Statement by Ambassador Wittig on the Situation in Haiti in the Security Council
Germany aligns itself with the statement to be made by the European Union.
At the outset, let me join my colleagues in thanking the Presidency of Lebanon for convening today’s timely debate on the situation in Haiti.
I thank the Secretary General for his comprehensive report and his Special Representative Mariano Fernandez for his very useful briefing.
Our gratitude goes to you and the and the personnel of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti for your dedicated work.
As already expressed by Foreign Minister Westerwelle during his meeting with you in Port-au-Prince in July, we wish you every success.
one and a half years after the devastating earthquake, the people of Haiti are still facing daunting challenges. There has been progress, but we remain concerned about the continued plight of the Haitian population.
The primary responsibility for recovery and reconstruction lies with the government of Haiti. It will be important for Haiti’s long-term security and development that the people themselves, not United Nations peacekeepers, are put in a position to lead reconstruction efforts, with the support of the international community.
The international community stands ready to continue to assist – but patience is not limitless.
Despite successful and peaceful conclusion of the presidential elections, Haiti is still paralysed by political uncertainty.
Political leaders in Haiti urgently need to live up to their responsibilities to end the stalemate and to start working together.
This is what the international community, and thousands of private donors - and first and foremost the Haitian people are expecting and desperately waiting for.
Restoring credibility and leadership of the government as well as confidence of the Haitian people in their political system is a prerequisite for any real progress. Ultimately, both political and economic success will depend upon a strengthening of the rule of law in all areas of society and convincingly advocated by all relevant actors in Haiti. A lack of legal certainty is the biggest impediment to increased foreign investment.
Regarding MINUSTAH I would like to join previous speakers in thanking the troop contributing countries for all their efforts.
MINUSTAH is playing a vital role in maintaining peace, security and stability in Haiti and must continue to do so.
At the same time we share the view that we should look into possible adjustments in size and structure of MINUSTAH’s personnel in line with the security assessment presented to us.
We believe that there are convincing arguments in support of enhancing the policing capacity, in particular in the area of training and capacity building, and of gradually downsizing the primarily military capacities in line with developments on the ground.
MINUSTAH has a crucial role in maintaining a secure environment and protecting human rights, including the fight against sexual violence. We continue to give our full support to MINUSTAH and are encouraged by its continuing efforts to help build the capacity of the Haitian authorities.
We were reassured to hear of the serious efforts undertaken by both troop contributors and the Secretariat to enforce the UN’s zero-tolerance policy on misconduct by its personnel. This is indeed of paramount importance for the acceptance of peacekeeping forces anywhere in the world.
Lastly with regard to the humanitarian situation:
We welcome the results of the real-time evaluation on the impact of humanitarian action in Haiti, commissioned by the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC). Results clearly indicate the need to improve the link between relief, reconstruction and development activities. It also revealed a critical lack of longer term development perspectives, especially for those 600.000 persons still living in camps and shelters.
The “Humanitarian Partnerships Field Mission” to Haiti planned for November will provide participating Member States with an opportunity to consider first-hand the value of UN-led multilateral humanitarian action and coordination. As incoming chairman of the OCHA Donor Support Group, we encourage all participating Member States to ensure participation from capitals in the field mission.
In concluding, we concur with previous speakers that MINUSTAH’s continued presence still remains a prerequisite for stability and development of the country and for peace and security in the region.