Justice Support Operation to Replace Stabilization Mission in Haiti on 15 October, Special Representative Tells Security Council

SC/13026
12 October 2017
8068th Meeting (AM)

Justice Support Operation to Replace Stabilization Mission in Haiti on 15 October, Special Representative Tells Security Council

The United Nations peacekeeping operation in Haiti would close on 15 October and be replaced the following day by a smaller successor mission to help the Government consolidate stability, implement institutional reforms and enhance the rule of law, human rights and governance, the United Nations top official in the country told the Security Council this morning.

Recalling the climate of lawlessness and impunity that had plagued the nation when the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was established, Sandra Honoré, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of MINUSTAH, said that, today, 13 and a half years later, Haiti had a different outlook despite many challenges.  There was greater security and stability.  Armed gangs no longer held the population hostage.  A 14,000‑strong capable police force existed.  All three branches of power were in place, with directly elected officials, denoting progress in the implementation of the Constitution.  In four days, the new United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) would become operational.

“It is against this background that I am encouraged by the overall direction that the current Administration has adopted,” she said, stressing that there was no doubt that the achievements, while significant, were only first steps.  Immediate improvements had yet to be felt in rural areas.  Amid a climate of socioeconomic grievances, the maintenance of stability might depend on the Administration’s ability to move more swiftly to implement reforms based on dialogue with different sectors and under a unified national vision, she said.  She also stressed the need for continued stability, with established rule of law and human rights for all Haitians.

The representative of Haiti said democracy, strengthening State institutions, promotion and protection of human rights, and bolstering national institutions to face challenges were the continuing focus of the Administration, as was the fight against corruption.  In areas identified as having seen only limited progress — including the judiciary, human rights in the penal system and the adoption of needed legislative changes — he assured the Council that the Government was focused on finding solutions.  National dialogue would be pursued to make national rebuilding a project of the entire population.  Building a national army focused on development was part of that effort.

Welcoming the mandate of MINUJUSTH in strengthening the rule of law and respect for human rights, he maintained that such work should no longer be done under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, with respect to threats to international security, but under Chapter VI, and that that matter must be revisited.  He stressed that cooperation with the United Nations, in the new era, must become more dynamic and allow the country to take ownership and move towards sustainable development.

In the ensuing debate, speakers welcomed advancements since the establishment of MINUSTAH, pointing to progress toward stability, security and democracy.  Several speakers noted that the drawdown of the Mission’s military and police personnel had not impacted the security situation.  The representative of the United States, echoed by other speakers, said the transition to MINUJUSTH in Haiti was a model example of how United Nations missions should adapt as realities on the ground changed.  The United Kingdom’s representative pointed out in that regard that the two-year transition period could set precedence for future peacekeeping missions.

Peru’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti, recognized the MINUSTAH’s important role in strengthening the rule of law and improving socioeconomic conditions, which were essential to bring about greater prosperity and stability.  More progress must be made in the judicial sphere, strengthening democratic institutions, the rule of law and human rights, and empowering women.  Haiti continued to face significant humanitarian challenges and was exposed to natural disasters.  It was therefore essential to bring about lasting stability accompanied by sustainable development.

Brazil’s representative said MINUSTAH, under Brazil’s command, had shown the potential for innovative approaches that could serve as a model for other peacekeeping missions.  The approach to create trust-building measures, the inclusion of women in all areas of the Mission, and quick impact projects, among other things, had been crucial for the consolidation of the rule of law.  MINUSTAH had always been rigorous in dealing with the rare cases of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers.  The success of the new Mission would depend on its ability to establish partnerships and mutual understanding with the Government.

Noting that the socioeconomic situation was still fragile and progress in the rule of law and human rights was slow, Uruguay’s representative said he shared the concern of many regarding the process of remobilizing Haiti’s armed forces.  Noting that there was no risk of external aggression, he said all efforts should be concentrated on development and strengthening of institutional structures.  Argentina’s representative said in that regard that the development of the armed forces should not negatively impact development of the National Police.

Echoing other speakers, the representative of the Russian Federation stressed the importance of national ownership.  The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Haiti should be guided by the Mission’s mandate and by the principle of national ownership, he said, stressing that programmes in security, politics and development must be framed by the Government.  All national stakeholders had a shared responsibility for maintaining peace.  A strong Government and a cohesive society could help in overcoming the consequences of natural disasters.

Many speakers welcomed the new approach by the Organization to the cholera epidemic in Haiti and called for contributions to the United Nations Haiti Cholera Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund.  The United Nations had a moral debt to Haiti regarding the cholera epidemic, Mexico’s representative said in that regard.

All speakers paid tribute to the men and women of MINUSTAH, to the troop- and police-contributing countries, and to those who had lost their lives in helping the country.

The representatives of Italy, Bolivia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, China, Japan, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Sweden, France, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile and Jamaica (on behalf of the Caribbean Community) also spoke, as did the European Union.

The meeting started at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 12:56 p.m.

Briefing

SANDRA HONORÉ, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), said that, when the Mission was established, a climate of lawlessness and impunity plagued the country.  State authority was weak and the three branches of power were either not functioning or non-existent.  Today, 13 and a half years later, Haiti had a different outlook despite many challenges.  There was greater security and stability.  Armed gangs no longer held the population hostage.  A 14,000‑strong capable police force existed.  All three branches of power were in place, with directly elected officials, denoting progress in the implementation of the Constitution.

There was no doubt that the achievements, while significant, were only first steps.  “Tireless efforts will be required, not only by the Haitian authorities, but by all Haitian actors, to consolidate these gains, ensure continued political stability, sustain and reinforce the functioning of the democratic institutions and further improve their delivery in the interest of the Haitian people, with the continued support of Haiti’s international friends and partners,” she said.  “It is against this background that I am encouraged by the overall direction that the current Administration has adopted.”

The President had taken steps to modern the State to better serve the people, particularly by launching the development programme “Caravan of Change” aimed at increasing agricultural production and improving living conditions, especially in rural areas, she said.  He had initiated steps towards fiscal austerity, spoken out against corruption, presented the contours of institutional reform and called for a nation-wide dialogue on Haiti’s future.  Immediate improvements had yet to be felt by most people, particularly in poor urban areas and the political situation remained fragile, however.

The widely contested 2017-2018 budget, stalled indirect elections, disagreement over the Armed Forces of Haiti and the absence of significant improvement in living conditions had reopened some divisions between the Government and the political opposition, she said.  Amid a climate of wide-spread socioeconomic grievances and strained relations, the maintenance of stability in the longer run might depend on the ability of the Administration to move more swiftly to implement reforms based on dialogue with different sectors and under a unified national vision.  A steady pace of concrete steps toward a broad institutional reform process aimed at strengthening democratic structures was necessary, as well.

“I am convinced that the country can still make full use of the current window of opportunity created by the stabilization efforts of the past decade, including with the support provided through MINUSTAH, and the near-completion of the electoral process 2015-2017,” she said.  The most urgent task at hand was to ensure the conditions for continued stability, with established rule of law and human rights for all Haitians.  That could not occur without a fully functioning, independent judiciary and a non-politicized police force.  A constitutional council and a permanent electoral council were also necessary.

In four days, the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) would become operational to help consolidate stability, implement institutional reforms and enhance the rule of law, human rights and governance, she said.  Timely adoption of a legal framework regulating the Mission’s status would be important in that regard.  Coordinated support by United Nations agencies and the Special Envoy for Haiti would be key to putting the country on the path to sustainable development.  The Organization would make every effort to assist the Government in alleviating the suffering caused by the cholera epidemic.  MINUSTAH would close on 15 October and be replaced by MINUJUSTH.

Statements

MICHELE J. SISON (United States) said that the transition to MINUJUSTH in Haiti was a model example of how United Nations missions should adapt as realities on the ground changed.  The staffing of the new Mission was appropriate to help implement justice sector priorities that had been identified and for the continued development of the police sector and reform of the penal system.  She saluted MINUSTAH and its leadership and troop-contributing countries for their commitment to working with the Government of Haiti for completion of the mandate.  Haiti’s new agenda could now only be shaped by the people themselves.  She called on them to take the opportunity to ensure that gains were consolidated and benefitted the people.  Her country looked forward to continuing its partnership with Haiti for stability, prosperity and democratic progress.

INIGO LAMBERTINI (Italy), aligning himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, said that the transition in Haiti was window of opportunity for Haitians to conduct the reforms necessary for a prosperous future, including a stable rule of law and fair access to development.  Inclusive dialogue was essential for those purposes as was the equal participation of women.  Priority and resources must be devoted for further development of the security sector to consolidate national capacities for maintaining peace and preventing conflict.  He looked forward to the total transfer of all powers to Haitian authorities, and the maximum use of good offices by MINUJUSTH.  He also hoped for a speedy operationalization of the new Mission and noted Italy’s support to Haiti in a variety of areas, including the fight against cholera.

JUAN MARCELO ZAMBRANA TORRELIO (Bolivia) paid tribute to the accomplishments of MINUSTAH, noting that his country had participated in its work.  He congratulated the Mission also on its successful preparation for the transition to MINUJUSTH.  Supporting the wish of Haiti for the Mission to be deployed under Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter rather than Chapter VII, he cautioned, however, that unresolved issues should not be put aside.  He welcomed, in that light, the new approach in the fight against cholera.  He called for adequate compensation for victims and fulfilment of obligations under the approach in close coordination with the new Mission.  A full sanitation plan was needed, utilizing the proposed Haiti Cholera Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund.  Regarding sexual abuse, he underlined the need for zero tolerance, a targeted trust fund and other substantial measures.  Strengthening institutions of rule of law throughout the country was also a priority.  He welcomed reforms proposed by Haiti in that area and others, which showed the Government’s commitment to democracy and stability.  In that context, he affirmed national ownership in all areas, assisted by the international community.

STEPHEN HICKEY (United Kingdom) said MINUSTAH’s legacy included less violence, a stable security environment and a more democratic structure in Haiti.  Gains made must be protected, however.  While the Status of Forces Agreement had not yet been signed, MINUJUSTH was on track to deliver such help, provided it had the necessary support.  The Mission should work closely with the country team.  Haiti did not need an indefinite peacekeeping operation.  The two-year transition period as foreseen marked an opportunity for the United Nations to set a precedence for other peacekeeping missions.  Lessons had to be learned from the cholera epidemic and the sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers.  The single most important guarantor for progress rested with the Haitians, he said.  Security could not be achieved unless the independence of the police was protected.  Human rights could not be protected without its proper institutionalization.  More women should be empowered as political leaders.

ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay), associating himself with the statement of Peru to be delivered on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti, said MINUSTAH had enabled Haiti to return to democracy and had helped the Government to strengthen its institutions and to strengthen the police force.  The socioeconomic situation was still fragile, however, and progress in the rule of law and human rights was slow.  There were still long preventive detentions and the protection of human rights of women was far from satisfactory.  Haiti was also plagued by corruption, and people still died from cholera.  He shared the concern of many on the process of re‑mobilizing the armed forces, saying that all efforts should be concentrated on development and strengthening of the institutional structure, noting that there was no risk of external aggression.

IHAB MOUSTAFA AWAD MOUSTAFA (Egypt) expressed gratitude to all those who had worked for security and stability in Haiti in the MINUSTAH era, welcoming the relative stability that had been achieved despite challenges.  It was incumbent now to provide support for sustaining peace.  He said that building institutions in rule of law and justice should be the focus of MINUJUSTH, in accordance with national needs and development plans.  Controversial tasks should not be taken on.  He commended efforts to build the security sector, and stressed that coordination between the new Mission and the United Nations country team was critical in the coming phase.  A partnership among Haiti, the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission would be helpful in that effort.  Underlining the obligation of the United Nations to end the cholera epidemic in Haiti, he stated that capabilities must be put in place for that purpose under the new approach that had been announced.  Sexual exploitation must be ended, as well, with past crimes investigated.  Lessons learned from MINUSTAH, and its transition to MINUJUSTH must be compiled and applied to future missions.

KAIRAT UMAROV (Kazakhstan) paid tribute to the work to the MINUSTAH and the commitment of the Government of Haiti to building on its progress.  He looked forward to the new Mission working with the Government to consolidate all accomplishments and supported the configuration of the new mission, stressing the importance of a focus on the security/development nexus.  Continued capacity building in all rule of law and justice areas was critical.  The human rights situation should be closely monitored and a zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse must be strictly enforced.  Intersectoral work must be encouraged, with partnerships between civil society and the private sector and the full participation of women.  His country had contributed significantly to Haiti.  Supporting full efforts in the fight against cholera, he pledged Kazakhstan’s continued partnership with the country.

WU HAITAO (China), paying tribute to those who had worked for stability in Haiti, he remembered those who had given their lives for the effort, including eight from China.  He called for the new Mission to work closely with all partners in consolidating progress.  MINUJUSTH could not stay in Haiti indefinitely, he stressed, and in that context national ownership must be underlined along with capacity-building.  He called for adequate international support to be provided to fight against cholera and achieve sustainable development.

YASUHISA KAWAMURA (Japan), noting the participation of self-defence force personnel in MINUSTAH, said his country looked forward to working with the new Mission and the Government to strengthen rule-of-law institutions and further develop the Haitian National Police.  While Haiti was on the path to further consolidating its democracy, national unity and stability, it still faced enormous peacebuilding and development needs.  “We must support Haiti now to ensure its self-reliance in the future,” he said, emphasizing the crucial role to be played by the international community and the United Nations country team, with the ownership of the Haitian authorities.  Turning to the cholera outbreak, he said Japan had provided more than $9 million through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other international organizations since 2010 with a focus on water, sanitation and hygiene-related facilities, and it would continue its support.

PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said that progress had been achieved since the adoption of Council resolution 2350 (2017), noting that the withdrawal of the military component had not negatively affected the security situation.  However, crime continued to be a matter of concern, he said and hoped that the national police should consider the matter a top priority.  As the transition to the MINUJUSTH would start on 15 October, the Resident Coordinator should be guided by the Mission’s mandate and by the principle of national ownership, he said, stressing that programmes in security politics and development must be framed by the Government.  All national stakeholders had a shared responsibility for maintaining peace.  A strong Government and a cohesive society could help in overcoming the consequences of natural disasters.

GORGUI CISS (Senegal) said the new chapter in the United Nations presence in Haiti was an illustration of progress achieved by the people of Haiti and the United Nations.  He mentioned in that regard the election of the President, the improved security situation and the work to improve socioeconomic development through the “Caravan of Change” development programme.  MINUSTAH, despite difficulties caused by cholera and sexual abuse and exploitation, could be proud of its achievements. Several challenges should still be addressed to consolidate the fragile progress.  MINUJUSTH should focus on training of the Haitian National Police.  The mechanisms of oversight and accountability as well as the defence of human rights should be strengthened.  The Mission deserved the Council’s full support.

MAHLET HAILU (Ethiopia) said today marked the end of one chapter in the United Nations presence in Haiti and the beginning of another.  MINUSTAH had played an important role over 13 years, although its image was tarnished by its handling of the cholera outbreak.  In that regard, the international community must support the Government of Haiti in eliminating the disease.  With Haiti still facing enormous challenges and vulnerabilities, decisive steps must be taken towards greater social and political cohesion and to reinforce State institutions.  The sustained and coordinated engagement of all bilateral and international national partners would be critical, as well to secure sustainable development in Haiti in a manner that respected its sovereignty.  Noting his country’s “very modest contribution” of police personnel to MINUSTAH, he thanked Ms. Honoré for her service and hoped Ms. Sheeran would build partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders to support the United Nations ongoing work in Haiti.

YOLODYMYR YELCHENKO (Ukraine), paying special tribute to those who had served in MINUSTAH, said Haiti should waste no time in making full use of its current window of opportunity.  While MINUJUSTAH should provide crucial support, the commitment of the Haitian authorities was essential to guarantee success, he said, emphasizing also the need for continued efforts by the international community, multilateral agencies, regional partners and individual States.  He noted his country’s contribution to the United Nations Haiti Cholera Response Multi-Partner Fund, as well as its concern about sexual exploitation and abuse related to the United Nations presence in Haiti.  Concluding, he said no progress would be made without the strong will of the Haitian people, who in the past had demonstrated remarkable resilience in rebuilding their country against all odds.

CARL SKAU (Sweden), associating himself with the statement to be made by the European Union, underscoring the challenges facing Haiti, said its Government must spare no effort in delivering on its commitments.  Noting that Sweden would contribute 10 police officers to MINUJUSTH, he said the partnership among Haiti, bilateral donors and the United Nations would need to evolve in order to provide the most appropriate model of support.  The new Mission must continue its predecessor’s efforts in protecting and promoting women’s rights.  The election of women to more than 30 per cent of municipal and local positions would hopefully lead to increased women’s participation at the national level.  On sexual exploitation and abuse, he said victims must be protected, assisted and provided with necessary rehabilitation, and perpetrators brought to justice.   Sweden was currently exploring how best to support the Trust Fund.

FRANÇOIS DELATRE (France), aligning himself with the statements to be made on behalf of the European Union and the Group of Friends of Haiti, paid tribute to the work done during the past 13 years by the leaders of MINUSTAH and their teams and the “remarkable engagement” of troop-contributing countries, remembering also those who lost their lives in service, notably in the 2010 earthquake.  MINUJUSTH must build on their success by meeting the objectives set out in Council resolution 2350 (2017) with particular attention to strengthening an independent judiciary, development of a penal system suitable for the needs of the country and respect for the rights of detainees and other rule-of-law concerns.  Human rights overall must be a priority for the new Mission and the subject of comprehensive reporting to the Council.  Political priorities, however, must only be determined by the Haitian people and Government in the years to come, and shape a new relationship with its international partners in the context of the quest for sustainable development.

DENIS REGIS (Haiti) welcomed the Secretary-General’s report for its lucid analysis of the accomplishments of MINUSTAH, as well as its acknowledgement of progress in consolidation of stability made during the Administration of President Jovenel Moise.  Democracy, strengthening State institutions, promotion and protection of human rights, and bolstering national institutions to face challenges were indeed the continuing focus of the Administration, he said.  Along with the areas cited by the Secretary-General in which the Government was assuming leadership, he added the fight against corruption, which he stated was central to the President’s programme of action.  In areas identified as having seen only limited progress — including the judiciary system, human rights in the penal system, delays in adoption of legislative changes needed — he assured the Council that the Government was focused on finding solutions.  National dialogue would be pursued to make national rebuilding a project of the entire population.  Building a national army focused on development was part of that effort.

Turning to the accomplishments of MINUSTAH, he said that there was success in most areas and the situation was completely different now than it was in 2004:  Haiti now was able to offer a secure and stable environment for recovery and development.  That progress must be built on.  Welcoming the wide range of MINUSTAH’s accomplishments, he said, on the other hand, that it was necessary to acknowledge “a major stain on that record” due to the cholera epidemic and the suffering that ensued.  He welcomed the Secretary-General’s new approach to the scourge, underlining the obligations to end the epidemic and ensure the sanitation improvements involved.  He called for the related trust fund to be adequately resourced.  Welcoming the mandate of MINUJUSTH in strengthening the rule of law and respect for human rights, he maintained, however, that such work should no longer be done under Chapter VII, with respect to threats to international security and the matter must be revisited.  Expressing gratitude to all the troop‑contributing countries and the leadership and personnel of MINUSTAH, he remembered all those who had given their lives, particularly in the context of the 2010 earthquake.

He stressed that cooperation with the United Nations, in the new era, must become more dynamic and allow the country to take ownership and move towards sustainable development.  He strongly hoped that MINUJUSTH collaborated successfully with his Government to build stability and growth and eliminate poverty.

GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA VELÁSQUEZ (Peru), speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti, recognized the important role of MINUSTAH in strengthening the rule of law and improving socioeconomic conditions, which were key to bring about greater prosperity and stability.  The security situation had not been affected by the withdrawal of MINSUTAH troops and the reduction of the United Nations police presence.  The strengthening of the Haitian police would be an important element of the successor Mission.  He stressed the importance of national ownership and urged the Government to strengthen the rule of law.  The “Caravan of Change” plan could address the serious development challenges facing the country.

He said progress must be made in the judicial sphere, strengthening democratic institutions, the rule of law and human rights, and empowering women. Haiti was facing many development challenges that required structural reforms.  He welcomed the new United Nations approach to the cholera epidemic and to give assistance to its victims.  Haiti continued to faced significant humanitarian challenges and was exposed to natural disasters.  It was therefore essential to bring about lasting stability accompanied with sustainable development.

JUAN SANDOVAL MENDIOLEA (Mexico) said the closure of MINUSTAH and establishment of a new Mission were positive developments and the Organization must support the Government in accordance with its own national priorities.  The country team should bring about coherence, coordination and transparency.  Genuine peace would lead to development.  The United Nations had a moral debt to Haiti regarding the cholera epidemic, and his country would allocate 100 per cent of the unencumbered balance of its contribution to MINUSTAH to the Trust Fund.  Strengthening of institutions, particularly the police, as well as strengthening the rule of law and protection of human rights, would require the international community’s continued support.

MARTÍN GARCÍA MORITÁN (Argentina), aligning himself with the Group of Friends of Haiti, recalled his country’s contributions to MINUSTAH.  He underscored the important achievements made despite the earthquake and hurricanes.  The country had now been stabilized with an elected President and an opportunity to achieve sustainable development.  He supported the zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as the new approach to combating cholera.  Consolidating rule of law, strengthening national police and defence of human rights were important parts of the work of the new Mission, he said, and expressed the hope that the development of the armed forces should not negatively impact the development plan of the police.

MARÍA EMMA MEJÍA VÉLEZ (Colombia), aligning herself with the Group of Friends of Haiti, said that the transition from MINUSTAH to MINUJUSTH showed how missions could be completed successfully and United Nations work adapted to changing situations.  Paying tribute to MINUSTAH’s accomplishments and leadership, she said that Colombia would continue to provide police trainers and other assistance for Haiti in collaboration with national plans.  She hoped that in the new phase, the brave people of Haiti, with whom Colombia had long stood together, would continue to flourish in independence.

JOAO PEDRO VALE DE ALMEIDA, Head of the European Union Delegation, affirming the importance of MINUSTAH’s work, said that the long periods of instability in the country seemed to be in the past despite continuing difficulties.  The return to constitutional order was not enough, however.  Brave reforms of the judicial system, the electoral system and in other areas were needed.  It was particularly important to ensure fair justice for everyone.  The historic opportunity offered by the current moment should not be lost, he stated, pledging the continued partnership of the European Union with Haiti in all efforts to build on progress.  As the security situation remained fragile, he stressed the importance in that context of continued strengthening of the police.  National leadership in all areas, including respect for human rights, must be consistently built in favour of peace and well-being for all the Haitian people.  Lessons learned from MINUSTAH should be applied to future operations.

RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) said that the links between his country and Haiti were strong, going back to the Bolivarian revolution that was supported by the island nation.  Acknowledging progress achieved in Haiti, he also noted the challenges that required continuing cooperation from the international community, citing structural harm that had been caused by colonialism and military interventions there.  Progress was needed in social development and the elimination of poverty, which had become more difficult in the context of natural disasters, many of which were exacerbated by climate change.  Noting his country’s assistance, he pledged continued support through energy cooperation and other efforts.  Venezuela’s support was focused on empowering the Haitian nation State; all funds provided were administered by Haitian authorities themselves.  On cholera, he welcomed the United Nations shouldering of responsibilities in its new approach and noted his country’s contribution to the trust fund.  He welcomed continued United Nations support to Haiti through MINUJUSTH, under national leadership, and a focus on building national security sectors.  Paying tribute to MINUSTAH’s work, he also recognized the accomplishments of Haitian President Moise, and he pledged continued solidarity between his country and Haiti.

CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile), aligning himself with the Group of Friends of Haiti, said his country had provided support to MINUSTAH from the beginning.  While the military presence of the United Nations had come to an end, support would continue to consolidate the achievement of the past 13 years, based on Haiti’s priorities.  He hoped that MINUJUSTH would make a concrete contribution toward the rule of law and stability.  The country team would play a key role in the development of Haiti.  A broad strategy was necessary to address the cholera epidemic and to achieve sustainable development.  He underlined the importance of strengthening the Haitian National Police, among other things, through the recruitment of women.

ALEX GIACOMELLI DA SILVA (Brazil) said MINUSTAH, under Brazil’s command, had shown the potential for innovative approaches that could serve as a model for other peacekeeping missions.  The approach to create trust-building measures, the inclusion of women in all areas of the Mission, and quick impact projects, among other things, had been crucial for the consolidation of the rule of law.  He supported integrated mandate approaches that promoted stabilization, development and human rights.  He also stressed the importance of the development of the Haitian National Police which was still facing challenges and called for increasing the participation of women.  MINUSTAH had always been rigorous in dealing with the rare cases of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers.  The success of the new Mission would depend on its ability to establish partnerships and mutual understanding with the Government.

COURTENAY RATTRAY (Jamaica), paying tribute to the accomplishments of MINUSTAH, said it was of paramount importance at this juncture to consolidate its wide-ranging gains through concerted efforts to expand access to justice and strengthen the institutions of the rule of law.  He therefore supported the United Nations continued presence and assistance in Haiti through effective partnership with the Government and people.  It was critical, in that context, to effectively address the cholera epidemic.  He welcomed the new approach and the opportunity to redirect funds to the Multi-Partner Trust Fund to respond to the scourge.  Penal reform, the promotion and protection of women’s rights and the situation of people returned from the Dominican Republic were other areas of priority concern.  In efforts in those and other areas, he urged MINUJUSTH to work in close cooperation with the United Nations country team, the Haitian authorities and other key stakeholders, in alignment with needs on the ground.  Affirming the importance of national leadership in all efforts, he reaffirmed his country’s long-term commitment to the Haitian people as they proceeded on the path towards sustainable development.

For information media. Not an official record.