Haiti at Critical Stage, Deputy Secretary-General Tells Advisory Group, Urging International Support, Dialogue to Address Gang Violence, Socioeconomic Woes

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks at the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti of the Economic and Social Council leader-level meeting with Caribbean partners, today:

I have the honour to share a message of solidarity with Haiti and its people, as we meet amid dire circumstances in the country.

I’d like to thank the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti, under the chairmanship of Canada, for its efforts to advance Haiti’s stability and sustainable development but also the push the Prime Minister Mottley has given to decisions which will be incredibly important for the region.

Since I last visited Haiti in February this year, concerns have continued to rise over escalating gang violence, a deteriorating socioeconomic situation, and slow progress on a political track to restore Haiti’s democratic institutions.

Again, the most vulnerable are the most affected.  More than 45 per cent of Haitians are at risk of acute malnutrition.  Half a million children are out of school.  The Education Summit we had just a couple of days ago is a reminder of how much we have to do not to lose the picture with our children.  And the high levels of sexual violence are similar to what we see in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Haiti demonstrates quite clearly how intimately political, security, humanitarian and development dimensions are intertwined.  Deep structural poverty and the absence of social services exacerbate the levels of political instability and insecurity, as we have witnessed these last few days when civil unrest has brought the country to a complete standstill.

The hour is grave.  It is critical that all Haitians come together in support of a course that will lead to peace through dialogue.  Multiple crises are affecting freedom of movement, the restoration of democratic institutions and exacerbating the humanitarian emergency.  Therefore, we very, very much appreciate and welcome the support to both funds from Canada.

The solution for Haiti ultimately lies in creating the conditions that will help them to promote sustainable and inclusive development.  Haiti needs sustained support as it seeks to balance the response to immediate and very pressing needs while tackling root causes and drivers of the disturbing trends we are seeing.

The Secretary-General and the United Nations remain fully committed to catalysing ‎immediate and tangible change for Haiti.  The Secretary-General has repeatedly made strong calls for all stakeholders to rise above their differences and to engage, without further delay, in a peaceful and inclusive dialogue on a constructive way forward.

We cannot, at this critical stage, abandon Haiti, its people and the institutions that the ‎international community has long worked to support.  Let us unite behind the leadership, behind Haitians, for solutions, for all Haitians.

I thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.