"Haiti has reached an important stage in solidifying the gains made so far towards stability and democracy"

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Statement by Ambassador Tatham of the UK Mission to the UN to the Security Council Open Debate on Haiti

Thank you Madam President, and thank you Special Representative Honoré, for your briefing and for your work in Haiti. Under your leadership MINUSTAH continues to make a valuable contribution to ensuring stability and progress in Haiti.

We welcome the Secretary-General’s report and agree that Haiti has reached an important stage in solidifying the gains made so far towards stability and democracy.

Against this background, it is disappointing to read in the Secretary-General’s report that, once again, a political impasse and the failure to adopt the necessary amendments to the electoral law means that essential elections are unlikely to happen this year. Failure to hold transparent and inclusive elections will have serious consequences for the provision of democracy, rule of law and the future of the country.

And so the UK joins with the Secretary-General in calling for all leaders in Haiti to rise above their differences and to consider the future stability and security of their country above all else and work together to ensure that the long overdue elections, so necessary for progress in Haiti, are held without further unnecessary delay.

Madam President

We are pleased that the security situation has remained relatively stable, including in those parts of the country in which MINUSTAH is no longer present. We note the emerging statistics cited in her briefing today by SRSG Honoré about the overall downward trend of most criminality. In addition, we welcome the SRSG’s positive assessment of the increasing professionalism of the Haitian National Police. It is vital that the National Police wins the trust and confidence of the people. A fully functioning, effective and well paid National Police Force is essential to the future stability of Haiti and we are pleased to see that efforts to make advances in recruitment, training and operational responsibility continue. It is, however, of real concern that the police are still reliant on MINUSTAH for logistical and operational support and lacks the capacity and equipment to contribute to operational patrols.

I echo the comments of the SRSG also in emphasising the importance of continuing to build up the justice sector, regionally and at the institutional level to complement the work of the police and ensure the rule of law is properly applied. In particular, improvement in the administration of the corrections institutions should be a priority.

Madam President

We agree with the Secretary-General’s assessment that, while the supportive presence of MINUSTAH continues to be required, the improvements in the security situation in Haiti over the last year demonstrate that a reduction and restructuring of troops and the handing over of tasks to more appropriate authorities, would be a sensible step. These assessments have been based on a detailed strategic review involving consultations with relevant stakeholders. We share the SRSG’s confidence that such a reconfiguration would result in an adequate stabilisation presence in Haiti.