Speech

"Fear of the worst outcome should not restrain us from pursuing the best, which is a peaceful, just and stable Haiti."

Statement by Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Haiti.

Haiti

The United Kingdom welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2350 today.

It is a good demonstration of how the UN should be sustaining peace through selecting the right tools at the right time for the right ends. As we argued on Tuesday, the Haiti of today is not the Haiti of 2004. It is a country on a trajectory towards greater stability. Peacekeeping troops performing a stabilisation role are no longer the right tool in Haiti. This resolution brings MINUSTAH to a close, and I welcome that. And we thank all of the troops, and all of the troop-contributing countries, for their service to MINUSTAH.

The United Nations holds other tools that are required for today’s Haiti. UN police units are still needed to uphold the security achieved to date – though ensuring that Haiti’s national police are able to perform this role themselves must now be the UN’s primary focus. Support for Haiti’s security capacities will not, alone, sustain peace in the country. As history has told us time and time again, it is the rule of law and the protection of human rights – not the capacity to use force – that delivers long-term stability. It is welcome that this resolution launches a new peace operation, MINUJUSTH, with sufficient mandate and authorisation to work towards these very ends.

Ultimately, however, the new mission has one overarching objective, which should be to work tirelessly to establish the conditions for its own redundancy. MINUJUSTH should be working towards a careful exit through the phased handover of responsibilities to the Haitian government and greater reliance on the tools of the UN country team. I’m glad that an exit plan will be developed from the very start of its deployment.

Haiti is still fragile. It needs the UN’s support, through a new peace operation in the short-term and the use of other UN tools soon after that. We can never have an absolute guarantee of continued stability in any context. The experience of peacekeeping withdraws in Haiti’s recent past loom large. But fear of the worst outcome should not restrain us from pursuing the best, which is a peaceful, just and stable Haiti standing proudly on her own two feet.

Thank you.

Published 13 April 2017