Port-au-Prince

18 February 2022

Deputy Secretary-General's press encounter at the conclusion of her visit to Haiti

Moderator: Merci chers collègues de la presse écrite, radio, télé, en ligne et les autres, j’en passe probablement. Merci beaucoup d’être avec nous aujourd’hui. Je donne très rapidement le plancher à Madame la Secrétaire générale adjointe des Nations Unies, Amina Mohammed. 
Une question à la fois évidemment après ses mots d’introduction. Merci.  

Deputy Secretary-General: Good afternoon members of the press. Thank you for joining us here as we leave back to New York. I was here with you six months ago, when the tragedy of the earthquake came. We were in full gear to support the people of Haiti in the recovery. And I am back six months later to what was a very successful outing yesterday, where a Haitian plan and leadership was responded to with the international community's commitments of $600 million.
it is important that we are here because we understand in Haiti, that there was the humanitarian crisis as a result of the earthquake. But there was also a political crisis. There is also a security crisis. All these crises can be forgotten by the world because there are many other crises around the world. So for the UN, it is important that we keep the momentum and we keep the support for Haiti in its striving for peace and a resolution for its future.
In the last two days, of course I was at the conference, which was a success. Now we have to ensure that those resources, learning the lessons from the past, actually result in the lives of people in the southern peninsula. It gives us hope for the rest of the budget that is expected for the reconstruction in Haiti. But I also had many conversations with civil society, with students, with the women, with our own country teams. And I've come out of those discussions with a lot of hope and optimism that there is a pathway to peace and to successful elections in the future.
The UN continues to be at the disposal of the government and of the people of Haiti in their quest for a bright future. We will take questions.

Question: Madame la Secrétaire générale adjointe, je suis (inaudible) Je travaille pour Radio-télévision Métropole. Evidemment que le temps après le retrait de la mission onusienne, la Mission militaire des Nations Unies, d’Haïti, on a remarqué que l’insécurité galopante est évidente dans le pays. Est-ce que vous ne pensez pas que la mission des Nations Unies, la mission militaire a été un échec dans le pays puisque tout de suite après son départ, le pays sombre dans le chaos sur le plan sécuritaire d’abord? Vous avez rencontré les protagonistes dans le cadre de la crise socio-politique du pays. Vous avez été avec le Premier Ministre qui est accusé d’être de connivence avec les assassins de Jovenel Moïse. Vous avez rencontré les [inaudible] de l’accord de Montana. Qu’est-ce qui en est sorti donc? Une question à deux volets. Voilà. Merci 

Deputy Secretary-General: My impressions are that the decisions that our Member States took to move from a peacekeeping mission to a political mission was the right one, that the investments have been made for Haiti to begin strengthening its own institutions and taking hold of its own future. I believe there are still challenges, many challenges - that there is not a government that is in place, that the tragedy of the assassination of the president is a crisis that you have been dealing with and justice has to be had for that. But I believe that there is support that is coming to strengthen the police, to strengthen institutions, to support the multiple crises that Haiti faces. Ultimately, it is about Haiti's leadership, its people and its destiny. The challenges are Haitian, the solutions are Haitian, and the international community has to get behind and support those solutions that Haitians have expectations and aspirations for.

Question: Alors est-ce que ce n’est pas un échec pour les Nations Unies avec la Mission militaire qui est partie et qui, après son départ, le pays est dans le chaos sécuritaire notamment? 

Deputy Secretary-General: I do not believe that the departure of the UN peacekeeping mission is the cause for the challenges that you have today.

Moderator: On va passer à un autre journaliste. Monsieur 

Question: [In Creole on the cause of the crisis]

Deputy Secretary-General: The causes are complex in Haiti. You have humanitarian crisis, you have weak structures, you have a political crisis. You have the assassination of your President.  These are all things that you have to come together to find common ground and consensus around to move forward. And I think these are some of the reasons why there is so much instability in the country, so there has to be political will, there has to be an opening of an avenue for everyone to come to the table to discuss the future of Haiti.
Question: [In Creole then he switches to French] Concrètement, qu’est-ce qui va changer et comment aider la presqu’île du sud qui est séparée du reste du pays depuis plus de 6 mois à cause de la guerre des gangs à Martissant et de l’incapacité de la police à résoudre le problème.  

Deputy Secretary-General: Let me try to answer that one. I think what is different is that we've learned lessons that nations have to take leadership in the plans and in the specific investments that they see good for their people, in consultation with their people. And this plan was put together by the Haitian government. Of course, the international community has accompanied them. The investments are being made by the international community. And then there will be a mechanism for monitoring how this money is spent, and one that is shared with the communities and with the people of Haiti. So there is a difference – more transparency, better leadership of the national institutions and resources there to continue to strengthen the capacities of the institutions.  To ensure that these monies get into the hands and the people who need the most – the women, the children, the hospitals, the schools, the livelihoods that were lost in the southern peninsula.

Question: Concrètement, qu’est-ce que cela veut dire? [followed by question in creole]

Deputy Secretary-General: I don't know how granular you want me to be in the word concrete. But it is concrete to say you have a plan that has been designed by a country by several sectors education, housing, health, in which they state how many hospitals they need to repair how many schools need to be repaired, and the way and manner in which that money will be spent. That is as concrete as I can get to you today otherwise, I will be doing your plan for you. These plans in broad are what has solicited a response from the international community to support the reconstruction in the southern peninsula. The implementation of this plan, that is something that the government has to sit down with the southern peninsula, with civil society with the individual communities on how that is implemented. What happened yesterday is that there is a broad plan of the areas that reconstruction is needed in public services, essentially because that is what we need for people, but in an implementation plan and how that will be spent on a day-to-day basis. I must be humble enough to know that as a Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, I'm not going to tell you that.  That the government will tell you and it will tell you with the local communities.

Question: [In Creole on the accusations regarding the Prime Minister alleged involvement in the criminal activities that led to the death of the president]

Deputy Secretary-General: I came as a guest to this Government to a process that we support in order to get support for the victims of the earthquake. It is right that you say ‘alleged’. We don’t get involved in any investigations on that level. We are perfectly comfortable to be coming to this country to see, with the Government in place, how we can help support the people of Haiti. That is our priority.