Haiti’s Parliamentary Framework at Risk Unless Political Impasse Resolved, Special Representative Says in Briefing to Security Council

SC/11555
11 September 2014

Haiti’s Parliamentary Framework at Risk Unless Political Impasse Resolved, Special Representative Says in Briefing to Security Council

11 September 2014
Security Council
SC/11555*
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

7262nd Meeting* (AM)


Haiti’s Parliamentary Framework at Risk Unless Political Impasse Resolved,

 

Special Representative Says in Briefing to Security Council

 


Delegates Express Concern over Recommended Drawndown of Mission


As the Security Council took up the Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), speakers voiced an array of views on the proposed drawdown of that operation’s presence, particularly in light of the recent political impasse impeding legislative, national and local elections from being held by the mandated deadline.


Sandra Honoré, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Mission Head, said that despite the significant progress that had been made in Haiti over the past 10 years, the parliamentary framework risked being rendered dysfunctional if the current political impasse was not resolved.  The recent “El Rancho Accord” had offered hope that combined elections would be held by the end of 2014.


However, she said, a group of Senators were consistently blocking the required quorum regarding the Electoral Council, and no agreement had been reached on the legal framework for elections to be held.  The window of time needed to prepare for the holding of the ballot before the end of 2014 was closing.  “This is particularly worrisome”, she stated, pointing out that without elections an institutional vacuum would occur until the ballot could be held and a new Legislature installed.


Despite the political stalemate, the security environment remained relatively stable, she said, with the Haitian National Police’s performance much improved, although operational support by the Mission was required due to the force’s insufficient personnel and equipment.  The Secretary-General had recommended that the Mission draw down its military element to two battalions by June 2015 while maintaining the MINUSTAH police component near current levels.  That reconfiguration would ensure an adequate stabilization presence to support Haiti’s institutions, particularly in light of the next electoral cycle.


Denis Régis (Haiti) said that, with clear progress seen in security, humanitarian and health sectors since the deployment of MINUSTAH in 2004, the Security Council should be able to make an educated decision on the future of the Mission.  Agreeing with the need to extend the mandate of MINUSTAH for a year, he said that the reconfiguration should ensure a United Nations presence sufficient to support national authorities throughout the election period, as well as any other challenges in national security, rule of law and development.


In the ensuing discussion, speakers called for all political actors to resolve the impasse and for elections to be held as soon as possible.  However, the delegate from Uruguay, speaking for the Group of Friends of Haiti, stressed that a calibrated approach was needed in the transfer of security responsibilities.  Condition-based decisions, especially those that risked jeopardizing results that had been achieved, were of importance, a stance echoed by his counterpart from Colombia who expressed concern regarding possible “slippage of the necessary support” for the holding of elections.


Addressing the recommendation that the Mission’s forces be reduced by half, Guatemala’s delegate also emphasized the need to ensure that measures be avoided that “put into risk the holding of elections”.  The representative of Jordan, as well, underscored that, because of the remaining challenges in Haiti, the drawdown of the Mission should be done only with due caution.


The challenge would be finding a correct balance that continued assistance towards consolidating progress while not overstaying beyond needs, the representative of Brazil said, supporting a two-stage drawdown.  Considerations should be based on the holding of elections and the strengthening of the Haitian National Police and rule of law institutions.


The representative of the United States, which holds the Council presidency for the month, said, in her national capacity, that although the Mission’s support was critical in supporting the country’s stability, she looked to the Government for increased responsibility, including around elections.


Haiti’s situation contrasted with most problems that came before the Council, the representative of France observed, commending the progress made over the past 10 years.  The Secretary-General’s recommendation to renew the Mission’s mandate, and the suggested reduction of MINUSTAH battalions, was prudent.


The representative of the United Kingdom, while calling for the long-overdue election to be held without further delay, said the country’s improvement demonstrated that reduction and restructuring would be a “sensible step”.  The Government had the primary responsibility to ensure its country’s path towards lasting stability and economic development.  The Mission had an important role, but it should not remain in Haiti forever.


Also speaking today were representatives of Luxembourg, Argentina, Lithuania, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Chile, Chad, China, Australia, Russian Federation, Canada, Spain, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.


The Head of the European Union Delegation also spoke.


The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 12:58 p.m.


Background


Meeting this morning to consider the question concerning Haiti, members had before them the latest report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations mission in that country (document S/2014/617).


Briefing


SANDRA HONORÉ, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), presented the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Haiti, noting that since her last briefing to the Council, in March 2014, the inter-Haitian dialogue had resulted in the signing of the “El Rancho Accord”.  There was hope that combined elections would be held by the end of 2014 for two thirds of the Senate, the entire Chamber of Deputies, municipal administrations and local councils, all part of the Accord’s key provisions.  However, continuing mistrust and disagreements over the electoral process between the Executive and opposition members in the Legislature caused repeated delays in implementing the Accord.  Even with new ministers named to the Cabinet and the Chamber adopting the Electoral Law’s amendments, a “protracted stalemate” between the Executive and the Senate had delayed the establishment of the electoral body until July 2014.


A group of Senators opposed to the El Rancho Accord were consistently blocking the required quorum regarding the Electoral Council, she said, and to date, no agreement had been reached on the legal framework for elections to be held.  Although the parties recently showed “willingness to remain engaged”, the window of time needed for logistic preparations and for holding elections before the end of 2014 was rapidly closing.  “This is particularly worrisome”, she stated, pointing out that without elections, the Parliament would be rendered dysfunctional in January 2015, thereby creating an institutional vacuum until the ballot could be held and a new Legislature installed.


With various options being discussed among Haiti’s political bodies, including having a general election, she called on all stakeholders to ensure the solution was based on the Constitution and within a solid legal framework allowing for credible, inclusive and transparent elections for a peaceful democratic transition in 2015.


She went on to say that, despite the political stalemate, other areas of concern showed great improvement.  The security environment remained relatively stable.  Crime statistics continued a downward trend, in particular with kidnapping.  As well, the National Police and the security situation in the five departments vacated by MINUSTAH military forces was also remaining stable.  The police force stood at 10,963, including 899 women, and initiatives towards achieving a minimum of 15,000 active police officers by 2016 were also continuing.  Professionalism had also improved along with vetting, training and recruitment efforts.  Still, operational support by the Mission was required by the National Police in one third of all demonstrations due to insufficient personnel and equipment.  In addition, the Mission’s carrying out of a high number of patrols was a reflection of the continuing need of the police’s operational capacity.


Turning to the humanitarian situation, she said that due to efforts by the Government with international partners, the cholera epidemic had been significantly reduced.  The Secretary-General had launched during his recent two-day visit a “Total Sanitation Campaign”, a joint Government-United Nations programme.  Although progress on relocating persons displaced by the 2010 earthquake continued, “durable” solutions were needed for the more than 100,000 internally displaced persons.  The Government continued efforts to attract investors to stimulate economic growth and job creation, while ensuring that international funds were being used effectively.  The Public Financial Management was a first step towards building confidence with international partners and its implementation should be “vigorously pursued”.


She pointed to the Secretary-General’s recommendation that the Mission’s consolidation process intensify, including the drawdown of the military component to two battalions by June 2015 while maintaining the MINUSTAH police component near current levels.  That reconfiguration would ensure an adequate stabilization presence to support Haiti’s institutions, particularly in light of the next electoral cycle and the continuing development of the National Police.  Towards that end, she underscored that it was critical that the Government, the Mission and international partners redouble efforts and commitments to enable the police force reaching major benchmarks by 2016, and assuming full responsibility for security and stability in Haiti.


It was also vital, she went on to say, for comprehensive justice sector reforms.  That would require the adoption of a revised criminal code that expedited the judicial process, addressed the persistent problem of prolonged pre-trial detention and strengthened the corrections sector, which had just experienced a recent major prison break in the Croix-des-Bouquets.  Sustained support for Haiti’s gains in peace, security and stability must result from the consolidation of the democratic process, the rule of law and good governance.  That required not only State institutions and stakeholders to live up to their responsibilities but also to assume greater leadership.  However, international partners and friends also needed to step up efforts and provide additional funds for critical areas from which the Mission was withdrawing and in which the Government still required support.  The Mission counted on the Council’s support to determine its core mandated functions, as well as the appropriate resources necessary to fulfil those tasks, she said in conclusion.


SYLVIE LUCAS (Luxembourg), associating herself with the European Union Delegation, acknowledged progress and difficulties in Haiti, and called the holding of timely, credible elections a priority.  All political actors in Haiti should continue their dialogue towards that end and set aside their differences for the good of the country.  Noting progress in addressing the displaced, she regretted the continuation of unsatisfactory conditions for much of the population, and stressed the importance of continued United Nations efforts to end the cholera epidemic.  Welcoming progress in security, she supported further work to strengthen the national police and other rule of law institutions, including conditions in the prison system.  She also supported reconfiguration of MINUSTAH in a way that recognized progress on the ground, and extension of its mandate for another year. 


MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL (Argentina) expressed hope that all political actors would continue to work together towards credible and timely elections.  She expressed concern, however, over the acceleration of the timetable for the reconfiguration of the Mission.  That acceleration did not seem to be linked to the situation in Haiti but to budgetary and other outside concerns.  It was important to proceed with caution and make decisions according to the situation on the ground.  The security sphere had not improved enough to support an abrupt troop reduction.  The mandate should be kept as is and reconsidered in 2015.  MINUSTAH had made an essential contribution to the stability of Haiti, but such events as the earthquake presented added challenges and slowed progress.  Lessons learned from too hasty withdrawals should be kept in mind.


RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ (Lithuania), associating herself with the European Union Delegation, shared her concerns over the political impasse in Haiti, calling on the political stakeholders to overcome their differences and engage in genuine dialogue on the electoral framework with the existing timeframe in mind.  She commended United Nations efforts in promoting such dialogue.  On security, she welcomed progress and pledged her country’s continued, modest contribution to the police component of MINUSTAH.  There was a need for further efforts to solidify gains in combating criminality and other law and order challenges.  She expressed support for quick impact projects aimed at improving the rule of law and good governance.  While appreciating engagement by MINUSTAH in assisting the Haitian police in addressing sexual and gender-based violence, she was concerned, however, that much of the violence remained unreported and prosecution was lagging.


KAYODE LARO (Nigeria) expressed hope that the political leaders of Haiti would reach consensus on the way forward to elections and supported further building of institutions that could consolidate democracy and garner the support of the people.  On development, he congratulated the country on the increase of yam production and other achievements in the agricultural section.  Despite such progress, many challenges still existed and the support of MINUSTAH was still needed.  A phased drawdown that took full account of the situation in the country was needed, and he looked forward to seeing further plans in that regard.


OH JOON (Republic of Korea), noting that the “centre of gravity” was shifting from international support to the Government, expressed hope that political actors would hold elections as soon as possible, as national ownership could not be over emphasized.  Capacity-building should be a priority for Haiti’s international partners, and technical support for the National Police force should be sustained.  Limited resources should be invested at suitable times and locations.  He voiced hope that political leaders would tackle the social grievances.  In addition, if the issue of internally displaced persons were not addressed, security stability might remain elusive.  His country had joined in the national plan for the elimination of cholera through financial support and was in the process of considering future measures as well.


LAWRENCE MANZI (Rwanda), encouraged by the continued progress, applauded the Haitian people and the Mission for the reduction of crime and for efforts made in regards to relocating internally displaced persons.  The continued dialogue regarding the El Rancho Accord was also encouraging and he urged them to continue, commending the Haitian President for implementing the amendments and the appointments of the Electoral Council.  He voiced confidence the Government, with leadership of Parliament, would lead to consensus and called upon all political actors to engage on a legal framework for other processes to go forward.  With the Mission’s drawdown, he said it was critical that partners ensure the enhancing of security forces, voicing support for the extension of the mandate until 2015.  Noting that his country was a police contributor to Haiti, he said he trusted the people in their efforts towards peace and stability.


FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France), associating himself with the European Union Delegation and the Group of Friends of Haiti, pointed out that the country’s situation contrasted with most problems that came before the Council.  Opportunities existed and there were proposals to remedy issues.  Haiti had extricated itself from the acute crisis it had faced 10 years ago and its successes were evident.  However, with none of the elections planned for 2014 being held, he underscored that democracy thrived on consistent and regular elections and that they had been postponed too often.  It was essential that the electoral process resume.  Voicing support for the Secretary-General’s recommendation to renew the Mission’s mandate, he said that the recommended reduction of MINUSTAH battalions was prudent.  “Significant work awaits us,” he said, including defining the Mission’s mandate.


CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile), associating himself with the Group of Friends of Haiti, said that MINUSTAH should continue to play a significant support role to strengthen dialogue and development of democratic institutions in Haiti.  The consolidation and withdrawal of the Mission should therefore be gradual and in step with developments on the ground, certainly not before the holding of elections.  The Mission was the culmination of an enormous effort by Latin America and the only peacekeeping operation in the Americas.  Rule of law and stability must be consolidated and Haiti must be self-sustaining in all such areas.  Development and cholera remained challenges and he called on the international community to strengthen efforts to tackle the latter.  Haiti itself had primary responsibility in all those areas, he acknowledged, and, noting his country’s contributions, he looked forward to the time when Haiti was able to fulfil that responsibility on its own.


GOMBO TCHOULI (Chad) said that while there had been progress in Haiti, much of it remained fragile.  He encouraged all parties in the country, for that reason, to work together to consolidate democratic progress and make possible the holding of credible elections in a timely manner.  He encouraged the Government and the United Nations to build stability through addressing inequalities and severe needs, particularly in sanitation and housing.  Haiti was at a watershed of its stabilization process.  All actors must seize the moment and MINUSTAH must maintain an appropriate presence to help ensure security, especially during the electoral period.  He supported the Secretary-General’s recommendations on a reconfiguration timeline in that light.


DINA KAWAR (Jordan) said that remaining challenges in Haiti meant that the drawdown of the Mission should be done only with due caution.  Haitian leaders must take responsibility to consolidate progress and improve the political climate.  She called for timely holding of credible elections for that purpose and in order to avoid violence due to political tensions.  MINUSTAH must be able to continue to assist in that area and other mandate areas in order to ensure that progress was not eroded.


WANG MIN (China), noting progress and challenges in Haiti as outlined by the Secretary-General, said that, in order to help that country achieve stability and sustainable development, the international community should support dialogue between actors as well as timely, credible elections.  Support for independent socioeconomic development should also increase, along with assistance to end the cholera epidemic.  Expressing appreciation for the achievements of MINUSTAH, he hoped that it would be supported to continue to fulfil its mandate.


PHILIPPA JANE KING (Australia) said that Haiti’s long-term stability depended on ensured security, strengthened governance institutions and the rule of law and the improvement of the lives of citizens through response to crises and promotion of development.  She commended United Nations leadership in ending the cholera epidemic and support to sanitation and hygiene initiatives and encouraged continued donor support.  While Haiti had achieved many of the Millennium Development Goals, gaps remained in achieving targets on water and sanitation and those required sustained attention.  Turning to the elections, she urged all political actors to put aside their differences and hold them by 2015.  On security, United Nations police should provide backup and training and give increasing responsibility to the national police.  Rule of law, especially in areas of sexual violence, must be strengthened.  She concurred with the flexible drawdown approach so that MINUSTAH could continue to help consolidate progress.


PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation), providing an overview of the political progress, expressed regret regarding the lack of necessary steps in resolving the electoral impasses.  The balance of power remained “brittle” and the lack of agreement between the political bodies was of concern, he stated, urging them to make progress towards resolving the outstanding issues.  Turning to the security situation, he noted the increased level of professionalism of the National Police, voicing hope that the country’s objective to increase the force would be reached.  In addition, the legal and judicial systems must work in a balanced way.  The country had faced complex tasks addressing food security, cholera and internally displaced persons, and he welcomed the Government’s steps in those fields.  He shared the Secretary-General’s view of extending the Mission’s mandate and the Russian Federation stood ready to support the drawdown of military components.  While the leading role resolving outstanding issues and challenges must be played by the Government, the international community nonetheless must provide support towards that goal.


MICHAEL TATHAM (United Kingdom) said it was disappointing to read in the report of political impasses and essential elections not being held.  There would be serious consequences if transparent and democratic elections were not held, and he called for the long-overdue election to be held without further delay and for stakeholders to engage in that goal.  The improvement of the security situation was welcome, including the professionalism of the police force.  However, he voiced concern that the police were relying on the Mission for operational support.  In addition, the build-up of the judicial sector was critical, with the administration of the correction sector being a priority.  The country’s improvement demonstrated that reduction and restructuring would be a “sensible step”.  Recalling the Secretary-General’s report, he stressed that the Government had primary responsibility to ensure its country’s path towards lasting stability and economic development.  Nonetheless, the Mission’s high number of tasks, including “quick-impact” initiatives, were of concern.  Such projects should be handed over to other parties.  The Mission had an important role, but it should not remain in Haiti forever.


SAMANTHA POWER (United States), Council President, speaking in her national capacity, noted that troop contributing countries had made a significant difference in Haiti’s success.  However, the recent electoral impasse was of concern.  She pointed out that Haitian political leaders had worked “tirelessly” to seek a resolution to the impasse, but that six Senators were holding elections “hostage”.  When elected officials blocked debate they stood in the way of addressing citizens’ needs.  The people of Haiti were in great need with internally displaced persons and access to medical services, among other items, impacting continued progress.  She called on the country’s politicians to come together to pass an electoral law and respect political deadlines.  It was heartening that many countries had joined that call.  While welcoming the national Police Force’s improvement, and the Mission’s efforts in the judicial system, she said that the prison system needed urgent reform, observing that 80 per cent of those detained were still awaiting trial.  Although the Mission’s support was critical, she looked to the Government for increased responsibility, including around elections.


DENIS RÉGIS (Haiti) said that the Secretary-General’s report presented a balanced picture of the situation in his country and shed light on the many achievements and challenges in the areas of stability and institution-building.  The report, therefore, should enable the Security Council to make an educated decision on the future of MINUSTAH.  The security situation had improved along with the capabilities of the National Police, shown by the reduction of kidnappings.  Those displaced by the earthquake had finally been resettled.  Cholera was being dealt with, although it had affected the country on a devastating scale.  There had been clear progress since the deployment of MINUSTAH in 2004.


However, he concurred that the holding of elections presented a critical test of progress.  He underscored that the Government and the Head of State remained committed to organizing credible legislative, municipal and local elections by the end of 2014, and had spared no effort to resolve outstanding issues in that regard.  Progress had, however, in fact been blocked by certain legislators.  It was a critical turning point.  The President and Prime Minister fully realized that elections were necessary for progress and were fully prepared to fulfil their responsibilities in that regard.  He therefore urged the international community to back their efforts to remove the remaining obstacles to the polls.


On the renewal of the MINUSTAH mandate, he fully shared the assessments of the Secretary-General on the need to consolidate achievements in stability in the face of all challenges.  He concurred with the need to extend the Mission for a year as part of a progressive policy of engagement and transfer of responsibility to Haitian authorities.  The reconfigured mandate should maintain a United Nations presence sufficient to support national authorities throughout the election period and in view of any other challenges in national security, rule of law and development.  His Government pledged to work with the Security Council to ensure the full achievement of the Mission’s objectives, and to build institutions that could maintain a stable, democratic society on its own.  He thanked all those who had contributed to MINUSTAH for those purposes.


GUILLERMO RISHCHYNSKI (Canada) said his country had a unique partnership in Haiti and would continue to contribute significantly with other partners to assist its economic growth, food security, governance, maternal health and other areas.  He expressed concern, however, over the impasse over elections and called on all actors to ensure that credible polls could take place this year.  His country and other donors were contributing logistical and other support but national actors must do their part.  He added that stakeholders should also work to improve Haiti’s business environment, particularly by addressing corruption.  In addition, there was much work to do in the area of human rights; pre-trial detention was one area that must be addressed, along with strengthening all rule of law institutions.  He expressed continued support for MINUSTAH and stressed that decisions to reduce the Mission’s role should reflect the situation on the ground.  Work on strengthening police was particularly important, he said, noting his country’s contributions in that area as well.


ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil) said that the challenge for the Security Council was to balance optimism and caution on Haiti in a way that did not jeopardize the aspirations of the organ when it created MINUSTAH in 2004.  A correct balance meant continued assistance to consolidate progress while not overstaying beyond needs.  In that context, he supported the Secretary-General’s recommendations for a two-stage drawdown of the Mission.  Considerations should be based on the holding of elections and the strengthening of the National Police and rule of law institutions.  A lighter MINUSTAH military presence should be accompanied by a stronger role played by national institutions.  Development assistance should be scaled up at the same time.  In addition, the MINUSTAH civilian component would become more important, and all United Nations institutions should be well integrated.  Cholera assistance must also continue, he said, noting his country’s contributions.  Brazil would continue to contribute to Haiti in all areas.


GONZALO KONCKE (Uruguay), speaking for the Group of Friends of Haiti, offering a comprehensive overview of conditions in the country, encouraged all political actors in the country to “deepen their dialogue and cooperation” towards a democratic consolidation.  Free and fair legislative, municipal and local elections were essential and urgent steps towards achieving lasting stability, recovery and development in Haiti.  The holding of inclusive elections in 2014 was essential for the continuity of the Parliament in 2015, for the rule of law and for the promotion of socioeconomic development, all critical to improving the living conditions of the Haitian people.


Acknowledging the progress made in the security sector and the professionalism of the National Police, particularly in their responses to demonstrations throughout the country, he also noted the increase in requests to the Mission from the police for assistance and support.  There should be a calibrated approach to the transfer of security responsibilities, and the importance of conditions-based decisions being made on future steps.  Decisions that could jeopardize gains should be avoided and in that regard.  The Mission should continue to contribute to the stability and security during significant national events, such as elections, including the 2015 presidential elections.


MÓNICA BOLAÑOS PÉREZ (Guatemala), noting that the El Rancho Accord had represented progress, lamented the current environment that was impeding elections.  She called on all actors to resolve the impasse, as elections were critical for the country’s lasting stability and development.  It was also vital that security and trust reign with military and police on the ground, and that the United Nations must maintain an adequate presence.  In regards to recommendations the Mission’s forces be reduced by half, she stressed that measures must be avoided that “put into risk the holding of elections”.  The phase of consolidating the Mission was ongoing, and at that completion only should the reconfiguring and restructuring take place.  Such decisions needed to be based on the reality on the ground.


MARÍA EMMA MEJÍA VÉLEZ (Colombia) said that many had borne witness to the Head of the Mission’s “tireless efforts in the field”.  Security, stability and bringing about dignifying conditions for the people, as well as the consolidation of democratic institution, should be the international community’s priority.  She shared the Secretary-General’s concerns of the stalling of elections and joined the call upon those political actors to do their duty ensuring parliamentary continuity.  There remained challenges, including the acceleration of the reduction of the Mission.  However, she voiced concern regarding “slippage of the necessary support” for the holding of elections.  It was critical that decisions be made based on the situation on the ground, and not on budgetary conditions.  Voicing caution regarding those reductions, she pointed out that the scaling back of the Mission was not merely limited to troop numbers, but to other areas, including institutional strengthening, disaster preparation and response, and technical support.


THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the European Union Delegation, said that the Union was determined to ensure that progress in consolidating democracy and stability in Haiti remained irreversible.  In that light, it had worked with other partners in the “Core Group” to encourage dialogue among political actors and bring about the compromises necessary to respect the electoral calendar fixed by the President of Haiti.  The current impasse was of great concern, and he called for a consensus solution, adding that the Union would consider sending a mission of electoral experts to assist.  Describing the Union’s ongoing commitments to humanitarian and development aid, he expressed its continued readiness to assist anti-cholera efforts and stressed the need to build institutions that addressed inequality.  The Union would continue to support the role of MINUSTAH.


ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI (Spain), associating himself with the European Union Delegation, supported dialogue as it was the only means to ending the political impasse, achieving the prompt holding of elections, and consolidating democracy in Haiti.  He welcomed all efforts of the Club of Madrid and others towards that end.  Welcoming security progress, he supported efforts to encourage a wider commitment by the Government of Haiti to expand the National Police and deploy them more widely.  Other rule of law institutions should also be strengthened.  Appreciating efforts on behalf of displaced persons by MINUSTAH, as well as international efforts to stem the cholera epidemic, he concurred with the Secretary-General’s views on a flexible timeline for the reconfiguration of the Mission and its extension for another year.


XAVIER LASSO MENDOZA (Ecuador) said that the situation in Haiti was a priority for his country; the region’s support for MINUSTAH represented its solidarity and the support for peace in Latin America.  In that light, all desired MINUSTAH to be successful.  The drawdown, therefore, should only be made in consideration of improvements on the ground.  Capacity-building of the National Police and the holding of credible, timely elections were important in that regard.  It was worrisome that the Council could consider accelerating the reconfiguration when uncertainties remained and police capabilities were not yet adequate.


JORGE MONTAÑO (Mexico) recognized progress in the stability and democracy of Haiti due to the support of MINUSTAH, the United Nations system and other partners.  Challenges and deep divisions continued, however, that threatened that progress.  He expressed hope that political actors would find a way to overcome their differences in regard to the election.  Cholera also remained of great concern.  “We must not lower our guard,” he said of that threat.  He noted his country’s support to Haiti in a variety of areas, particularly in education and training, and concurred with the recommendations of the Secretary-General for a gradual reconfiguration of MINUSTAH based on the conditions on the ground, the capabilities of the Haitian National Police and a coordinated transition plan.  History had shown that predetermined timetables could be counter-productive.


GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) said that the presence of MINUSTAH, to which his country had contributed, remained critical to help consolidate progress in stability and democracy in Haiti.  He called on all the political actors to come together to overcome the impasse on elections.  Given the gaps in National Police capability, he stressed that an accelerated reconfiguration of the Mission would not be prudent, even given the budgetary considerations.  The reconfiguration should be based on progress on the ground.  History had shown that progress was endangered when missions had been drawn downed prematurely.


Ms. HONORÉ, taking the floor again, said she took note of delegates concerns and thanked them for their positive statements on the work of MINUSTAH.  She pledged the Mission’s continued work to fully fulfil its mandate.


* *** *


*     The 7261st meeting was closed.

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.