The Security Council expressed its deep concern today at the political and multiple other protracted crises in Haiti, urging stakeholders to set aside their differences and calling upon them to prepare for free, fair, transparent and credible presidential elections later in 2021.
In presidential statement S/PRST/2021/7, issued by the representative of the United States, Council President for March, the 15-member organ expressed concern about the political, constitutional, humanitarian and security crises besetting Haiti, while stressing that primary responsibility to tackle the drivers of instability lies with the Government. Underscoring the need to address essential security, transparency and logistical considerations, it also reiterated the urgent need to hold free, fair, transparent and credible legislative elections, overdue since October 2019.
Noting with concern reported violations and abuses of international human rights, including some involving the alleged use of deadly force against protesters and reported arbitrary arrests and detentions, the Council called on the Government to respect the freedoms of expression and association. It also called upon the Inspector General of the Haitian National Police to conduct a thorough investigation of the reported incidents.
The Council also underlined the need for a coordinated response to the country’s deteriorating security situation, including gang-related criminal activities; spotlighted the importance of an independent judiciary; noted the need to ensure accountability for human rights violations; and stressed that women and all Haitians should play a meaningful role in the political process.
Council members noted their concern over growing food insecurity and malnutrition, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. They stressed the need for increased support and attention to Haiti’s humanitarian situation and development needs, as well as its efforts to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Reaffirming its support for Haiti’s people, the Council went on to call upon the international community to support the country’s electoral endeavours. Further, it reaffirmed its support for the efforts of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) and encouraged continued close collaboration between the mission and the United Nations country team, with a view to helping the Government take responsibility and realize Haiti’s long-term stability, development and economic self-sufficiency.