Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Berger on Haiti

Mar 8, 2012

(Security Council: Statement as delivered by Ambassador Berger in an Open Debate on Haiti - MINUSTAH)

Mr. President

Germany aligns itself with the statement to be made by the European Union.

I thank the Secretary General for his report and Special Representative Mariano Fernandez for today’s briefing.

At the outset let me underscore our continued willingness to help and support the Haitian Government in its efforts to build a better life for its people. Germany, since the earthquake, has given bilateraly and through the EU 146 Mio. EUR for reconstruction and 41 Mio. EUR for humanitarian assistance, apart from 230 Mio. EUR in private donations. At the same time we wish to underline that the primary responsibility for recovery and reconstruction lies with the government of Haiti.

Against this backdrop we note with concern the continued stand-off between the executive and legislative authorities  and the resulting state of blockade and inaction, which prevents Haiti's state institutions from delivering on promises made to their people.
Haiti and the Haitians simply cannot afford to wait any longer for effective government. We join the Secretary General in his call on all political actors in Haiti to engage in constructive political dialogue. Haiti’s political leaders must work together in a spirit of compromise.

A new, widely accepted Prime Minister must take office expeditiously. The appointment process must not again become the object of partisan infighting, but needs to be accomplished without delay for the best of the country.

Germany strongly encourages SRSG Fernandez in his efforts to advocate a political pact to advance the stabilization and development of Haiti.

In this context, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of the rule of law and of good governance. A lack of political and legal certainty is a major impediment to development, including the increased foreign investment.

Mr. President,

I would like to focus on three aspects:

Haiti’s National Police

Elections and

Human rights

Firstly,

we note the Secretary General’s assessment that “the Haitian National Police is gradually improving, but the institution is not yet in a position to assume full responsibility for the provision of internal security”.

This indicates that:

political support of the government for building the capacity of Haiti’s national police is key and must be enhanced.

MINUSTAH still has a crucial role to play in maintaining a secure environment and protecting human rights, including the fight against sexual and gender based violence.

With the primary focus on enhancing the policing capacity, the Council should consider further downsizing MINUSTAH’s military capacities, in line with developments on the ground.

Efforts for enhancing the Haitian National Police should not be diluted by plans to reintroduce Haitian Armed Forces. In this context we note with concern that armed groups consisting of former members of the “Forces Armées d’Haiti” have resurfaced in several departments, and former army elements and new recruits were witnessed conducting training exercises throughout the country.

Haiti’s international partners have clearly indicated that they are not willing to fund any military in the country an Germany strongly shares this view.

Secondly,

regarding elections: We urge the political leadership to take the steps necessary to avoid a continued institutional vacuum, in a timely manner, as discussed with representatives of the Security Council on 1 March 2012 in Port-au-Prince.

In order to build confidence and trust, Germany encourages the Haitian leadership to invite external missions to observe the upcoming electoral processes. Haiti cannot afford entering into another period of political stalemate - in a phase when the ability of the administration to act and govern is of utmost importance.

Thirdly,

Germany joins the Secretary General in his call on Haiti’s authorities to spare no effort in the fight against impunity. The establishment of accountability and of the rule of law remain central benchmarks for success. Accountability and rule of law are not only of key importance in their own right, but they also help creating conditions for sustainable economic development. Strengthening the rule of law is an investment that pays off. Capacity building, including in the justice system and corrections facilities, must therefore remain a priority.

Germany also underlines the importance of continued enforcement of the UN’s zero-tolerance policy on misconduct by its personnel, and appreciates the steps that have been taken so far and outlined by the SRSG.

This is indeed important for the acceptance of the peacekeeping forces not only in Haiti.

Mr. President,

In concluding,

MINUSTAH remains a prerequisite for stability and development of Haiti and for peace and security in the region.

At the same time it is evident that the agenda for MINUSTAH needs adjustments, streamlining and focus  in line with developments on the ground. While Germany is open for discussions on the scope of MINUSTAH’s mandate, we are of the opinion that civil reconstruction is best placed in the hands of specialized UN organisations dedicated to this task. Given the multifarious nature of MINUSTAH's mandate, this Council might also wish to look into ways of making the priorities among MINUSTAH's tasks clearer for all concerned.

Mr. President

Finally,

I would like to join previous speakers in thanking all countries that have contributed troops to MINUSTAH and would like extend sincere thanks to the personnel of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti for their dedicated work.

Thank you Mr. President

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