Check Against Delivery
This is the first time that the council deals with BINUH as a newly structured special political mission and this is a good opportunity to take stock on where we stand. I will confine myself to four aspects.
First of all I would like to say that we are also worried about the persistent political deadlock. Urge all political actors to find a lasting solution to break the stalemate and alleviate the suffering of the population.
We would like to encourage Haitian government and opposition to continue an inclusive national dialogue to reach agreement on arrangements that can build societal consensus on the revision of the Constitution, the implementation of reforms and a realistic electoral framework to allow preparations for credible and transparent elections.
I would also like to Commend SRSG La Lime, the OAS, and the Catholic Church for their efforts to assist the parties to engage in direct talks to devise a solution to the crisis.
We are alarmed that the prolonged political standoff, aggravated by the ensuing economic downturn, has created an enabling environment for gang-related violence. We know that certain political actors and businessmen have close ties with criminal gangs, and we strongly condemn all actions that undermine democratic processes and rule of law and call on all stakeholders to refrain from acts that could contribute to instability. This includes incitement to violence, hate speech and threats.
We deplore the scant progress made in pursuing accountability for recent human rights violations – such as the events in La Saline, Bel Air and Grand Ravine – and corruption scandals.
In this context we would like to highlight the important role of civil society in urging authorities to ensure accountability – and I thank Ms. Marie Yolene Gillis for her very captivating briefing in this regard. Let me say that we also condemn all attacks on civil society.
Looking back at progress achieved over the last 15 years, we welcome and salute the increasing self-sufficiency of the Haitian National Police (HNP) in providing security across the country, whilst recognizing that certain gaps still exist, for example on tackling gang-related crimes and manage large-scale civil unrests.
We are concerned by reports that underline lack of trust towards the police (increased violence against police officers and police stations; severe under-reporting of cases of sexual and gender-based violence). It is key that the HNP improves its relationship with the population through outreach and community-oriented policing, and that BINUH continues its efforts in this regard.
We are concerned by the Secretary General’s observation that “the HNP budget has not increased since 2017, leaving the institution unable to address serious financial and operational challenges.”
We are also concerned about recent events that point to a tendency of polarization inside the HNP, including acts of violence during public demonstrations of police officers.
From our view it is imperative to further augment the capacity of the Haitian National Police and render it more effective – so as not to lose the gains achieved by the peacekeeping operations.
Fourthly and lastly, the transition to a non-peacekeeping UN presence in Haiti occurred at a moment when the country found itself in the midst of a multidimensional crisis. Therefore it is even more important that all UN actors closely coordinate their activities in order to best support the country in overcoming this crisis.
Germany emphatically supports the new approach to the benchmarks that reflects the mutually supportive relationship between the peace and security and development pillars of the United Nations system. Welcome the engagement of the Peacebuilding Fund in Haiti as well as the joint work of BINUH and the UN Country Team in developing an Integrated Strategic Framework identifying the UN’s key areas of intervention in HTI.
Without addressing the root causes of violence and conflict – such as deeply entrenched socio-economic disparities, lack of access to basic services, impunity for crimes, the dire humanitarian situation and continued human rights violations – the return to lasting political stability that Haiti so desperately needs will not be possible.
We very much support the work of BINUH – a strategic, political UN presence that will advise and assist the Government of Haiti in tackling the many challenges that lie ahead. However, the future of their country lies – first and foremost – in the hands of the Haitians themselves. The international community stands ready to contribute and assist them in their efforts to renew the social contract between the Haitian state and its citizens.