Statement by Ambassador Wittig on Haiti in the Security Council’s Open Debate

Apr 6, 2011

(as delivered)

Madam President,

[in Spanish: I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Columbian Presidency to take the initiative to convene today's session on Haiti.]

Let me join my colleagues in thanking the Presidency of Colombia for convening today’s meeting on the situation in Haiti. With Haiti currently in the final phase of the electoral process, this debate is very timely.

At this critical moment, it is an important signal that the Council reiterates its clear message of support and solidarity with the people of Haiti.

With your presence today, President Santos and your's Madam President, you underscore the great importance your country, jointly with many other countries, in particular from Latin America and the Carribean, attaches to helping the people of Haiti to recover from the horrific earthquake, followed by devastating hurricanes and an outbreak of cholera.

I would like to thank the Secretary General and his Special Envoy, former President Clinton for their report and for their briefings today.

And I wish to join my colleagues in very warmly welcoming President Preval to the Security Council, I would like to pay tribute to President Preval for steering his country through enormously difficult and trying times and for a peaceful transfer of power.

Germany aligns itself with the statement of the European Union to be delivered later in the debate.

Madam President,

more than a year after the devastating earthquake, the magnitude of the challenges the people of Haiti are facing remains daunting. The Council will rightly reiterate that the ownership and the primary responsibility for recovery and reconstruction lies with the government of Haiti. At the same time we are all aware of the fact that this will require sustained and well- coordinated support and assistance from the international community.

Madam President,

MINUSTAH has a complex mandate and is implementing this mandate in a pragmatic manner. We would like to recognize Edmond Mulet’s able leadership in this regard and would like to thank him and his team for their unflagging commitment. I would also like to pay tribute to his predecessor, Hédi Annabi, who died in the earthquake.

I would like to focus on three aspects, where MINUSTAH has an important supporting role to play
- elections
- security, and finally
- reconstruction and development and the rule of law.

First on elections: The electoral process must be completed in a peaceful, credible and legitimate manner. In light of the preliminary results of the presidential elections, we join the call on all political leaders in Haiti
- to live up to their responsibilities
- to contribute constructively to an atmosphere of political dialogue
- to help to heal the wounds of the political battles of the past and
- to build together a better future for their country.

Secondly, on security: MINUSTAH’s continued presence remains a prerequisite for the  stabilisation and development of the country. We pay tribute to all the men and women from the different nations participating in this important UN mission.

The security-related challenges are manifold, ranging from gang violence, drugs and human trafficking to sexual and gender-based violence. On the latter aspect, we commend the UN for developing an operational plan for strenghtening women’s security, and MINUSTAH for launching a campaign aimed at discouraging sexual violence. We urge all relevant actors to continue all efforts aimed at enhancing the protection of vulnerable groups.

Thirdly, on reconstruction and development and the rule of law: For the future of Haiti, for reconstruction and long-term development of the country, it will be essential that Haiti succeeds in attracting private foreign investment.

Germany would like to express its sincere gratitude to Special Envoy President Clinton for his persistent efforts in helping the people of Haiti to embark on that road of reconstruction and development and to encourage the private sector to look at Haiti as an investment opportunity.

For these efforts to be successful, the rule of law must be strengthened in all areas of society and respected and implemented by all relevant actors. Institutional capacity and an adequate legal framework are prerequisites for sustainable economic development and an increase in foreign investment.

We commend Special Representative Edmond Mulet for his initiative to realign resources in support of a “rule of law compact” aimed at bringing rule of law and economic development together.

We also note the SG’s call on all international partners to work with the Government and the United Nations in a concerted and cohesive effort to strenghten the rule of law.

Madam President,

in preparing today’s debate, the Colombian government strongly supported a call for enhanced and effective coordination of all international efforts for Haiti.

We fully share your sense of urgency on this issue and support any initiative aimed at enhancing existing mechanisms for coordination in line with the priorities of the Haitian government.

The United Nations, including the UN country team and MINUSTAH, must continue to play a fundamental role in this regard.
In this context, we also encourage the United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs to continue her coordination efforts.

All stakeholders, including the hundreds of NGOs working in the field, are called upon to continue to contribute constructively to these efforts in order to make real progress possible.

Madam President,

in concluding, let me underscore that Germany remains committed to assisting the people of Haiti, both nationally and as a member of the European Union.

I thank you, Madam President.

© GermanyUN