Statement by Ambassador Wittig on the situation in Haiti in the Security Council's meeting

Jan 20, 2011

(check against delivery)

Mr. President,

let me join others in thanking the Presidency of Bosnia and Hercegovina for convening this meeting.

One year after the devastating earthquake, claiming more than 220.000 lives, our thoughts are with the victims and their families. We recall the supreme sacrifice made by the personnel of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

I would like to thank Under Secretary General Valerie Amosand Under Secretary General Alain Le Roy  and their teams as well as the contributing countries for their great commitment in tackling the multitude of challenges we are facing in Haiti. We are grateful for today's comprehensive briefings and analysis of the  situation in Haiti that continues to be complex and challenging.

I also thank Mr. Cazeau (DPR Haiti) for his remarks.

Mr. President,
Haiti has suffered beyond imagination.
Please allow me to share some of our views mainly on two key aspects :
-  the humanitarian tragedy and international efforts to assist the people of Haiti
-  ways to overcome the current political crisis.

First, we are grateful to all aid workersfrom the United Nations and hundreds of NGOs in Haiti for their tireless efforts in very difficult circumstances.
They did not falter when faced with the magnitude of the catastrophe.

We acknowledge the important role and contribution of the United Nations Coordinator for humanitarian affairs and appreciate the efforts undertaken until today by OCHA.

OCHA is acting in a very complex and difficult environment with hundreds of NGOs working in the field. 

We would like to encourage OCHA to continue its efforts with a view to further improve coordination of all stakeholders involved.

We also recall that millions of private donorsdemonstrated their solidarity with the hard hit people of Haiti in a truly unprecedented manner. These donors expect our best efforts to ensure that their aid reaches the people in need.

In 2011 the focus of international assistance will continue to shift from humanitarian towards reconstruction efforts. We commend the constructive work of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, [ at the same time we would like to learn more about the assessment of the current performance of the Haiti Recovery Fund].

Germany, like others, has contributed substantially from the outset to the relief and reconstruction efforts conducted by the United Nations and other humanitarian organisations.

Let me mention a point of concern to us: the protection of people from sexual violence, in particular girls and women living in camps. We welcome ongoing efforts to address the situation.

Mr. President

We should not forget the central role of the people of Haiti in rebuilding their country.

The strength, the determination, and the spirit  of millions of Haitians command our respect.

Mr. President

Let me turn to the second key aspect:

For the ongoing recovery, reconstruction and development  to succeed, political stability is  indispensable. The current political crisis surrounding the first round of the presidential elections is a cause for serious concern.
This Council has consistently underlined the immense importance of free and fair elections in Haiti for building the political foundations on which to rebuild the country.

We welcome the continued efforts of SRSG  Mulet and USG Le Roy to engage the political leadership of Haiti in a dialogue aimed at enhancing political stability and national unity.

The decision by the government of Haiti to call upon the OAS to send an expert verification mission on the first round of the presidential elections was a good one.

We fully support the recommendations of the OAS Expert Verification Mission contained in their report.

We commend the Provisional Electoral Council (PEC) for having provided access to information for the OAS Mission.  We now urge the PEC to take the logical second step and base its decisions on the OAS recommendations regarding the second round of the presidential elections

Credible elections are crucial for the political stability and ongoing reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

Germany joins the call on all political leaders in Haiti to assume their responsibilities and work together in order to bring the electoral process to a successful conclusion.

In concluding, Germany remains committed to support Haiti’s critical needs. Together, we can  make 2011 a better year for Haiti.

Thank you, Mr. President

© GermanyUN