Briefing the Security Council on the situation in Haiti, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in that country said the category-four Hurricane Matthew had made landfall in the nation on 4 October, causing death, wide-spread damage, flooding and displacement.
Introducing the Secretary-General’s report (document S/2016/753), Sandra Honoré, Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), said that more than 2.1 million people had been affected. At present, 372 deaths had been confirmed, while more than 60,000 people had been evacuated. In the affected area, the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people had been lost. Major damage had been inflicted upon the country’s infrastructure. The health impact of the disaster could not be overestimated, as the absence of safe drinking water and the contamination by sewage was causing a high level of diarrheal disease, including cholera. The United Nations and humanitarian agencies had launched a flash appeal for $120 million.
The hurricane had rendered the holding of the Presidential elections on 9 October impossible, she said. Prior to the hurricane, technical preparations had largely been on track. She stressed that the Provisional Electoral Council and the Haitian National Police would need vigorous support. In addition to facilitating and supporting a coordinated Government-led recovery and reconstruction, no effort should be spared to continue strengthening the rule of law institutions and the Haitian National Police. Despite progress, the National Police were yet to become operationally independent. She recommended a six-month extension of the Mission, at the current force and police strength, until 15 April 2017.
Following her briefing, speakers expressed their country’s condolences to the people of Haiti and the family of the victims. They welcomed the Secretary-General’s recommendation that the MINUSTAH mandate be extended with six month at current strength and supported establishing an assessment mission to identify follow-up needs once draw down of the Mission took place. While expressing understanding that the 9 October elections had to be postponed, speakers expressed the hope that a new electoral timetable would be announced soon, so that the constitutional order in the country could be restored.
The representative of Haiti expressed the “heartfelt” gratitude of his country’s people and Government for the demonstrations of solidarity following the destructive strike of Hurricane Matthew. He assured the Council that his Government was creating conditions conducive to convening presidential and legislative elections as soon as possible. Those elections must be fair and transparent, he said, in order to dispel the political uncertainty and overcome the constitutional crisis. Support by MINUSTAH to the National Police to bolster security at the elections remained key.
He said the reappearance of cholera had compounded an already troubling health situation and welcomed the fact that the Secretary-General had recognized that the United Nations had a moral responsibility to the victims of the epidemic, given the role the Organization played in the outbreak. That attitude sent a clear message to the international community that there was a need for deeds to help Haiti. It was more than a moral imperative, he said, it was “a duty of international solidarity”.
Speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti, the representative of Peru said that while his Group recognized the postponement of the 9 October elections in the revised electoral calendar due to the hurricane, it strongly wished that Mathew’s consequences would not jeopardize revised deadlines, and urged the Government to hold elections soon. He stressed the importance of the commitment by the Government to strengthen rule of law and make further progress in the judiciary and security sectors. However, he called on the country’s Government to address deficiencies in the justice and corrections system, such as prolonged pre-trial detention, prison overcrowding, wide-spread corruption and denial of human rights. The Group also noted with concern that food insecurity was prevalent even before the current flooding of farm lands and loss of livestock.
Statements were also made by the representatives of the United States, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Japan, Malaysia, Egypt, Angola, Venezuela, France, China, New Zealand, Uruguay, Spain, Senegal, Russian Federation, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Canada and Argentina, as well as the representative of the European Union.
The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 5:52 p.m.
SANDRA HONORÉ, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), introducing the Secretary-General’s report (document S/2016/753), said the category-four Hurricane Matthew made landfall on 4 October in south-western Haiti causing death, wide-spread damage, flooding and displacement. The hurricane resulted in the largest humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake. More than 2.1 million people had been affected. At present, 372 deaths had been confirmed, a figure that was likely to rise, while more than 60,000 people had been evacuated. In the affected area, the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people had been lost. Major damage had been inflicted on the country’s infrastructure, leaving whole towns submerged and inaccessible. A bridge connecting the southern peninsula to Porte-au-Prince had collapsed.
She said the health impact of the disaster could not be overestimated. The absence of safe drinking water and the contamination by sewage was causing a high level of diarrheal disease, including cholera. Protecting populations from cholera and ensuring the restoration of water and sanitation systems had to be one of the priorities for humanitarian action. The United Nations and humanitarian agencies had launched a flash appeal for $120 million. She encouraged all partners to align with the Government’s leadership and further strengthen the capacities of the Civil Protection Directorate and concerned Ministries.
The hurricane had rendered the holding of the presidential elections on 9 October impossible, as well as the partial senatorial elections and legislative reruns. The Provisional Electoral Council had postponed the elections, pending completion of an assessment of the hurricane’s impact on the electoral process. At least 70 per cent of voting centres might have been affected in the impacted areas. Prior to the hurricane, technical preparations had largely been on track. Most political actors were committed to renewing the country’s key democratic institutions. No political party had boycotted the process, and the large number of registered candidates and parties reflected a broad participation of actors, setting the stage for an inclusive electoral process.
She stressed that the Provisional Electoral Council and the Haitian National Police would need vigorous support. All necessary measures had to be taken to ensure that the political process would be in a manner that would generate the needed consensus to overcome the political and humanitarian challenges facing the country. She called on all national actors to place the needs of the Haitian people above all. In that context, she condemned the random attacks on vehicles transporting food and other life-saving supplies.
She added that in addition to facilitating and supporting a coordinated Government-led recovery and reconstruction area, no effort should be spared to continue strengthening the rule of law institutions and the Haitian National Police. Despite progress, the National Police were yet to become operationally independent. Work on the “HNP Strategic Plan 2017-2021” was reaching its final stages, identifying areas in which continued specialized support for further institutional and operational improvement of the national Police were needed.
The impact of Hurricane Matthew on the political process and on stability in the country could only serve to reconfirm the Secretary-General’s recommendation for a six-month extension of the Mission, at the current force and police strength, until 15 April 2017, she said in conclusion.
DAVID PRESSMAN (United States), describing “searing” and heart-breaking images emerging from Haiti following Hurricane Matthew, called on the international community to do everything it could to support the country. The United States had already made $1.3 million available to recovery efforts following the storm, however much more remained to be done. “Haiti needs assistance as soon as possible, and it is up to all of us to contribute,” he said. He urged the Haiti Government to continue to move forward with elections as soon as possible, stressing that strong leaders would be needed to help the country recover and build a prosperous future. Indeed, the storm should not be allowed to reverse the country’s impressive electoral gains. Calling on the Government to remain politically neutral and not to support any one candidate or party, he called on the parties to engage peacefully in the political process. Recalling that the United States was among those providing electoral observers, he strongly urged all Haitians to go to the polls confident that the election’s outcome would reflect their voices.
YURIY VITRENKO (Ukraine) conveyed his condolences to the Haitian people on the loss of lives and destruction of homes in Hurricane Mathew. He noted that an estimated 3.6 million people, one third of Haiti’s population, faced food insecurity after three years of severe drought, and that over 23,000 suspected cholera cases and 211 deaths were reported in the first seven months of 2016. In addition, over 61,000 individuals remained internally displaced since the 2010 earthquake. It was during such natural hazards as Hurricane Matthew and the 2010 earthquake that the near-absence of Haiti’s State governance became most visible. A lack of political progress and the inability of players to reach compromises and adopt long-overdue decisions had kept the country on a perpetual verge of collapse of its State machinery. He welcomed the Secretary-General’s recommendation for a six-month extension of the mandate of MINUSTAH and to deploy a strategic assessment mission by the end of that period.
MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) said his country was working to identify the most pressing humanitarian needs and had sent experts and relief suppliers to the region, as well as financial assistance. Democracy was essential for Haiti’s path forward. The decision to postpone elections was unfortunate but understandable. That decision would ensure that authorities could focus fully on reconstruction, but he urged nevertheless for moving forward towards elections. With hundreds of lives lost it would be easy to lose sight of achievements. The National Police continued to improve. Such progress must be consolidated and ensuring the National Police could stand on its own feet was paramount. Recent events had demonstrated vulnerability to national disasters. The country needed long-term development aid and support for the police. He welcomed the work on a joint transition plan so that the Mission could quickly hand over responsibilities to a country team.
KORO BESSHO (Japan) expressed his country’s sorrow and solidarity with the Haitian people. Japan was joining the humanitarian effort supplying emergency relief. Given the magnitude of the hurricane, it was inevitable to postpone the 9 October elections, and Japan looked forward to an announcement of a new electoral calendar by 12 October. A fair, transparent and smooth election was essential. “Public and international trust depend on this,” he said. The role of MINUSTAH was highlighted, as was the strengthened capacity of the National Police. Japan looked forward to the Secretary-General’s recommendations on the future United Nations role in Haiti. The hurricane was likely to worsen the cholera issue that had plagued Haiti, and the best measures against maladies like cholera were poverty reduction and improved infrastructure, with a focus on water, sanitation and hygiene. Nationally led development and strengthened institutions would help the Haitian people weather any storm, and Japan stood ready to help along the way.
SITI HAJJAR ADNIN (Malaysia), noting that Hurricane Matthew had dealt a severe blow to Haiti, expressed her conviction that the country’s people would nevertheless rise to the challenges before them. Calling on Member States to meet the United Nations flash appeal as soon as possible, she said the costs of rebuilding after the storm would be immense. In the short term, quick-impact projects should be identified with a view to help stabilize the situation and ensure food security for the most vulnerable. She expressed hope that the presidential elections would take place as soon as possible in order to ensure that Haiti continued to move down the path towards development and constitutional order. The Special Representative should continue her good offices work and with the interim administration prioritize the safety, security and welfare of the civilian population. She supported the extension of the MINUSTAH mandate for a period of six months, adding that the Secretariat should soon undertake preparatory work on the Organization’s future presence in Haiti, with a full strategic assessment taking place after the new President’s election.
IHAB MOUSTAFA AWAD MOUSTAFA (Egypt) said Haiti was at a turning point in its history as it faced enormous humanitarian, political, security and economic challenges. The joint support of the international community would be vital, he said, noting that Hurricane Matthew had destroyed basic infrastructure and exacerbated the existing cholera epidemic. Urging the international community to step up its immediate support, he said MINUSTAH — to which Egypt contributed police officers — played an important role in the country’s relief and rescue operations. On the issue of MINUSTAH’s mandate renewal, he said a strategic assessment of the United Nations presence in Haiti was needed, including real solutions to deal with the underlying causes of the country’s instability. Indeed, as the Council considered the mandate, it should be pointed out that, despite the relative drop in crime, the number of protests in Haiti had recently increased, demonstrating the country’s fragile situation. Among other things, he called for a genuine partnership with the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission in order to bring a more global form of aid to Haiti.
JULIO HELDER MOURA LUCAS (Angola) said the disaster had led to the postponement of the elections. The political gains achieved, now washed away by the hurricane, had been possible due to the outstanding work of the Government and MINUSTAH. In spite of the calm prior to the hurricane, the fragility of the country, however, was a cause of concern. The increase of political promoted violence had worsened the security situation. Robust joint patrols had resulted, however, in a decline in the crime rate. He was encouraged that the Government was fulfilling its commitment to elections through the signing of the integrated security plan for the elections. The cooperation established between the Government and partners provided logistical support and training of electoral officials. He supported the recommendation to extend the Mission’s mandate for a further six months and urged all national actors to pursue the political process and to continue support for respect for the rule of law and human rights. He hoped that once the humanitarian crisis had been overcome, Haiti would swiftly resume the electoral process.
RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela), associating himself with the Friends of Haiti, said his country had created an air bridge to provide humanitarian assistance, including drinking water, food and medicine. He encouraged the international community to step up its cooperation with Haiti, and regretted the fact that the disaster had happened just days before the scheduled presidential and legislative elections. It was important that the electoral process would be completed soon. All political actors had to demonstrate their will to complete the electoral process and put the interest of Haitians beyond their own interests. The recent political events showed the fragile nature of its institutions. There was a need to enhance national capacity in order to achieve stability and development. He was concerned at the increased number of cholera cases and deaths caused by the disease. That highlighted the need to enhance the health institutions. He was also concerned at the food and security situation as a result of climate change. In the current of political insecurity, assistance should be maintained and the presence of the MINUSTAH was necessary, he said, supporting extension of the Mission for six months.
ALEXIS LAMEK (France) said his country had decided to respond without delay to the appeal for humanitarian assistance by Haitian authorities, and called on the international community to respond to the urgent appeal by the United Nations for further support. “This terrible drama reminds us again of the extent of the humanitarian challenges facing Haiti and its population,” he said. His Government was particularly concerned about the resurgence of cholera in Haiti, and recalled the Secretary-General’s appeal to the international community to strengthen its efforts to combat that disease in the country. Furthermore, France hoped that the electoral process under way would be finalized at the earliest date possible to put to end a period of uncertainty. His delegation supported the recommendations presented in a previous report by the Secretary-General, particularly with regard to the extension of the Mission mandate by six months. By the end of that period, a strategic review would determine if the conditions had been met for a possible withdrawal of MINUSTAH in favour of a new form of United Nations presence.
LIU JIEYI (China), calling upon the international community to actively provide Haiti with humanitarian assistance in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, stressed that development was the fundamental way to enhance the country’s disaster resilience and held the “master key” to its future. In that regard, he hoped the Government of Haiti would put in place a strategy to advance agriculture and other sectors, promote the rule of law and ensure the interests of vulnerable groups. For its part, the international community should honour its assistance commitments in a timely manner and help the country stand on its own feet. Recognizing the important role MINUSTAH had played, he said peacekeeping operations should be adjusted in line with the situation on the ground and with an overall view to withdrawal. The Mission should consider withdrawing at an appropriate time and should not stay in Haiti endlessly. In that regard, he expressed hope that the Government, along with the United Nations, would quickly assess the situation and make arrangements for the Organization’s future presence in the country.
CAROLYN SCHWALGER (New Zealand) urged all Haitian political actors to do everything in their power to ensure that the electoral process commenced as soon as possible, in stable conditions and without violence. She also called on all relevant actors to spare no effort to ensure elections were free, fair, inclusive and transparent. MINUSTAH continued to play an important role, however, it “cannot stay forever” and needed to evolve as the situation on the ground allowed. It was important to lay the foundation for that transition to happen smoothly and responsibly. That added further urgency to the need to ensure a duly elected and legitimate President was inaugurated in 2017. New Zealand urged the United Nations to do all it could to engage relevant stakeholders when assessing future presence in Haiti. The Organization had a responsibility to help address and end the outbreak of cholera and to provide support to victims of the disease.
ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay), associating himself with the Group of Friends of Haiti, said he was pleased to see that humanitarian assistance was already arriving in the country and that there would be a new focus by the Secretary-General in facing the cholera epidemic. He welcomed the continuing progress achieved by the National Police. Even in those difficult circumstances, he said, authorities were prepared to organize elections as soon as possible. He hoped a new timetable for elections would be provided soon. A strategic assessment would allow for determining what type of United Nations presence would be required in Haiti. A gradual drawdown should begin and lead to a transition to other agencies.
ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI (Spain), associating himself with the European Union, said the tragic situation in Haiti underlined the urgent need to have an elected Government which could offer strong institutions for development. It was vital, therefore, to establish as soon as possible a new date for the holding elections. The return of the country to constitutional order was more important than ever. The role of the Mission was fundamental to ensure security in the country. He supported renewal of the Mission’s mandate until 17 April 2017 at the current level of troops and police. When conditions allowed, a strategic assessment mission should be sent to assess the role of the Organization after the mandate expired. Any decision on MINUSTAH must be taken in a flexible manner, depending on changes in the political and security situation. It was important that the assessment mission be deployed once a newly elected President had taken office.
GORGUI CISS (Senegal) said Hurricane Matthew had complicated lives that were already difficult in Haiti. Urging the international community to rally to provide assistance commensurate with the damage suffered by the population, he said the postponement of presidential elections provided a “new test” for Haiti’s Government. Senegal would continue to support the work of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, as well as provide police units to MINUSTAH. In that regard, he supported the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ recommendations and urged the Council to continue to provide its full support to the Mission.
PETR ILIICHEV (Russian Federation), Council President for October, spoke in his national capacity, expressing hope that Haiti would be able to quickly rebuild following Hurricane Matthew. More than three months after the expiry date of the country’s presidential term, its legislative bodies had still not taken appropriate action, and Haiti continued to face political uncertainty. Welcoming efforts to ensure that elections went smoothly, he urged all stakeholders to continue to work to conclude the electoral process, stressing that “Haiti cannot afford any new stalemates” in light of its already-existing challenges. Expressing concern about the recent surge in cholera cases, he welcomed United Nations efforts to curb the epidemic, which must be accompanied by the Government’s provision of water, sanitation and health services. It was encouraging that levels of crime in Haiti had been contained and that the police had been able to control mass events, he said, calling for the Haitian National Police to become fully operational as soon as possible. Following the swearing in of the new President, the United Nations presence in Haiti should be reviewed and plans made for a gradual drawdown.
DENIS RÉGIS (Haiti) expressed the “heartfelt” gratitude of his country’s people and Government for the demonstrations of solidarity following the destructive strike of Hurricane Matthew with its inestimable consequences. He said the electoral process was crucial for long-term stability in the country. The return to constitutional order in February was a binding obligation of the Government. The Government was creating conditions conducive to convening presidential and legislative elections which would be free and fair. The elections must be fair and transparent in order to dispel the political uncertainty and overcome the constitutional crisis. The support of MINUSTAH to the National Police to bolster security at the elections remained key.
He said that the forthcoming Government would have to define the terms of reference for an assessment mission in cooperation with the Council to define a transition from MINSUTAH towards a future mission. That mission must take into account the changing situation on the ground, as well as the short- and long-term needs for security. Haitian institutions must progressively perform the functions handed to them by the Mission.
The reappearance of cholera had compounded an already troubling health situation, he said. New talks on the disease must start at the highest levels. He welcomed establishment of a programme of action by the Secretary-General which should offer material support to those directly affected by the epidemic. The Secretary-General had recognized that the United Nations had a moral responsibility to the victims of the epidemic, given the role it played in the outbreak of the epidemic. That attitude sent a clear message to the international community that there was a need for deeds to help Haiti. It was more than a moral imperative, he said, it was a duty of international solidarity.
Welcoming the announced flash appeal, he said that the Government hoped that international solidarity would mesh with the efforts of local stakeholders within the framework of existing cooperation mechanisms. The upcoming elections would be a test for stability, a modern economy and development, and the Government intended to rise to that challenge. He called for cooperation with all partners, in particular on the logistical and financial fronts, so that the Provisional Electoral Council could succeed in its mission.
ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil) said the Haitian authorities should not reduce impetus to organize elections as soon as possible, despite the justifiable postponement due to Hurricane Mathew. Haiti’s political actors should work cooperatively, joining forces in prioritizing the country’s return to full constitutional normality by completing the electoral process. It was also critical for Haiti’s political actors to spare no effort in encouraging citizens to develop a higher level of involvement in the upcoming elections. The security situation had remained relatively calm but fragile, due to prevailing political uncertainty. Security concerns included gang activity, smuggling of weapons and politically motivated violence. Despite its enhanced performance in preventing crimes and controlling civil unrest, the police force would not reach the target of 15,000 officers by the end of 2016. The humanitarian situation continued to raise concerns, as Hurricane Mathew had worsened living conditions for a significant number of internally displaced people, currently totalling 61,000. There had been an increase in the number of new cholera cases and a decrease in levels of food and nutrition security in rural areas.
JOÃO VALDE DE ALMEIDA, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, said Haiti was in a state of great fragility. Political and institutional stability was an urgent necessity for the country, which faced economic, social and environmental challenges, he said. Haiti had to return, as much as possible, to normal constitutional order with a President and a Government appointed through transparent, inclusive and credible elections.
The Union called on all political actors in Haiti to do everything possible to finalize the election cycle and support the return of constitutional order. Institutional stability was paramount for European aid to be effective and provide lasting benefits to the population, he stated. The Union commended the professionalism of the National Police, who had been successful in managing recent events in a largely autonomous fashion. The presence of MINUSTAH and its role in supporting elections was important to guarantee the continuation of the process, as well as securing peace and stability, he said. The Union favoured an extension of the Mission’s mandate, and when conditions permitted, an assessment based on the Secretary-General’s recommendations of its future.
JUAN SANDOVAL MENDIOLEA (Mexico) committed his country to working with the international community to combat Haiti’s cholera epidemic and provide basic services to the population. Despite delays in the electoral process due to Hurricane Matthew, it was important to recognize that the country’s political actors had made substantial progress. Stressing that there could be no further postponement, he expressed concern over recent increases in Haiti’s food insecurity and cholera cases, emphasizing that the international community must help ensure that those challenges did not jeopardize the country’s future. As the role of MINUSTAH remained vital, the proposed drawdown should be gradual and cautious one, he said, adding that Mexico would continue to work to establish the basis for a lasting and sustainable peace in Haiti.
CARLOS ARTURO MORALES LÓPEZ (Colombia), associating himself with the Group of Friends of Haiti, said his country had already provided humanitarian assistance to the country and would continue to do so. Emphasizing the importance of ensuring that Haiti’s elections took place in a free, fair and peaceful environment, he said Hurricane Matthew should not lead to any further delays. Colombia remained concerned over the increased numbers of cholera cases and related deaths, he said, commending the “priceless” work of MINUSTAH and stressing that any decision on the Mission’s presence should be taken in the context of the situation on the ground to avoid a frustration of the progress already achieved.
CARLOS OLGUÍN CIGARROA (Chile), associating himself with the Group of Friends of Haiti, reminded the international community of its obligation to continue to support the country. The impact of Hurricane Matthew must be seen in the context of Haiti’s chronic vulnerability, he stressed, underscoring the need to enhance the emergency response as it related to food insecurity and the cholera epidemic. Expressing confidence that the electoral timetable would be resumed once the emergency situation was stabilized, he expressed support for the Secretary-General’s proposal and emphasized the need to continue work to build the capacity of the Haitian National Police and support the rule of law, democracy and human rights in the country. The Haitian people had long demonstrated unequalled resilience, he said, expressing confidence that they would meet the challenges posed by Hurricane Matthew. Concluding, he called on the Council to renew the MINUSTAH mandate by consensus.
GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru), speaking for the Group of Friends of Haiti, said he regretted the tragic loss of life and devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew. His Group recognized the postponement of the 9 October elections in the revised electoral calendar due to the hurricane, but strongly wished that Mathew’s consequences would not jeopardize revised deadlines, and urged the Government to hold elections soon. It also recognized the increased capacity of the Haitian National Police and the role of MINUSTAH in ensuring stability and security in the country. He stressed the importance of the commitment by the Government to strengthen rule of law and make further progress in the judiciary and security sectors. However, he noted with concern the slow progress towards consolidating rule of law and called on Haiti’s Government to address deficiencies in the justice and corrections system, prolonged pre-trial detention, prison overcrowding, wide-spread corruption and denial of human rights, including fair trial guarantees. The Group also noted with concern that food insecurity was prevalent even before the current flooding of farm lands and loss of livestock.
MICHAEL GRANT (Canada) said that his country had rapidly deployed its disaster assessment team to Haiti, working closely with the authorities and international humanitarian organizations to assess the most pressing needs. More than $4.5 million had been allocated in response to urgent needs, and through humanitarian agencies of the United Nations, humanitarian assistance was being delivered. He urged Haitian authorities to pursue the electoral process and provide an election date as soon as possible, encouraging all political actors to contribute. Reiterating Canada’s support for MINUSTAH, he said that it played an essential role in supporting the national police and maintaining a stable and secure environment. “Although it is clear that progress has been made in building the operational capacity of the Haitian National Police, we must be pragmatic,” he said, emphasizing that the security situation still remained fragile.
MARTÍN GARCÍA MORITÁN (Argentina), associating himself with the Group of Friends of Haiti, said that the Argentinian mobile hospital with 12 doctors, which was part of MINSUTAH, had been deployed to Les Cayes on 7 October. The White Helmets of Argentina were providing humanitarian assistance to the people. He asked the Government of Haiti to renew its commitment to elections and announce a new electoral timetable as soon as possible. He hoped that a draft resolution would be adopted by consensus by the Council.