Statement by Ambassador Flynn at the UNSC Briefing on Haiti
Statement18 February 2022
Thank you, Mr President,
SRSG La Lime, thanks also to you and, and through you, to the hard working UN Team in Haiti. I also want to welcome the representative of Haiti to the Chamber here this morning.
The issues we are discussing here today, Mr President, are unfortunately not new for Haiti. As we have heard, the suffering of the Haitian people continues at a devastating level.
I will focus on three areas today –
The continued deterioration in the security situation in Haiti.
The daily reality for millions of Haitians is one of brutal gang violence terrorising the population, leading to fuel shortages; disruption of services; stifling of humanitarian relief; hunger, confinements, kidnappings and killings.
Haitian women and girls are disproportionately affected by this instability and violence. We are appalled at escalating sexual and gender-based violence – used as an insidious tactic by gangs to control and instil fear in the population.
The Haitian people deserve to see an end to impunity for human rights violations and abuses, and perpetrators brought to justice.
Instead, the consequences for those who dare to draw attention to armed violence are grave, as evidenced by the recent targeting and killing of journalists and continued attacks on human rights defenders.
The climate of fear and intimidation created by violence compounds the difficulties in addressing the myriad of crises facing Haiti. [As the SRSG outlined], it is critical that the security situation is improved. This will require prioritisation and resourcing for policing, including capacity building and confidence building. Until then, Haitians across the country will remain confined to their homes; unable to fulfil their economic prospects; unable to exercise their political will.
Second, Mr President,
Increased violence has exacerbated vulnerability. Many are still reeling from the devastating effects of the August earthquake. More than 4.3 million Haitians are facing high levels of acute food insecurity, while the economy is in freefall.
Without urgent assistance, the Haitian people will continue to face desperate choices. We welcome this week’s international conference in Port-au-Prince where $600 million dollars was raised. However, as Deputy Secretary-General Mohammed remarked during her visit, significant humanitarian need remains.
Without support, even more Haitians will make heart-breaking calculations that a perilous journey abroad is safer than staying at home. When they do make this journey, it is crucial that all are afforded their legal protections under international refugee law. Safe, legal and dignified channels for those escaping violence are essential, now more than ever.
Ireland commends the resolve and dedication shown by the humanitarian community to ensure aid reaches those who need it most. Ireland will continue its consistent support to Haiti in the provision of humanitarian, reconstruction, and development assistance.
But what Haitians really need is a path to political stability, creating conditions for economic recovery and sustainable development.
This brings me to my final point, Mr President,
National consensus is the only means by which the political deadlock in Haiti can be broken. As we have said previously, this consensus must be built on wide, inclusive, participatory engagement, including civil society representatives. Durable solutions also require the guarantee of safety and security for all those who engage politically, in particular for women to ensure their full, equal and meaningful participation.
We welcome the Secretary-General’s appointment of Mr Mourad Wahba to lead the assessment of BINUH’s mandate and look forward to his report. Given the enormity of the challenges facing Haiti, it is right we reflect on how the UN can best support the Haitian people.
The needs and aspirations of Haitians must lead our consideration of a future mandate for BINUH. This means looking at how we can help bring stability and security to their daily lives; capacity building and supporting good governance; helping to fight impunity and protecting human rights.
The international community has a responsibility to stand with the Haitian people. Now is not the time for the UN to step away, rather to step up in support of Haitian-led efforts to forge a path forward.