SC: The question concerning Haiti

4/6/2011 // UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the UN Security Council's open debate on "Haiti: A renewed commitment by the international community". President Bill Clinton, the UN Special Envoy to Haiti, also briefed the gathering. Norway's statement was presented by UN Ambassador Morten Wetland.

Norway's statement:

"President,

Let me start by congratulating Haiti on their recent elections. 

While the process was far from perfect, we hope the new President, Parliament and Government will aim at transforming the country, by providing stability, development and justice - for all.

The main responsibility for this will rest with Haiti’s own political and economic elites.

They must be willing , as well as able, to invest, both trust and money, to make national institutions stronger and more accountable to the people. 

Only if that fundamental willingness is there will the assistance of the international community, including the United Nations be effective.

Much has been achieved since the devastating earthquake, at least in humanitarian terms:  Lives have been saved and new disasters avoided, even in the face of cholera and Hurricane Tomas.  But much more could and should have been done, in particular with regard to the Haitian government’s capacities. 

Absence of a social contract, especially between the rich and the poor - and a corresponding weakness of state institutions, unable to fulfil basic political, judicial, economic, social and cultural functions – is at the core of Haiti’s problems. 

This fundamental observation should inform our deliberations, also here at the Security Council.

President,

MINUSTAH has played an important role in providing security and stability to Haiti.

And here, let me pay special tribute to Special Representative Edmond Mullet, for his integrity and outstanding effort as leader of the operation since the earthquake.

Now, time has come for MINUSTAH to adapt to new realities.

MINUSTAH’s heavy military presence no longer seems proportionate to Haiti’s security challenges.

In fact, the heavy military presence may undermine the country’s efforts to normalize and attract investment, so crucial for sustainable development.

While the military component should be scaled visibly down, other stabilizing capacities should be strengthened.

In particular MINUSTAH could play a more central role in law and order reforms, including police reform.  The fight against organized crime, drug trafficking and gender based violence are but a few examples of issues that require increased attention.

Fewer soldiers in combat gear and armed vehicles, and more police in the streets and in the IDP camps, will certainly bring the Mission closer to the people, enhance legitimacy – and ultimately make it more effective in addressing Haiti’s real security and stability challenges.

MINUSTAH should complement the rest of the United Nations system, in cooperation without duplication.  The integrated strategic framework should help the UN act as one, in support of Haiti’s government. 
 
President,

Norway has pledged substantial and long term support to Haiti’s development. Our assistance is based on the priorities of the Haitian Government as expressed in its Plan of Action.  

We are committed to stay the course, in close cooperation and coordination with other actors, including the United Nations. 

Thank you."


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