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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 15 July 2014 - Secretary-General's remarks during visit to police academy and school

Mesdames et Messieurs,

Je suis très heureux de me trouver aujourd’hui à l’Académie et à l’École de police qui sont le symbole de la détermination des Haïtiens à jeter les bases d’un État plus fort fondé sur l’état de droit.

Assurer le respect de la loi est un préalable essentiel à l’état de droit. C’est pourquoi le renforcement de la Police nationale haïtienne et du système de justice est l’une des principales priorités de notre mission, la Mission des Nations pour la stabilisation en Haïti, MINUSTAH, depuis son déploiement il y a 10 ans.

Manifestement, la police a obtenu d’importants résultats : elle est plus visible, mieux équipée et plus efficace.

Les statistiques parlent d’elles-mêmes : le nombre d’enlèvements et de séquestrations a baissé de plus de 50 % depuis 2012 et le nombre d’homicides a considérablement diminué. Plusieurs réseaux criminels ont été démantelés.

Ces installations de formation continuent à jouer un rôle clef dans la professionnalisation de la Police nationale.

I am told that the recruitment process is very competitive recruitment process. I congratulate the more than 1,000 new cadets who have graduated, including more than 100 women. They give us hope that Haiti is moving in the right direction.  

Much work, however, remains to be done. I continue to urge donors to support the Haitian National Police.

Moreover, even when you reach the target of 15,000 police officers by the end of 2016, the job will not be finished. The Haitian State will have to show the people that it can enforce the law and demonstrate that in a democratic nation, no one – including political authorities and the police themselves – is above the law.

Law and order are just one side of the rule of law. Earlier today I visited some of Haiti’s judicial institutions.  It is crucial for improvements in the field of justice and accountability to keep pace with advances in policing.

As you know, the United Nations is reconfiguring its presence in Haiti. The military footprint of MINUSTAH will be reduced significantly.

Increased Haitian ownership will be critical to preserve the gains that have been achieved. A strong Haitian National Police, which can ensure security throughout its territory, will be a key factor.

Haiti has painfully experienced the devastation that can come with the breakdown of the rule of law and civil order. But it has also shown the power of political will and collective action in building a different future.

As I am standing here before so many cadets and police officers, senior police officers, I feel as if I am seeing the brighter future of Haiti.

When I first became Secretary-General in 2007, your country was full of chaotic situations, Cite-Soleil was full of gangs and people weren’t able to walk around safely.

With the help of MINUSTAH, a very effective intervention, you were able to restore security, social security.

After this country was unfortunately struck by the earthquake, then your country fell again into a chaotic and very difficult situation.

[During] all these difficult periods, the Haitian national police was at the centre of the international community’s expectations and people’s expectations. How to reinforce the capacity of the Haitian National police was one of the very important priorities of the United Nations.

Now I see many such cadets who are committed for their future and I am very happy and encouraged to be here.

You are the backbone of your country. You are the backbone of the rule of law and good governance.

Some people often say that police officers are like the stick of an old man; when people are weak to walk, when people are faced with difficulties, this —you are the stick of the people.

You will be the first ones and the last persons your people will depend on when it comes to safety and security, when it comes to social stability and security. […] When there is disorder, confusion, insecurity, you are the brighter future.

The United Nations will continue to be your partner in building a safer, more just, more prosperous country for all.

Thank you.

 


Statements on 15 July 2014