funding was needed to get projects off the ground. Since last summer, the Commission had approved 87 projects valued at $3.26 billion. But only 37.2 per cent of the funds pledged in New York last year during the Haiti donor’s conference had been disbursed. “Greater donor disbursements would go a long way to advancing reconstruction and delivering the improvements the Haitian people expect and deserve,” he said.
Haiti’s new education plan would put all school-aged children in school and give them one meal per day, he continued. In the past, half of the country’s children did not go to school. If the school plan was funded, 90 per cent of the child labour system would vanish within a few weeks. For the first time ever, Haiti had a Building Code. New sanitation and energy systems were to be created. He urged donors not to earmark contributions to the Haiti Reconstruction Fund, but to allow Haitian authorities to spend funds in support of goals that it set in coordination with the Commission, which included donors’ voices.
While not glamorous, debris management was the foundation on which Haiti could be built, he said. Debris could be used on site to rebuild streets, homes, serve as recycled building materials or be carted away. The development of schools, sanitation systems, power grids and communities were dependent on rubble removal. While 2 million cubic metres had been removed, 8 million metres remained, as did a major funding gap to tackle it.
He called on all non-governmental organizations, donors and the private sector to register their projects with the Commission. In the past, the Haitian President had no comprehensive record of the number of non-governmental organizations working in the country. The Commission aimed to help the Haitian Government coordinate activities after the international community left. The donors, non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies would have to continue to work together.
Haiti would need greater budget support to strengthen the public sector, he said, noting that $52.9 million of the $169.5 million pledged for the current Haitian fiscal year had been disbursed.
On other issues, he said that Haiti had the option of becoming a model in the Caribbean to have a mixed, self-sufficient and less costly energy system. That was important as the Caribbean had the highest electricity rates in the world. Yet, most Caribbean islands could be energy self-sufficient, and Haiti could lead the way in that regard. “You’re not just helping Haiti if you support the plan, you may be helping all the developing countries of the world in creating sustainable economies,” he said, stressing the importance of empowering local communities and the Haitian Government.
“If we don’t make a conscious effort to ensure that our contributions ultimately end up in the hands of Haitians, we will have failed,” he warned, calling on the international community to “optimize our speed and effectiveness to accompany and assist them”.
RENÉ GARCIA PRÉVAL, President of Haiti, said he was saddened to note that the 25 years of political life since the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier had been characterized by such instability that he himself had been the only President to have finished a constitutional term of office. He was also the only one who had never been jailed or exiled. His first term was inaugurated in the presence of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, perhaps uniquely placing him to thank the Organization for the aid provided to Haiti through its operations there.
“To my compatriots who are living with the genuine pain of the presence of foreign soldiers on our soil, I would say that United Nations peacekeeping operations were made necessary by instability created by the citizens themselves,” he said. Thus, he called on those leaders emerging from the recent elections to govern Haiti in a spirit of peace, openness, inclusion, dialogue and respect for the rights of association and expression.
He also called on the opposition to adopt a positive and cooperative attitude, even in their role as Government critic. Civil society and the media were urged to make use of their freedoms, “which have cost so much,” yet remained incompletely mastered. In that respect, he commended the courage of slain journalist Jean Dominique, noting that after 11 years, Haiti still awaited the conclusion of investigations into his murder.
A year ago, the international community had pledged support and financial resources for Haiti’s reconstruction, and he invited the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission to move forward quickly and efficiently, noting that, despite the courage of the Haitian people, their patience had its limits.
Naming the Security Council’s interventions in Haiti one by one, he noted that the historical context for their peacekeeping mandates, particularly since the first operation, had risked clashing with Haitian Armed Forces that had carried out a bloody coup. Nevertheless, once the danger of violent clashes had passed, the peacekeeping operation established in 2004 had not adapted quickly enough to the prevailing conditions of endemic poverty. Tanks and armoured vehicles should have given way to bulldozers, engineers, more police instructors and experts on justice and penal systems, but had not. He hoped that conclusions could be drawn from those facts to better ensure peace and stability in Haiti today. Moreover, the presence of peacekeeping operations did not rule out the need and value of work by other United Nations agencies since military deterrence was but one thread in the search for stability.
Underscoring drugs as another source of Haiti’s instability, he said that, as long as there was a demand for illegal substances in northern countries, Haiti would be a victim of the myriad negative impacts of their use. It was time for comprehensive drug policies, including initiatives aimed at lowering demand. He strongly supported Security Council resolution 1892 (2009), which called on Member States to strengthen cooperation with the Haitian Government to curb cross-border trafficking of both drugs and weapons.
Calling impunity “intolerable” and a continuing obstacle in the search for social peace, he said there was no doubt that justice must chart its course. It was urgent for the Haitian State to strengthen its judiciary so that independent body could fulfil its mission. In that regard, he called for the establishment of a memory, truth and justice commission.
ANTONIO JOSÉ FERREIRA SIMÕES, Vice-Minister for South America, Central America and the Caribbean of Brazil, said his country had been firmly committed to Haiti at multilateral, bilateral and regional levels. Brazil was the main troop contributor to MINUSTAH. It had, at the bilateral level, consistently offered Haiti different modalities of cooperation, including in agriculture, health, energy, job creation and institution building, among others. On a regional basis, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) had implemented a cooperation programme of work with Haiti, approving $100 million in financial support and establishing an office in Port-au-Prince. Brazil believed that the active engagement of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean sent a powerful message regarding their willingness and capacity to live up to their international responsibilities regarding Haiti.
Pointing to the recent announcement of Haiti’s provisional electoral results, he said that, in the face of a number of difficulties, the democratic determination of Haitian people had prevailed. With the installation of a new Government, the stage would be set for reconstruction efforts to move forward. More financial aid from the international community would be needed, and he urged donors to redouble their efforts in that regard, saying resources should be channelled primarily through the Haitian Government to secure its ownership of the reconstruction process.
He reiterated the need for a truly multidisciplinary approach from MINUSTAH, with parallel actions aimed at promoting security, political reconciliation and development. Stability and security were paramount to attracting investment and sustaining growth. The construction of a hydroelectric plant, “Artibonite 4C”, near Miribalais, was a key element in providing clean energy and generating a virtuous cycle of stability and prosperity, and Brazil encouraged further funding for that project. Underlining the need for enhanced cooperation between MINUSTAH and the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, he voiced support for the Commission’s goal of converting into a national development agency.
DAVID LIDINGTON, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, said he was encouraged by the results of the preliminary presidential election, and urged Haitian authorities to meet the deadline for announcing the final election results. He called on all parties to continue their commitment to democracy and the rule of law, and for pushing forward to build the Haitian Government’s capacity and administrative platform and to create jobs. The highest priority must be to build inclusiveness, accountability and impartiality and to engage constructively with the international community.
He said that the humanitarian situation was improving, but there were major challenges to meet basic needs like permanent shelter, water and health care, particularly for fighting cholera. The lack of capacity of the Haitian National Police continued to have a worrying impact on Haitian citizens. It was necessary to reach the point where MINUSTAH was no longer the main provider of security, even as the Mission did its part to build the capacity of the Haitian police. That was the only sustainable solution, and he looked forward to the next police reform plan for capacity-building in 2012 and beyond.
Strengthening of Haiti’s State institutions must be given the same priority, he continued, calling for “a fully functioning judiciary”. There must be no room of impunity. He underscored the important role of international donors to establish Haiti’s institutions. He called for all outstanding pledges to be fulfilled without delay. He urged the Commission to redouble efforts to achieve efficiency in the donor coordination process and to get money to places where it was most needed. The hope was that by year’s end, MINUSTAH’s two-year surge period would end and that there would be drawdown of military personnel. Improved security and stability should give space to the private sector to rebuild the country. That process must be led by the Haitian Government. The United Nations must begin to reassess the nature of its long-term support to Haiti.
DAVID DUNN ( United States) supported the statement to be delivery by Uruguay’s Foreign Minister. To achieve sustainable development in Haiti, the international community must work through that country’s institutions. He called on nations that had pledged aid to Haiti to fulfil them. He commended the Commission for its leadership of the strategic planning process, helping to focus donor efforts on debris removal, water and sanitation, health care and housing.
Continuing, he said Haitians continued to face enormous difficulties, but through hard work, determination and global support, progress was being made to rebuild their lives. Of the 10 million cubic metres of rubble created by the January 2010 earthquake, much had been removed. The United States was the leading donor in that effort, which had employed more than 350,000 people and injected almost $19 million into the local economy. In October, when cholera was first confirmed, the United States gave the Haitian Ministry of Health $45 million to address it, he said. Despite challenges, particularly in sanitation, Haitians had seen rapid progress with the availability of safe drinking water. Today, one third of Haitians had access to potable water. By year’s end, that figures would rise to 50 per cent.
The United States was also working with Haiti to reduce infant and maternal mortality, increase contraceptive use, reduce child malnutrition and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. About 680,000 now lived in internally displaced persons camps, down from a high of 1.5 million. The Commission had expressed the need for the Haitian Government to create a framework to identify property owners. The United States Government had joined with the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund to create a new housing finance facility. He urged the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to support Haiti through aid and trade. He supported the timely conclusion of the electoral process to a peaceful, democratic transition of power by early May.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation), noting the many natural disasters and the cholera epidemic that had recently hit Haiti, said it was significant that such challenges were gradually being overcome. The role of the United Nations was bigger than ever before, and Russia, for its part, had given over $8 million to the international initiative. Holding the second round of elections in a peaceful and calm environment demonstrated a level of stability in Haiti, he said, noting that the Russian Federation was pleased that the security situation was generally calm. He praised the work of the United Nations peacekeepers and the police in that regard.
Because recovery processes would nevertheless take time, international humanitarian efforts must be continued, he said, stressing that they should be extended with due respect for Haiti’s sovereignty. External assistance should aim at strengthening Government institutions. Russia supported the work of MINUSTAH, which, he noted, was in constant contact with Haiti’s political actors and was engaged with strengthening the country’s national security forces. Welcoming the assistance of regional organizations, he pledged Russia’s continued assistance in recovery efforts. Finally, he voiced support for Colombia’s draft presidential statement.
IVAN BARBALIĆ ( Bosnia and Herzegovina), stressing the importance of Government legitimacy in Haiti, encouraged the country’s authorities to conclude the electoral process in a credible manner. He praised MINUSTAH and the Organization of American States (OAS) for their assistance in that regard. Given the challenges in reconstruction, security, rule of law and institutional reform and provision of services, it was of utmost importance that all political actors unite under the common goals of stability and prosperity. It was also imperative that MINUSTAH and its international partners lend their support to those efforts.
Noting the importance of the commitment of the Haitian people and Government to build a better country, he commended the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission and the Haiti Reconstruction Fund on their work towards long-term construction. It was essential for the international community to coordinate its efforts with the Commission, as it continued fulfilling commitments to provide necessary resources. He expressed deep concern over what he called the dire condition of displaced persons and called for continued assistance to them, carried out with “due sensitivity”. In that context, he fully supported MINUSTAH’s protection activities. He finally stressed the importance of a long-term commitment to Haiti on the part of the international community.
U. JOY OGWU ( Nigeria) welcomed President Préval, thanking him for all his efforts to ensure the stability of his country. She said that, while the response of the international community following Haiti’s devastating earthquake had been remarkable and swift, recovery efforts had been severely hampered by the cholera outbreak, among other things. Constitutional reform was sorely needed, and must be achieved through open political dialogue. Haiti’s recent elections had marked an important milestone as the Government and people confronted the enormous challenge of rebuilding their nation. The indisputable interdependence of peace, security and development should be the guiding principle as the international community supported those efforts. Indeed, peace and security could only be ensured when the responsibility for development was relinquished to the people of Haiti, she stressed.
She said it was just as imperative to rebuild political and social support for Haiti’s institutions as to rebuild the brick-and-mortar buildings housing them. Haiti’s legislative and executive branches of Government must engage each other in that effort. Haiti’s Parliament should also ratify the constitutional amendments of 2009 and extend the mandate of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, among other steps. Underlining the major impact of sustained support from the international community on Haiti’s recovery, she said capacity-building measures must be encouraged to enable Haitians to drive their own renaissance. Long-term partners were needed in that effort, she added.
Turning to the security situation, she expressed dismay at the ongoing violence, particularly against women in internally displaced persons camps. It was time to change that situation, she said. Finally, she commended the work of MINUSTAH in establishing the integrated strategic framework.
LI BAODONG ( China) expressed concern over Haiti’s political and humanitarian situation. The international community must continue to proactively provide aid to Haiti. The priority was to push forward the political process and ensure peaceful, smooth transfer of power. He expressed hope that the parties would maintain unity and basis for accelerated reconstruction. The global community must increase aid for post-disaster reconstruction and development. The current pace was too slow. He called on the international community to accelerate fulfilment of commitments made at last year’s pledging conference. The Haitian Government and people had the primary responsibility of maintaining national security and stability.
The global community should respect their autonomy and leading role, he said. The priority must be to help strengthen the Government’s institutional capacity and accelerate post-disaster reconstruction. The parties should enhance cooperation and improve the division of labour. He supported MINUSTAH’s continued implementation of its mandate, to push forward the political process and to support capacity-building in security, police and the judiciary to create a stable environment conductive to Haiti’s reconstruction.
NAWAF SALAM ( Lebanon) asked donors to honour their commitments to Haiti. Lebanon was committed to solidarity with Haiti. He noted the decline by one half in the number of displaced persons, the progress in building State institutions, and recent holding of parliamentary and presidential elections. The economic and social crisis fuelled conflict had threatened peace and security. MINUSTAH had a role in preserving peace and stability, building institutions and assisting with reconstruction. He noted the link between democracy and security in Haiti’s contemporary political history. Haiti had known tragedies in the past due to a dictatorship that lasted too long. He lauded the recent elections in Haiti that had occurred in a calm, stable atmosphere. He called on all to honour that important step.
The cholera epidemic was a source of concern, he continued, and called on the global community to immediately respond to the epidemic, which threatened the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. He reaffirmed support for efforts to strengthen capacity-building, the rule of law, protection of human rights and development. He reaffirmed the need for Haitian leadership.
BASO SANGQU (South Africa), stressing that the international community must use this opportunity to renew its commitment to the people of Haiti, said the interrelated challenges facing that country — including in strengthening democracy, justice and the rule of law — should be pursued simultaneously. He expressed appreciation to MINUSTAH, welcoming its contribution to reconstruction efforts and its work to ensure Haiti’s security. The second round of elections had been held under generally peaceful conditions and South Africa congratulated Michel Martelly on the preliminary announcement of his election as President. It was important that the full course of the democratic transition be completed to ensure the legitimacy of the new Government. In that regard, all sides must work together in the spirit of cooperation and inclusiveness.
Continuing, he said that, without a concerted effort by the international community to support Haiti’s recovery, the country would be unable to achieve sustainable development. South Africa was dismayed that very little of the financial support pledged last year had been provided, and he called on the international community to do more. Support must be aimed at ensuring the survival of the most vulnerable, he said, expressing South Africa’s confidence that the Haitians had the necessary spirit and courage to overcome the challenges currently facing them.
HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India) said his country hoped that sustained engagement by the international community and the Security Council would encourage greater coherence in the efforts of multilateral agencies and bilateral partners to provide assistance to Haiti. The outbreak of cholera last year had further aggravated an already grim situation. The country had also plunged into a state of political crisis, owing to the series of disputes following the first round of elections. Moreover, the return of “erstwhile Haitian leaders from exile” had exasperated the existing political tensions, he added.
Hailing the announcement of preliminary results from the presidential runoff, he expressed hope that the final result would soon be announced and all political actors would accept the outcome. India particularly recognized the work of the OAS in resolving the tensions occasioned by the first round of elections and underlined that the smooth transition of power was critical. “We also hope the political leadership in Haiti will show maturity at this difficult time and live up to the expectations of the Haitian people,” he said.
Haiti required the international community’s continued and sustained support in its national efforts toward long-term recovery, reconstruction and development, he went on to say. With millions still living in extremely difficult conditions, the “need of the hour” was not only solidarity and commitment but, acceleration of recovery and reconstruction efforts. Better coordination between aid agencies and the Haitian Government would help avoid duplication and direct aid to those sectors that most needed it. Within days of the earthquake, India had made a modest contribution to the recovery efforts and had subsequently contributed to the Central Emergency Response Fund. Having offered to reconstruct a Government building, it awaited the Government’s identification of that building.
PETER WITTIG ( Germany) said MINUSTAH played an important supporting role in areas such as elections, security, reconstruction and development, and the rule of law. The electoral process must be completed in a peaceful, credible and legitimate way. In light of the preliminary presidential election results, he called on all Haitian political leaders to live up to their responsibilities, contribute constructively to political dialogue, help to heal past political wounds, and build a better future together. MINUSTAH’s continued presence was a prerequisite for stability and development. Security-related challenges ranged from gang violence to drug and human trafficking to sexual violence. He commended MINUSTAH’s role in launching a campaign aimed at discouraging sexual violence. He urged all relevant actors to continue efforts to protect vulnerable groups.
Haiti must successfully attract private foreign investment in order to achieve long-term reconstruction and development, he said. In addition, the rule of law must be strengthened in all areas of society, and respected and implemented by all relevant actors. Institutional capacity and an adequate legal framework were prerequisites for sustainable economic development and an increase in foreign investment. He commended the “rule of law compact” initiative aimed at bringing rule of law and economic development together. He noted the Secretary-General’s call on all global partners to work with the Government of Haiti and the United Nations in a concerted, cohesive way to strengthen the rule of law.
NOEL NELSON MESSONE (Gabon) said his country had provided $1 million to Haiti after the earthquake, and recognized the considerable contribution of the global community in Haiti since 2004. Continued aid would allow for the regular distribution of basic services. He welcomed the holding of the presidential elections and the efforts of political stakeholders during both rounds of voting. He hoped that the electoral process would lead the country towards institutional cooperation and the type of democratic reforms that were needed for development. The electoral process should also foster reconciliation among Haitians, who had been deeply divided.
He called on the international community to create conditions for sustainable recovery in Haiti. Security had improved in recent months thanks to the efforts of the Haitian National Police and MINUSTAH, and he welcomed that cooperation. Yet, security must continue to improve not only in Haitian cities, but also in the camps for internally displaced persons. Other Haitian partners must continue to strengthen the Haitian police’s organizational capacity so that it could deal with gangs and drug traffickers.
He hoped for a quick implementation of the integrated framework that would increase the coherence of the activities of MINUSTAH and the United Nations country team. He supported decentralized cooperation, particularly in combating the cholera epidemic. To help Haiti, it was essential to learn from other coordinated international efforts. The action plan for reconstruction and development must open new prospects and Haitians must be the owners of that process and of identifying structural, institutional and sectoral priorities. The global community must honour its commitments. He supported the presidential statement to be adopted later in the meeting.
GÉRARD ARAUD ( France) said that, amid the slow reconstruction, weak rule of law, continuing crime and sexual violence against women and girls and ongoing internal displacement, Haiti’s most immediate challenge was political stability. Recent elections must result in the establishment of strong institutions, and France appealed to the Haitian people to respect the democratic process. Haiti’s future depended first and foremost on the new Government’s political thrust. The international community stood alongside Haiti’s people, but it could achieve nothing if the new Government did not effectively drive the recovery and reconstruction process. Moreover, that task would be impossible without progress in strengthening the rule of law.
Haiti’s future Government could, he said, count on France’s aid in helping to rebuild the country. In that regard, obstacles must be lifted and efforts to clear rubble and rebuild homes accelerated. France had already provided heavy machinery to accomplish those goals. The scope of the international community’s efforts should include human and financial support, the financing that had already been promised must be provided. France was contributing to all areas, including the provision of personnel to MINUSTAH, as well as the provision of technical assistance and financial resources. Aligning with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, he pledged France’s ongoing support including at the local level.
JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL ( Portugal) said the underlying causes of Haiti’s present difficulties must be addressed. Peace and security, as well as national reconstruction efforts, were first and foremost up to the Haitian people. The international community could not replace that sovereign will and could only contribute to Haiti’s own efforts. Welcoming the recent election of Michel Martelly as President, he paid tribute to outgoing President Préval for his stewardship of Haiti and further underscored the need to conclude the democratic process in the coming months.
The obstacles to Haiti’s development were longstanding and structural, he said, noting that 2010 earthquake had forced the international community to take a closer look at them. Reconstruction and development efforts required an ongoing and significant commitment, as well as greater coordination. There had been certain successes in that respect from the efforts of MINUSTHAH, which would continue to play an important role in institution building, the promotion of the rule of law and justice, the fight against crime and the protection of the most vulnerable groups, and ending impunity. Portugal enthusiastically welcomed all the work of MINUSTAH.
Reiterating that peace depended on the will of the Haitian people, their democratic process and the institutions they would build, he said Haiti now had the opportunity to promote reconciliation. It would be useful, he suggested, for the Council to consider how to strengthen Haitian institutions. Portugal hoped the Secretary-General would include, in his next report on Haiti, specific suggestions on improving the country’s security.
BRUNO RODRĺGUEZ PARRILLA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba, recalling that in 2010 more than 50 Governments and other international actors had demonstrated their “undeniable will to cooperate” in the rebuilding of Haiti by committing some $9 billion to that aim, said that what had happened since then was inconsistent with the spirit of those commitments. Many of the “self-proclaimed ‘principle donors’” continued to dedicate exorbitant resources to war and military interventions, even while the funds committed to Haiti had not been paid.
Moreover, the will of the Haitian Government had not been respected, nor had its priorities been attended to. Even today, what continued to prevail was the channelling of funds and resources outside of the programmes identified by and under the control of the Haitian Government, leading to “waste, corruption and the satisfaction of very marginal or selective interests”. In that vein, Cuba shared the concerns expressed by the CARICOM Heads of Government in a communiqué issued on 26 February 2010, which had critically referred to the Recovery Fund and the Interim Commission for Haitian Recovery.
In contrast, Cuba had been coordinating with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America to implement a programme to rebuild Haiti’s national health system. Through that programme, almost 2 million patients had been treated, and services were being provided at 23 community hospitals, 30 rehabilitation wards and 13 health centres, among other facilities. The programme, which received support from Venezuela, Namibia, Norway, South Africa, Australia, Spain and individual donors, had a total of 1,117 health collaborators from both Cuba and other countries.
What Haiti needed was “substantial and impartial aid”, he said, adding “ Haiti does not need an occupation army; it is not, nor can it become, a United Nations protectorate”. Instead, the role of the United Nations should be to support the Government and the people of Haiti in strengthening their sovereignty and self-determination. MINUSTAH had no political prerogatives to “get mixed up in internal affairs”, nor should it do so. Additionally, Cuba felt that Haiti’s humanitarian situation was not a topic for the Security Council, as it did not threaten international peace and security. Instead, it should be addressed in the General Assembly. “What we need is a minimum of generosity instead of [a maximum] of egoism”, he concluded.
HÉCTOR MARCOS TIMERMAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Argentina, reaffirmed his Government’s strong commitment to Haiti, which was demonstrated by the fact that 70 per cent of the Argentinean personnel deployed in seven United Nations peacekeeping missions were serving in that country. Successive crises caused by natural disasters, with devastating effect, reminded the international community to maintain a continuing and cooperative effort, he said. Specifically, Argentina hoped that the United Nations would continue to play a relevant role in the Interim Commission established after the earthquake, with the task of coordinating humanitarian assistance.
For its part, Argentina had assumed specific commitments which it performed in close contact with Haitian authorities, such as the delivery of humanitarian assistance through the United Nations “White Helmets” and the promotion of self-production of fresh food in household, school and community gardens through the “ Haiti Pro-Huerta” programme, which had food security as its final goal. He said Argentina was also actively participating in the efforts of UNASUR, which had decided in August 2010 to establish a fund for the reconstruction of Haiti.
Despite such efforts, Argentina was aware of the dissatisfaction of some sectors of the Haitian population because of failures in delivering humanitarian assistance as promised, which had indirectly affected the image of the entire international presence in Haiti. He was convinced that national ownership was the fundamental principle to be taken into account in peacekeeping and peacebuilding. In that regard, it was important to establish, as soon as possible, direct contact with the elected authorities of Haiti.
He went on to say that several Latin American Foreign and Defence Ministers had met in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 10 March to reflect on that matter, and had decided to elaborate a report on the situation in Haiti and on the possible cooperation of the region with the new authorities, including through institutional support and MINUSTAH contingents. Argentina hoped that report would be used in the preparation of the next report of the Secretary-General on the budget for MINUSTAH, and that appropriate attention would be given both to the strengthening of the rule of law and to reconstruction, on the one hand, and peacebuilding on the other hand.
ALFREDO MORENO CHARME, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chile, aligning himself with the Group of Friends of Haiti, said his country was among the first to participate in the first Stabilization Mission established by Council resolution 1524 (2004). As 2010 had been marked by multiple crises for Haiti, he expressed hope that 2011 would be remembered as the year of peaceful transfer of power, consolidation of the political and social stabilization process and national reconstruction. Chile’s commitment to Haiti’s reconstruction, development and stability efforts was based on the principle of national ownership. Progress must cover security and democratic consolidation, as well as the rule of law and national reconstruction.
Regarding institutional reconstruction, he said the role of the Joint Electoral Observation Mission was crucial for the smooth conduct of the second round of elections, expressing hope that the final vote count and power transfer in May to a democratically elected President would proceed smoothly. Moreover, the serious upsurge in crime and gender-based sexual violence must stop, as must the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. Chile would provide the maximum possible assistance in that regard. In due course, the Council should renew MINUSTAH’s mandate, emphasizing its links with the efforts of other stakeholders. Chile’s participation in Haiti also included human resources and police training.
JOSÉ ANTONIO GARCÍA BELAÚNDE, Minister for Foreign Relations of Peru, noting that his country had contributed some 300 troops to MINUSTAH, said it also planned to deploy a female contingent to help fight violence against women and children. It also participated in the Group of Friends and the Economic and Social Council’s Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti. At the same time, it was the Haitian Government that led the reconstruction process, supported by the international community and implemented in line with the priorities set out in the national Action Plan for Development and Recovery in Haiti, which outlined the consensus achieved among various sectors of Haitian society.
He said South American countries had established a special $100 million fund for Haiti, which already had disbursed 65 per cent of its contributions. Peru had offered to contribute $10 million to that effort. While it was important to improve coordination among national, regional and United Nations agencies on the ground, it was equally important to develop a local administrative process to ensure efficient use of resources. Haiti’s efforts to achieve political stability and economic recovery should continue under the new democratically elected Government and lay the basis for policies to guarantee sustainable development.
Moreover, Haiti required continued support to ensure a strong national institution building process aimed at achieving a robust rule of law and bridging the gap between weak institutional capacities and a lack of human and material resources, he said. Three areas — governance, security and development — had a direct impact on the current recovery. As for MINUSTAH, its focus must be on reconstruction and development, taking into account the link between those tasks and security activities. In considering renewal of its mandate, the Council should consider national priorities, as well as those in the new United Nations Integrated Strategic Framework for Haiti.
CARLOS MORALES TRONCOSCO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, reiterated his country’s deep appreciation for all that had been done for the people of Haiti by MINUSTAH and by Haitians themselves. Joining the Secretary-General’s call to build a sustainable peace based on the rule of law and the principle of local ownership, he called for a development process that ensured equal opportunities for all Haitians, as well as judicial security, political stability, harmony with the environment and the generation of decent jobs. Access to essential public services such as education, energy, health, security and water, was required.
All Haitians living abroad should also be given the possibility of returning to Haiti, enjoying the same rights and obligations as others, and contributing to the development process. Meanwhile, he said that environmental harmony in Haiti rested on an energy matrix that minimized contamination, the distributed use of non-renewable resources and the restoration and preservation of forests for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Decent jobs would allow entrepreneurs and workers to live with dignity without having to leave for more promising shores. Investments by the Dominican Republic in one border zone had already generated 8,000 jobs, he noted.
He went on to say that the lack of equal opportunities in Haiti was the main source of social injustice in rural areas and urban slums, and had resulted in crime, discontent and continued protests. Capital, both financial and human had continuously flown out of Haiti, and no amount of foreign assistance — even if its delivery were effective and timely — could make up for the lack of domestic capital. Environmental degradation posed the main threat to the survival of human settlements in Haiti, he said, noting that barely 2 per cent of Haiti’s land was forested. That had resulted in nutritional and food insecurity, as well as higher risks of flooding and environmental migration.
Calling for increasing priority by all international organizations and bilateral donors in reversing Haiti’s environmental degradation, he said priority should be given to the introduction of new agricultural practices and plant varieties to renew soil fertility. Alternative energy sources must also be found and implemented and the interconnection of Haitian and Dominican electrical and gas distribution networks offered to transform Haiti’s energy matrix.
LUIS ALMAGRO LEMES, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uruguay, speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti, expressed strong support for the efforts of MINUSTAH and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to improve stability and governance in that country. Congratulating Haitians for holding a second round of presidential and legislative elections on 20 March, he said that, while final results were still pending, voting was held in a “generally calm and peaceful atmosphere”, an important step for the consolidation of the democratic process. He also commended the Provisional Electoral Council of Haiti and thanked the OAS-CARICOM missions and MINUSTAH, among others, for their contributions.
Noting that the incoming Government would inherit “daunting” challenges, compounded by the onset of the hurricane season and the need to enhance institutional capacity, he encouraged the current and upcoming representatives of the Executive and Legislative branches to work together to deliver the reforms that Haitians had long desired. “We stand ready to support Haitians in their recovery, implementing a strategy that will transform projects into realities,” he said.
Haiti also faced a marked deterioration in daily living conditions, he said, calling on donors to fulfil without delay pledges made at the International Donors’ Conference, held in New York on 31 March 2010. The Group understood that donors would be especially motivated to fulfil their pledges if the international community helped Haiti’s institutions to improve project planning and implementation. Emphasizing the importance of the rule of law, he said commitment by the new authorities was needed to sustain efforts towards an independent judiciary, an accountable Parliament, and transparent Government structures. Efforts also should include the creation of land and civil registries.
MARIA RUBIALES DE CHAMORRO, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, said the Haitian people’s history had been one of suffering and martyrdom. From the suppression of the liberation movement led by Toussaint Louverture through the recent multiple natural disasters, Haiti had continued to face the demons of its past. It was only after last year’s earthquake that the international community began to understand the pressing need to seek recovery in the broadest possible sense. Yet, the provision of assistance and funding still needed to change radically or the real root problems facing Haiti would persist. It would be a disservice to the people of Haiti if a peacekeeping mission was supported on the order of $854, but did not adopt a holistic approach.
She stressed that it was time to move beyond compassionate rhetoric to concrete acts on the order of a Marshall Plan for Haiti. Nicaragua did not understand why it seemed impossible to mobilize and disburse the $14 billion that the Inter-American Development Bank said was necessary for Haiti’s reconstruction when that figure represented 1.45 per cent of the amount spent on the war in Iraq. Moreover, reconstruction and development efforts in Haiti could not be coordinated by the Security Council, but rather were the purview of the General Assembly or the Economic and Social Council. Despite its limited resources, Nicaragua had not shirked its duty to provide assistance. Its tireless solidarity remained with the Haitian people and its Government, she said, while also underlining Cuba’s solidarity despite an unjust blockade.
JUAN ANTONIO YANEZ-BARNUEVO, Secretary of State for Foreign and Ibero-American Affairs of Spain, said Haiti could no longer continue to be the exception to economic and social progress in Latin America and the Caribbean. Nor could its traditional “fatal outcome” be used as justification for its failure. The international community must continue to support the new Haitian authorities, searching for sustainable solutions in all areas: political; social; and development. Haiti’s capacities must be developed in ways that avoided dependence. Committed to that endeavour, Spain had provided emergency assistance and was collaborating in the reconstruction process. It had also sent observers for the recent elections and would continue to support MINUSTAH as long as was necessary, including through the provision of a Spanish police contingent.
As MINUSTAH continued its essential work, it must employ an integrated approach that included institutional consolidation and economic and social development, he said. It would be key in addressing such outstanding challenges as the resettlement of internally displaced persons and the establishment of the rule of law, including in further developing the armed forces, and the judicial and penal system, as well as strengthening judicial security and human rights protections. As Haiti’s third bi-lateral donor following the earthquake, Spain was channelling 346 million Euros to the Haitian Reconstruction Fund. The Spanish Government believed the success of MINUSTAH and the United Nations as a whole depended on a positive view of its work by the Haitian people.
JORGE VALERO Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela said that his Government’s foreign policy included a “new vision towards Latin America and the Caribbean”, which strongly promoted the humanist integration process. The establishment of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America/Treaty of Commerce of the People, Petrocaribe, UNASUR and the soon-to-be-created Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), were emblematic of that policy. Since the 2010 earthquake, Venezuelan cooperation with Haiti had intensified, including through the launch of the Solidarity Contribution Plan of the ALBA Countries (Alternativa Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América) for the reconstruction of Haiti”. That Plan laid out eight steps toward that aim.
In the area of health, he said Venezuela had given an initial contribution of $20 million to the Cuban medical mission. In the area of financial support, an ALBA humanitarian fund was created for Haiti, with an initial contribution by Venezuela of $50 million. On energy, Venezuela had forgiven Haiti’s debt with Petrocaribe oil, amounting to $405 million, among other actions. In the sphere of education, he said his Government had continued its work with programmes that had hosted 174 Haitian students since 2006, among other initiatives. Finally, in the sphere of safety, transport and logistics, Venezuela’s CITGO oil and gas company guaranteed the transfer of supplies, materials and equipment for the reconstruction plans at the time of the initial emergency, sending 679 tons of food, 127 tons of equipment, 120 tons of tents, and 225,000 barrels of fuel, among other supplies.
Additionally, Venezuela had joined the solidarity-based efforts of UNASUR to provide technical and political cooperation for the country’s reconstruction, and was contributing to building a model of development that was “inclusive, participatory and equitable”. Venezuela felt that Haiti needed a comprehensive development strategy that went beyond the economic vision and infrastructure, and one that was enforced, in a sovereign manner, by the Government and the people of Haiti, who knew their own realities and needs. It was also a prerequisite to fully respect the institutions and the electoral law.
ROGELIO GRANGUILLHOME, Head, Unit for Economic Relations and International Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Mexico, said the timing of the Council’s debate could not be better, as it was taking place at the conclusion of the electoral process in Haiti, which he hoped would open a new phase of democratic life. Haiti’s earthquake had exposed the weaknesses of international cooperation and development. The global response after the earthquake and subsequent cholera pandemic could have been more effective and efficient.
He said that after the tragedy had occurred, Mexico set up an emergency airlift and mobilized 15,000 tons humanitarian aid. During the emergency and the reconstruction phase, Mexico undertook the greatest effort in the history of its foreign policy. It set up the Mexico Alliance for Haiti, a joint public-private cooperation initiative, which made available $8 million for projects for institution building and initiatives in health and education. Meanwhile, six private foundations had given $3 million for the same purpose. In coordination with the Haitian Ministry of Health, the Mexican Government built five clinics in camps for the internally displaced persons.
Mexico’s cooperation projects with Haiti gave particular attention to capacity-building and institutional strengthening to achieve effective, lasting solutions, he said. As a Council member, Mexico had always advocated that the Council act immediately and decisively to tackle the emergency caused by the earthquake. He stressed the close link between development and security. He welcomed Colombia’s proposal designed to strengthen MINUSTAH’S mandate by adding a development component to the security component. Haiti’s recent presidential and legislative elections had created an opportunity to achieve political and democratic stability and support the reconstruction process and long-term development, which remained an enormous challenge. The international community must continue its efforts based on the priorities of the Government of Haiti.
JOSÉ MIGUEL INSULZA, Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS), recalled that his Organization had dispatched, along with CARICOM, a Joint Electoral Observation Mission in Haiti since August 2010 to support strengthening the rule of law and governance there. It was an example of the importance of coordination between and among international actors in Haiti. While the second round of elections on 20 March 2011 had been better organized and managed than the first, the particular challenges of the second round had been noted in the mission’s statement on 21 March. Nevertheless, if the preliminary results that were announced last week were confirmed on 16 April, Haiti would shortly have a new president and, with a peaceful succession from one democratically elected president to another, a new chapter in Haiti would begin.
That new chapter, which would centre on governance challenges and a division of power between the country’s two branches of Government, would not be an easy one for Haiti, he said. The preliminary election results showed that the parties that lost or did not participate in the presidential poll would hold a majority of the two houses of Congress, which would have to approve the nomination of the new Prime Minister — making ongoing political dialogue among the relevant actors a prerequisite for good governance. That was, he cautioned, more easily said than done. A new approach to politics that valued compromise and consensus was needed, as was a political and social compact between the various interests. The President and the legislature must also be united in their message to the international community on the future path of reconstruction efforts.
Turning to concerns about the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, he suggested a review of that body’s working methods might help ensure that the priorities of the Haitian Government were met. At the same time, the donor community must contribute substantial funds to the Haiti Reconstruction Fund. While the Organization of American States had no doubt that MINUSTAH’s presence should be prolonged, more coordination with the Haitian Government was needed. Moreover, most Haitians believed that the lion’s share of the resources pledged by the international community was not being spent in Haiti or in the service of their needs. That impression must be dispelled through fast, coordinated and transparent action. Finally, he underlined the importance of the Cadastre Infrastructural Development Project in fostering the conditions to increase private investments.
LUIS ALBERTO MORENO MEJIA, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, echoing President Préval, said that after a great deal of focus on emergency responses, it was time to think about the long term in Haiti. For its part, the Bank had increased its donations to Haiti, becoming one of the country’s main donors last year. It was committed to providing $200 million a year for the next 10 years and had undertaken a significant programme of debt forgiveness. The Bank had also set up an action group devoted exclusively to Haiti, and now had roughly 50 experts on the ground in Port-au-Prince.
The Bank’s work was focused on six priority areas: infrastructure; transportation; water; sanitation; energy; and education. He said that a million Haitian children did not have access to education and the Bank world provide $250 million to support a new education plan being developed by President Préval, including through direct transfers to teachers to generate real change.
He underlined the Bank’s commitment to developing Haiti’s private sector, pointing to its organization of a conference on investment that had resulted in a $60 million fund to support small- and medium-sized business. Also, in roughly one year, the opening of an industrial park in Haiti would result in the creation of thousands of jobs. The Bank was also working to secure the same kind of success for coffee cultivation as the Haitian production of mango juice had enjoyed when it was bought by Coca-Cola.
PERCIVAL NOEL JAMES PATTERSON, Special Representative of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for Haiti, said the successful holding two days ago of presidential elections in Haiti, despite formidable challenges, was a testament to what could be achieved through partnership. “It represents a victory for democracy which must not fail to be rewarded by a premium to enhance the success of reconstruction efforts during this phase of democratic transition and throughout the tenure of the new political administration,” he said. The reconstruction action plan focused on territorial, economic, social and institutional pillars, which were mutually reinforcing and vital for optimum development.
Haiti’s Government needed adequate administrative capacity, however, to exercise leadership in the reconstruction and development process, he said. The restructuring, strengthening and building of Haiti’s institutions was the lynchpin and at the heart of any national recovery and sustainable development plan. It was urgent to reinforce Haitian State technical and administrative capacity and access to financial resources. Otherwise the pace of progress would be slowed and Haiti’s most immediate priorities would remain at the bottom.
CARICOM was concentrating direct support for Haiti in institutional development and augmentation, he said. It was providing experienced personnel in different areas of Government administration, training opportunities in high needs areas, and support to create building codes and regional standards for goods and professional services. Haiti’s people were entitled to tangible democratic dividends, particularly durable shelter for internally displaced persons, access to basic services and jobs. MINUSTAH must be guided to become more actively engaged with United Nations agencies to support and strengthen Haiti’s core structures and capacities. Its role should extend beyond security and stability to embrace support for strengthening State institutions in order to expedite economic, social and territorial rebuilding. MINUSTAH’s current mandate was sufficiently wide and flexible. He expressed concern that international donors’ pledges had fallen short as had inflows to the Haiti Recovery Fund.
GERT ROSENTHAL (Guatemala) said Haiti had encountered a “perfect storm” in the past fifteen months, as a series of factors — some man-made, some born from natural disaster — converged to create truly daunting obstacles. Haiti was “in our neighbourhood,” and, together with other Latin American countries, Guatemala had committed a large contingent of peacekeepers and peacebuilders to MINUSTAH. A “fresh start” for Haiti would require concerted efforts by Haitians themselves, beginning with the formation of a new Government, as well as by the international community, which must honour commitments made a year ago.
It also would require efforts by the United Nations, he said, as maintaining a sizable international military and police presence was indispensable. While MINUSTAH had been in a consolidation period prior to the January 2010 quake, a “surge effort” was now needed over the next year, much of which could be achieved by scaling up activities within its current mandate, with special attention to the rule of law, security sector reform and ending impunity. A fresh start would also come from the electoral process and Guatemala looked forward to the final results. With that, he urged the international community to act in a coordinated manner, in line with the national priorities.
HAIM WAXMAN (Israel), recalling that his country had resolved to assist Haiti in any way it could following last year’s earthquake, said that its emergency aid had included assistance with search and rescue efforts, the deployment of a forensic and medical team, and setting up a field hospital that had treated over a thousand patients, performing hundreds of surgeries. In addition, the deployment of a police unit under MINUSTAH represented the first contribution of its kind by Israel. As part of recovery efforts, last week construction on a modern trauma centre in Cap-Haitian began under a joint venture between the Israeli and the Haitian Governments.
Affirming that democracy and stability remained crucial components for advancing the process of recovery in Haiti, he welcomed the results of Haiti’s second round of elections as an important step forward. He pledged the continued close engagement of Israel with the authorities and the international community in Haiti, as part of a sustained and comprehensive process that built a bright future for the Haitian people.
KAZUO KODAMA (Japan) welcomed the final vote count for Haiti’s presidential elections, which had largely been peaceful. Japan, which had provided logistic support and dispatched election observers, hoped that the future President’s inauguration would proceed smoothly and the new Administration’s work would begin immediately to address the many challenges ahead. He stressed that all political actors had a solemn responsibility to call on their supporters to remain calm, refrain from violence and resolve any electoral disputes through established legal mechanisms.
Commending MINUSTAH and the troop- and police-contributing countries in maintaining calm in Haiti, he welcomed the general improvements in the operational performance of the Haitian National Police. Japan remained concerned, however, about ongoing sexual violence, increased gang activity and the presence of inmates who escaped from collapsed prisons around camps for internally displaced persons, and he encouraged MINUSTAH to exert efforts to maintain security and provide capacity-building support for the national police.
Similar international support for capacity building in the area of rule of law must be continued, he said. In that regard, it was essential that ownership be appropriately secured and all support closely coordinated with the Haitian Government. The Government must also make further commitments to those efforts. Japan looked forward to the comprehensive security assessment to be conducted by the United Nations, and believed reconstruction efforts must be further accelerated through comprehensive measures aimed at rebuilding infrastructure, creating jobs and supporting State institutions. For its part, Japan had pledged $100 million for Haiti, which had already been disbursed or authorized, and he highly encouraged the quick disbursement of pledges by all relevant partners.
PARK IN-KOOK (Republic of Korea), encouraged by the preliminary electoral results released by the Provisional Electoral Council, said strengthening the rule of law and building institutions “across the board” were imperative for Haiti’s long-term security and development. Indeed, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and sustainable development must be pursued in a parallel approach that addressed challenges to institution-building. Rule of law, effective governance and security sector reform were the areas of the highest priority. The link between development and security must also be considered, and a broad approach that took into account the economic and social factors that contributed to political insecurity could yield results.
A variety of stakeholders must be engaged in Haiti’s development, he said, stressing that youth job creation was one way to do that, as it provided options beyond joining armed groups. For its part, the Korean Government and private sector had contributed more than $47 million in post-quake humanitarian relief to support reconstruction projects. His Government also had dispatched a 240-strong engineering company to MINUSTAH. Elsewhere, he urged the Haitian Government, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and non-governmental organizations to protect women and girls from rape and sexual violence within internally displaced person camps, where a climate of impunity persisted despite the plan initiated by the United Nations in August to bolter protections for women.
MARY FLORES (Honduras) said her country, as a sister nation to Haiti, understood its struggles. Honduras, too, had grappled with political polarization, underdevelopment, economic backwardness, inequality, poverty and natural disasters. It understood the stoicism of Honduras’ struggle to find strength in weakness and the spirit to overcome adversity. She lamented that the generosity and compassion shown in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster often abated with the passage of time, as the world turned its attention to other “stunning news”. The sense of urgency to help Haiti had receded, but its needs had not. Enormous problems persisted as had the Haitian people’s agony as they attempted to rebuild their lives. No one must forget what had happened and the challenges that lay ahead. She agreed with the Secretary-General’s report, which stated the need for continued international support for Haiti. She called for a concerted effort by all actors to achieve the stated goals in Haiti.
She lamented that 75 per cent of the $300 million needed for 14 reconstruction projects in education, job creation, agriculture and healthcare in Haiti had not been received. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Haiti’s foreign debt was 12 per cent of its gross domestic product. A battered country like Haiti could not bear such a heavy burden, she said, calling on the international community to write off that debt.
PEDRO SERRANO, Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, said that 2010, which began with what could be considered the most terrible tragedy in Haiti’s history, had also proved to be a year in which the international community — including the European Union — had clearly demonstrated its determination to stand beside the Haitians in their time of need. The “generous outpouring” of aid, most notably since the pledging conference of March 2010, had been a powerful message of solidarity, while numerous follow-up events such as the Egmont Conference held recently in Brussels demonstrated that Haiti had not been forgotten since.
Three crucial matters were integral in helping the Haitian people re-establish stability. First, political stability was crucial, he said. In that regard, the second round of presidential and parliamentary elections held two weeks ago was a “key step” in the advancement of democracy, and the European Union encouraged the national authorities to further intensify their work and call upon the political actors to play a constructive role toward completing the electoral process in a timely, transparent and peaceful manner.
A second factor in re-establishing stability was security. There had been a steady increase in serious crime, including murders, sexual and gender-based violence and episodes of drug trafficking, kidnapping and armed robbery in Haiti, which particularly affected women and children. The capability of the Haitian National Police to maintain law and order all over the country needed to be enhanced to face those challenges, and the European Union fully backed MINUSTAH in that respect. Third and finally, development assistance was essential. In March 2010, the European Union, in a joint effort with its member States, pledged more than $1.6 billion to aid to Haiti, on top of the $350 million that it had already contributed in humanitarian assistance.
Nonetheless, he said the delegation stood ready to do more. Its cooperation strategy in Haiti until 2013 was currently undergoing a joint programme exercise within its member States. The European Union would continue to give special attention to budget support, decentralization, infrastructure, health, rural development and education. In order to maximize the impact of the international response for Haiti, it was necessary to improve coordination mechanisms and ensure a greater national ownership. It was also important not to lose sight of the fundamental objective of building capacity in the Haitian administration for the full transfer of responsibility for the reconstruction efforts to Haitian hands at the earliest possible date.
JOHN MCNEE ( Canada) said that over a year after the January 2010 earthquake, Haiti still needed international support, both to meet humanitarian needs and rebuild infrastructure and institutions. Haitians were perplexed by ongoing problems related to the removal of debris, housing, employment and access to education and health care. “Their frustration is justified,” he said, as the progress made had not met expectations. Hard realities must be faced: despite eight United Nations interventions and billions of dollars spent over 25 years, Haiti still suffered from a Government that had difficulty providing services to its people, fragile public institutions and an often volatile political dynamic.
At the same time, he recognized the leadership of Haiti’s public health department in the fight against cholera, and praised MINUSTAH’s “remarkable” work to strengthen security institutions. Canada had noted with great interest that the United Nations planned to increase the importance placed on enhancing governance and the rule of law. In addition to the democratic process and strengthening of key institutions, good governance represented the ability — and willingness — of political leaders to accept their duties and ensure protection of their citizens. Haiti’s reconstruction depended first and foremost on Haitians. To avoid past mistakes, Haiti must transform its institutions as well as its political culture.
PAULETTE BETHEL (Bahamas), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community Caucus of Permanent Representatives, expressed gratitude for the efforts of the international community in what she called the Bahamas’ sister country. She said that the second round of voting, which was overseen by a joint OAS-CARICOM team, was a major step forward for that country. Other key initiatives of CARICOM there included the establishment of a duty-free concession, support for private sector investment through a special fund and technical support for institution-building. As a member of the Economic and Social Council Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti, the Bahamas pledged to work in whatever context was necessary and appropriate.
Such regional efforts, however, must be complemented by activities undertaken by the wider international community, she said. In that regard, she expressed concern at the apparent shift away from planning and implementation of projects under the Haiti Recovery Fund and towards a bilateral approach, which did not bode well for support to Haiti’s own action plan. She also called for a review of the working methods of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission to ensure that Haitian priorities were being considered with the proper urgency. In addition, she called for greater contributions to the Recovery Trust Fund, greater synchronization of bilateral activities with Haitian priorities and the fulfilment of long-overdue pledges.
She stressed the need for substantial support to the new Government expected to be sworn in next month, adding that MINUSTAH continued to play an essential role and greater focus must be put on sustainable shelter to those in temporary quarters. Greater attention must also be paid to disaster mitigation. Meeting such challenges required coordinated action within the United Nations system, among regional actors and the international donor community, based on the priorities identified by the Haitian Government.
ANDREW GOLEDZINOWKSI ( Australia) said that despite its geographic distance from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, his country had been among the first responders, providing $24 million in relief efforts divided between emergency relief and early recovery and reconstruction. Australia was currently working with key partners in the Caribbean and Latin America on a broader region-wide development assistance package to address climate change, reduce disaster risks, build economic resilience and enhance the capacity of key institutions. Twelve months on, Australia had fully funded its promised commitments, while the Australian public had donated over $26 million. Australia called on all donors to honour their pledges and disperse funds that were still badly needed. Indeed, an estimated 800,000 people continued to live in tented camps, over 1 million people still needed emergency access to water, and at least 1 million children relied on donor-provided meals.
Australia strongly endorsed the Secretary-General’s view that strengthening the rule of law in Haiti would help achieve sustainable peace and long-term development, he continued. The Australian Government supported the Secretary-General’s call for the prosecution of those involved in crimes against their own people. Indeed, there could be no impunity. In addition, an independent judiciary and a transparent and truly representative parliament were necessary elements in ensuring good governance. Haiti’s ownership of its own reconstruction must be encouraged and reinforced to ensure that it did not become reliant on foreign intervention. Because MINUSTAH was originally deployed to prevent a civil war and was now focussed on the recovery, rebuilding and unification of a country riven by socio-economic instability, Australia supported Colombia’s call for the maintenance and reinforcement of the special character of the Mission’s mandate.
MORTEN WETLAND ( Norway) expressed hope that Haiti’s new President, Parliament and Government would aim to transform the country by providing stability, development and justice for all. The main responsibility for that rested with Haiti’s political and economic elite. “Thus they must be willing, as well as able, to invest, both trust and money, to make national institutions stronger and more accountable to the people,” he said. That fundamental willingness was needed to make the global community’s assistance effective. Much had been achieved since the devastating earthquake in humanitarian terms. But much more could and should have been done, particularly in terms of the Haitian Government’s capacity. The absence of a social contract, especially between the rich and the poor, and a corresponding weakness of State institutions, unable to fulfil basic political, judicial, economic, social and cultural functions, was at the core of Haiti’s problems. That fundamental observation should inform the Council’s deliberations.
The time had come for MINUSTAH to adapt to new realities, he said. As Haiti was no longer in a post-conflict situation, MINUSTAH’s heavy military presence no longer seemed proportionate to Haiti’s security challenges. On the contrary, it could undermine the country’s efforts to normalize and attract investment that was crucial for sustainable development. The military component should be scaled down; other stabilizing capacities should be strengthened. MINUSTAH could play a more central role in law and order reforms, including police reform. The fight against organized crime, drug trafficking and gender-based violence required increased attention. MINUSTAH should complement, not duplicate, the rest of the United Nations work. Norway had pledged substantial, long-term support to Haiti’s development based on the priorities in the Haitian Government’s action plan.
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