NEW YORK, APRIL 11 – Highlighting improvements in Haiti’s political situation, including the recent elections and opportunities to address longstanding disputes, the senior United Nations official in the island nation, Sandra Honoré, urged the international community to continue its partnership with Haiti and its people to help consolidate the gains achieved.
“The elections provided for the installation of all directly-elected officials at all levels of Haiti’s governance structure for the first time since 2006, including the peaceful transfer of power to the third democratically-elected President since 2004” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, told the UN Security Council today. Addressing the Council, the Italian Deputy Permanent Representative Inigo Lambertini expressed satisfaction for the outcome of the election. Haiti now has a new priority, he said: to move from the emergency to long-term reconstruction and development, with the full respect of the rule of law, justice and human rights.
Lambertini expressed support for the “gradual and responsible” replacement of MINUSTAH (the UN Stabilization Mmission in Haiti) with a lighter peacekeeping force and encouraged reforms for security, democracy and sustainable development. He also pointed out the many challenges that the country has to face, including the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew and the scourge of cholera. The Ambassador recalled the initiatives taken by the Italian government in support of both UNICEF and the local chapter of the Red Cross.
According to Ms. Honoré, “Haiti’s return to Constitutional order and the full functioning of the Executive, the Legislature and local government has now set the stage to address the many pressing challenges facing the country.”
In her briefing, Ms. Honoré, also the head of MINUSTAH, noted that the security situation in Haiti remains largely stable and that while the island’s police force continues to show increased capacity in planning and executing complex operations as well as in combating crime and maintaining public order, its further development, including in the areas of internal management and oversight, police-to-population ratio and the geographic coverage were needed.
Recalling the recommendation of the Secretary-General on the closure of MINUSTAH in six months and the establishment of a smaller operation with focus on the rule of law, with strong good offices and human rights monitoring roles, Ms. Honoré said: “With your support, the transition to a new and smaller Mission would be guided by a Joint Transition Plan that underpins the gradual transfer of tasks to the Government, international partners and the UN Country Team.” (@alebal)