Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Haiti
Statement17 October 2022
Thank you, Mr President. I would like to acknowledge the presence of the Foreign Ministers of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. And to thank SRSG La Lime for your informative briefing.
It aligns with the descriptions from those on the ground that the situation in Haiti is near breaking point. It is truly like hell on earth.
It is a hell created by the parasitic actions of gangs, capitalising on a political, institutional and security vacuum. They show nothing but contempt for the Haitian people.
I will today focus on three issues of deep concern –
Firstly, the accounts of violence in Haiti, particularly sexual and gender based violence, are deeply disturbing.
The report issued by Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is horrific to read. But for the Haitian people, and in particular women, girls and boys, this is their reality. Collective rape. Mutilation. Execution. Being burned alive.
The violence and depravity exhibited by gangs, has only escalated in recent weeks. They act with almost universal impunity. The international community cannot leave Haiti to face this unprecedented challenge alone.
Ireland fully supports the call by the Secretary General for urgent support to the Haitian National Police, following the request of the Haitian Government. We are ready to work with colleagues on a draft resolution on security support in the coming days. Ireland also remains actively engaged with fellow council members to create a sanctions regime, aimed specifically at these groups.
Secondly, Mr President,
Ireland is deeply concerned by the confirmation that, for the first time, thousands of people in Haiti are facing IPC5 - catastrophic levels of hunger. It is clear in reports shared from across Haiti that conflict induced hunger is killing people.
Rural families, urban communities under siege and the overpopulated prison population are dying - of hunger; without water; denied medical care. Rapidly increasing numbers of lives are lost to cholera.
These are preventable tragedies. They result from blockades, violence and the destruction of humanitarian aid. They compound Haiti’s existing vulnerabilities resulting from climate shocks and natural disasters.
Ireland strongly condemns the denial of, and interference with, life-saving humanitarian aid. Humanitarian workers must never be targets. Access to vulnerable populations must be granted or further lives will be lost.
Thirdly, Mr President,
Three weeks ago when this Council last met on Haiti, the elements of a negotiated political settlement seemed possible. Agreement seemed to be just around the corner. Yet today we are no closer to a solution than in September.
Ireland remains deeply concerned at the lack of progress on this political track. We urge all stakeholders to place other interests aside and to agree a shared way forward, for the sake of the Haitian people.
Ireland continues to hope, that even in these dark dark, days, the political will can be found to make this vital step. There can be no security, no stability in Haiti without functioning institutions and without a sustainable, inclusive political solution, owned and led by the Haitian people.
The people of Haiti simply cannot bear any more. This spiral of chaos has to end. And all relevant actors in Haiti must assume their responsibility to return stability to that country, and to its people.
The international community, and this Council, must respond to the calls for our urgent action. There is simply more time to lose.
Thank you Mr President.