International Security Force Needed to Support Haiti in Tackling Worsening Crisis, Curb Gangs’ Brutal Violence, Speakers Tell Security Council
Amid a protracted political impasse and deteriorating security and humanitarian situations in Haiti, briefers and senior officials urged the Security Council today to examined ways to address the multifaceted crisis, including the possible deployment of an international security force to curb armed gangs’ brutal violence in the beleaguered and embattled Caribbean country.
“The robust international force must complement and strengthen, not replace, the Haitian National Police,” said María Isabel Salvador, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) in her briefing to the 15-nation organ. The dire security situation with vigilante groups adds another layer of complexity. Further, sexual violence continues to be used by gangs to terrorize and inflict pain on populations and neighbourhoods under the control of rivals.
Although there is widespread backing for the deployment of such a force, discussions regarding the presence of an international force could elicit mixed reactions, she noted. However, since her appointment, she, herself, has heard appeals for this international security support. Further, she asked for a renewal of BINUH’s mandate and requested that the special political mission be adequately resourced to effectively and efficiently deliver its mandate to help Haiti out of these crises.
Marie Yolène Gilles of Fondasyon Je Klere, a non-governmental organization, called the human rights situation in Haiti “an unmitigated catastrophe”. For more than two years, it has been very difficult to reach the south of Haiti by road from Port-au-Prince due to abductions, rapes and beatings. Further describing the myriad stories of girls beaten and raped, she reported that these rapes are sometimes filmed and published on social media by members of the armed gangs who are not wearing masks. “We live in a country where the right to life is trivialized,” she said, adding that heinous crimes are perpetuated every day in total impunity.
Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, speaking for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), stressed that this is not the time for the international community to subscribe to “Haitian fatigue”. Rather, it is a moment to remain steadfast in supporting that country, he insisted, reporting on diplomatic efforts, including the creation of the Eminent Persons Group consisting of three former Prime Ministers in the region. The Community’s engagement with Haiti’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, during a meeting in Trinidad and Tobago was frank and direct about the need for deliberate and urgent steps towards a political solution among stakeholders, he added.
Michel Xavier Biang (Gabon), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2653 (2022) concerning Haiti, recounted his recent visit to Haiti and the Dominican Republic to obtain first-hand accounts of the situation on the ground. Among his discussions, some people expressed the view that sanctions alone could not address all challenges, while members of the Haitian National Police described the lack of capacities and the technology they face. Many asked about the prospect of a multinational force to help restore security, he reported, also explaining to those that such a request was outside his mandate.
In the ensuing debate, Member States, decrying the worsening situations in the country, called for concerted international efforts to tackle the multidimensional crisis and offered their views on ways to alleviate the tremendous sufferings on Haitians.
Barbados’s delegate, speaking for the Economic and Social Council Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti, recounted his meetings with Haitian youth. “A 17-year-old living in Cité Soleil told us that it is easier to get a gun than it is to find a meal,” he said. Immediate actions to help Haiti restore security must be accompanied by efforts to address the root causes of violence in the country. That means combating extreme poverty, corruption, impunity and collusion between the political and economic spheres.
Ecuador’s representative urged the Council to take concrete action, given that, despite steps to strengthen BINUH’s mandate, the rate at which the situation is worsening exceeds any mission’s institutional capacity. Moreso, speakers must stop repeating the fallacy that elections must be organized, as that calls for protection and security, which cannot be guaranteed without international support, including for the Haitian National Police.
Echoing that, the representative of Albania stressed that Haitians are in desperate need for help, and they are asking for it in all the ways they can. “The Council must answer their plea for help and act swiftly,” she stressed. The first problem the Council must resolve is that of security, she said, expressing support for the deployment of multinational forces to assist Haitian police to defeat and dismantle gangs and restore security across the country.
Brazil’s delegate said that it is evident that the Haitian National Police lack the necessary expertise and resources to respond adequately to its many challenges. He voiced his support for further Council discussions aimed at identifying tangible actions with regard to the Haitian authorities’ appeals for the deployment of an international specialized force to help the National Police curb gang violence.
In that regard, the representative of China pointed out that, although he heard loud narratives of support for the deployment of an international security force, there was no concrete discussion. More study was needed. In the meantime, the Council should prioritize taking further measures based on the arms embargo to stop illicit trafficking of firearms and ammunitions to gangs.
However, Jean Victor Geneus, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti, highlighted United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for the rapid deployment of a robust international force to fight gangs during his recent visit to Haiti. This call had also been made during the 4 July Summit of Heads of States in Trinidad and Tobago on CARICOM’s fiftieth anniversary. Also recalling the recent visit by a United Nations expert to assess the human rights situation in the country who pleaded in favour of a specialized international force, he urged the Council to authorize the dispatch of such a force, and asked contributing countries to stand ready.
The meeting began at 3:03 p.m. and ended at 5:18 p.m.
MARÍA ISABEL SALVADOR, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), reported that some progress had been made on the political situation since her last briefing two and a half month ago. She also recalled that 7 July marks the second anniversary of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, which submerged Haiti into a deeper political crisis. Highlighting the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) initiative in June that took place in Jamaica with Haitian stakeholders, she stressed that Haiti’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, committed to changes in the Cabinet to make it politically more inclusive, to the enlargement of the High Transitional Council and to expediting the submission of candidates for the Provisional Electoral Council. Expressing hope that these commitments soon materialize, she pledged her continuing support towards dialogue initiatives on the way forward.
Turning to the recent visit of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to Haiti, she also noted his unwavering support for the deployment of a “robust international force” to assist the Haitian National Police. Although there is widespread backing for the deployment of such a force, she noted that discussions regarding the presence of an international force could elicit mixed reactions. However, she, herself, has heard appeals for this international security support. The robust international force must complement and strengthen, not replace, the Haitian National Police, in full respect for Haiti’s national sovereignty. In addition, at the CARICOM Heads of State meeting this week in Trinidad and Tobago, when discussing Haiti, the Secretary-General reiterated the urgent need for a “robust international force authorized by the Security Council” and reiterated his call earlier today.
While the political transition and the fight against gangs should remain on separate tracks, the two are inextricably linked, she stressed. Improved security and continuous political dialogue would bring about the possibility to hold elections, which is a critical step on the path to re-establishing democratic institutions and elected officials at all levels of Government. The dire security situation in Haiti has gotten worse and violence continues and has intensified, moving beyond Port-au-Prince. The appearance of vigilante groups adds another layer of complexity. Since April, BINUH has documented the killing of at least 264 alleged gang members by vigilante groups. Sexual violence continued to be used by gangs to terrorize and inflict pain on populations and neighbourhoods under the control of rivals. The humanitarian situation is increasingly grim and likely to deteriorate even further. Lastly, she asked for a renewal of BINUH’s mandate and requested that the mission is adequately resourced to effectively and efficiently deliver its mandate to help Haiti out of these crises.
MICHEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon), Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolution 2653 (2022) concerning Haiti, provided an overview of his visit to Haiti and the Dominican Republic from 12 to 16 June, adding that he was not accompanied by other Committee members due to exceptional circumstances. The visit, occurring seven months after the adoption of resolution 2653 (2022), aimed at obtaining first-hand accounts of the situation on the ground, as the country grapples with political, economic, security and humanitarian challenges. Outlining his engagements, he noted that, in Port-au-Prince, he met with the Minister for Justice and Public Security, Minister for Economy and Finance and Customs, Director General of the National Police Force, Director General of the General Administration of Customs and the members of the High Transitional Council. He also met with BINUH’s senior leadership and members of civil society, including women's groups.
In the Dominican Republic, he met with officials including President Luis Abinader, as well as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defence and the Vice-Ministers of Interior and Police and the United Nations country team in Santo Domingo. He travelled to two important border crossing points, Elias Piña and Dajabón, where he heard about challenges being faced due to insecurity in Haiti. People in Port-au-Prince voiced support for resolution 2653 (2022) and the sanctions regime, with some requesting additional individuals to be designated. Some expressed the view that sanctions alone could not address all challenges. In this regard, a holistic approach is need that includes an inclusive political process, restoring democratic institutions and strengthening institutions, as well as justice and security sector reform. He also noted that he heard from the Haitian National Police about the lack of capacities and the technology they face. In that context, many asked about the prospect of a multinational force to help restore security, to which he responded that the issue was outside his mandate.
MARIE YOLÈNE GILLES of the non-governmental organization Fondasyon Je Klere said Haiti is facing cases of systematic human-rights violations as State authorities are failing in their obligations to protect, respect and enforce human rights. Describing the human rights situation in Haiti as “an unmitigated catastrophe”, she said fundamental freedoms are greatly threatened since the proliferation of gangs throughout the country. For more than two years, it has been very difficult to reach the south of Haiti by road from Port-au-Prince due to abductions, rapes and beatings. In some cases, the victims are abducted from their homes as was the case of the Journalist Marie Lucie Bonhmme; a few days later, her husband was also abducted. During the last 24 months, more than 2,000 cases of kidnapping have been recorded across the country and the majority of the kidnapped are released once ransom is paid. For two years — in a country that is in the grips of gangs — the Haitian population has not been able to move freely from one city or region to another.
“We live in a country where the right to life is trivialized,” she said, adding that heinous crimes are perpetuated every day in total impunity. From July 2021 to date, more than 2,929 people have been executed in the streets, at home or in residual areas. The State no longer has a monopoly on the use of force as entire areas are controlled by armed gangs which are sometimes better armed and better equipped than the national forces. Nearly a third of the national territory is controlled by armed gangs.
Turning to women's rights in Haiti, she recalled that, during armed attacks in 2022 and 2023, more than 130 women and girls were gang-raped by armed groups. “Stories of kidnapped girls being beaten and raped are myriad in number,” she continued, stressing that “it is rare that kidnapped girls are not beaten, abused and raped”. Heinous crimes are sometimes filmed and published on social media by members of the armed gangs who are not wearing masks. In Haitian culture, gang rape and anal rape are the worst crimes that a woman can suffer, sometimes leaving them infected with HIV and AIDS, she reported.
In light of the grim reality of human rights in Haiti, she proposed, among other things, to strengthen public governance with emphasis on the fight against corruption. She also called on the Security Council to help Haiti strengthen its political governance through State and constitutional reforms, as well as through the creation of a specialized unit within the National Police to fight against gang violence. This would enable the identification and arrest of the perpetrators of serious human rights violations with a view to subjecting them to exemplary trials, she stated.
ANDREW HOLNESS, Prime Minister of Jamaica, speaking for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), recalled that at the recent Economic and Social Council special meeting on Haiti’s Food Security, CARICOM cautioned against allowing “Haiti fatigue” to take root. The international community must remain steadfast in supporting that country. Further, it is important to ensure that BINUH’S mandate is not just extended for another 12 months, but also that the Mission is sufficiently equipped to provide robust support to the Haitian National Police so that it can combat the rising violence and restore order. CARICOM established the three-member Eminent Persons Group, which comprises former Prime Ministers from the Bahamas, Jamaica and Saint Lucia. Through this mechanism, CARICOM will continue to work with Haitian national stakeholders, civil society and all partners, to contribute to the achievement of an inclusive, intra-Haitian dialogue, he said.
The aim of the Eminent Persons Group has been to widen consensus around a Haitian determined path to peace, stability and democracy, he continued. In this context, more than 50 Haitian stakeholders participated in three days of talks in Kingston during which they were able to address the core issues of interim governance and transition. The engagement with Haiti’s Prime Minister during a meeting in Trinidad and Tobago was frank and direct about the need for deliberate and urgent steps towards political solution among stakeholders. CARICOM called on the Government of Haiti to honour its commitments announced in Kingston and urged the cooperation of stakeholders. The Eminent Persons Group is now scheduled to visit Haiti within the coming week, he noted.
CARICOM will offer support to Haiti in key priority areas, which will include humanitarian support, security and election organization, he said. Additionally, CARICOM will offer personnel, training and capacity-building to the Haitian National Police Force. “It is imperative that we move beyond the rhetoric of solidarity with Haiti to implementing strategic and targeted action that will allow Haiti to make tangible progress,” he emphasized. He also spotlighted the Haitian Government’s request for security support to address the urgent and deteriorating security situation and the urgency of pursuing multinational security efforts with the appropriate jurisdictional mandate, aimed at restoring peace and stability in Haiti. He therefore called for a Security Council resolution to this effect as soon as possible. “It is our duty to give hope to those suffering in Haiti,” he stressed.
ANDRÉS EFREN MONTALVO SOSA (Ecuador) recalled his statement to the Council last April, stressing the need to help Haiti overcome the ongoing violence to ensure continuing trust in multilateralism. In this context, he welcomed Secretary-General Guterres’ trip to Haiti on 1 July, as well as trips by other dignitaries and experts. He called on the Council to undertake concrete action, given that, despite steps to strengthen BINUH’s mandate, the rate at which the situation is worsening in Haiti exceeds any mission’s institutional capacity. Haiti is in a transitional process, delayed by the prevailing security situation. Given this context, speakers must stop repeating the fallacy that elections must be organized, as that calls for protection and security, which cannot be guaranteed without international support, including for the Haitian National Police. If the Council does not act in a timely manner, it could lead to unprecedented repercussions, including in the number of persons displaced, he warned.
JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States) expressed concern about the increased levels of armed violence and gang influence in new territories of Haiti, as criminal gangs continue to commit increasingly flagrant and violent human rights abuses to exert control and intimidate the public. The deliberate use of gender-based violence – especially rape – “is just one horrifying tactic”, he said, sounding alarm over the disproportionate impact of the conflict on women. Moreover, survivors lack access to support services and risk reprisals for reporting abuses. The rampant gang violence has also reduced access to livelihoods and health care services, creating a food security emergency. The United States has provided $110 million in humanitarian aid to Haiti this year. However, without improved security, the humanitarian situation in the country will continue to deteriorate. He underscored that the Council must do its part in assisting Haiti, including by advancing additional sanctions against those who perpetuate instability in the country.
MICHAEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon), speaking also for Ghana and Mozambique, said that the three African members of the Council believe that what Haitian people need is urgent and concerted action to change their daily lives and break the hellish cycle of violence. Stressing the need to support the Humanitarian Response Plan for Haiti, he also welcomed a political development towards inclusive dialogue in line with the December 2022 agreement, including the participation of non-signatories and women. He also noted the critical role of the CARICOM, including that of the Eminent Persons Group, in providing good offices.
It is fundamental to fight violence and restore order, including in education, health services and the economy, he stressed. More so, it is not acceptable that women and girls become victims of rival gang fights, he said, calling for action to help vulnerable groups. He also stressed the need to professionalize the National Police and called for greater support for the justice sector. Given Haiti’s vulnerability to natural disasters, he welcomed the inclusion of that country among the 30 countries targeted by the Early Warning for All initiative. Calling on donors to increase financial support for Haiti, he declared that its multifaceted crisis must not be forgotten.
AMEIRAH ALHEFEITI (United Arab Emirates) said Haiti is entering “an unprecedented and escalating cycle of violence”. Gangs are obstructing access to basic services, as well as instrumentalizing soaring food and water insecurity, widespread poverty and unemployment to expand their operations. In response, vigilante movements are mutilating and burning alive people suspected of being affiliated with gangs. To make matters worse, climate change-related disasters — including the earthquakes and floods last month — are exacerbating the country’s humanitarian and food insecurity crises. In October 2022, the Council established a framework for targeted sanctions measures to target criminal gangs and their financiers who are causing suffering in the country. It should now utilize this powerful tool by ensuring that sanctions measures are implemented fully and by listing those individuals and entities who meet the criteria for designation. Furthermore, this must be complemented by a response from the international community that strengthens the capacity of the Haitian National Police, she stressed.
NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France) stressed the need for the international community to mobilize urgently, as the killings, kidnappings and abuse in Haiti would pique any human conscience. Echoing the Secretary-General’s appeal during his visit to Haiti, he voiced support for the deployment of a force to support the National Police. The call of the Haitian people must be collectively heeded, he said, stressing: “Without security, there will be no development, rule of law or justice for victims.” He welcomed efforts to broaden participation in the National Consensus Agreement, to work towards convening democratic elections once security conditions are met. Further, he underlined the need to fight against impunity and strengthen the justice system, almost two years after the assassination of President Moïse. The Council must adopt new sanctions against criminals sowing violence against Haitians, he said, calling for BINUH’s mandate to be strengthened on the security and justice fronts.
RONALDO COSTA FILHO (Brazil) said that it is evident that the Haitian National Police lack the necessary expertise and resources to respond adequately to its many challenges. He voiced his support for further Council discussions aimed at identifying tangible actions with regard to the Haitian authorities’ appeals for the deployment of an international specialized force to help the National Police curb gang violence. He also expressed his hope that the Council’s sanctions regime can play a positive role in facilitating a peaceful political understanding by helping to sever the link between political and economic elites and gangs. It is vital to reinforce BINUH’s mandate in terms of security, capacity and resources. These enhancements are vital for the mission to effectively carry out its mandate to assist Haiti in the current challenging circumstances, he emphasized.
ALBANA DAUTLLARI (Albania) expressed alarm over the growing power of gangs who are spreading insecurity, violence and political instability throughout Haiti. Haitians are in desperate need for help, and they are asking for it in all the ways they can. “The Council must answer their plea for help and act swiftly,” she stressed. The first problem the Council must resolve is that of security, she said, expressing support for the deployment of multinational forces to assist Haitian police to defeat and dismantle gangs and restore security across the country. Conditions are desperate, but solutions are possible if the Council acts now, she added. The international community must work in synergy with Haitian authorities that share common goals and aspirations. “We can succeed only if we empower Haitian people to restore their domestic sovereignty,” she emphasized, also underscoring the need to address violence perpetuated against women and girls.
DARREN CAMILLERI (Malta) expressing concern about the security and humanitarian situation in Haiti, called conditions on the ground comparable to that of an armed conflict. Noting the report’s findings of the escalation and spread of gang violence in Port-au-Prince and beyond, with 200,000 homicides registered in 2023, he voiced alarm regarding the start of a new cycle of violence between gangs and vigilante justice groups over the past few months that risked further escalation though mobilization, arming and recruitment. Stressing that the situation demands international attention and support, he said that the Council must work to prevent the illegal flow of arms into the country and identify and prosecute those facilitating it. He also recognized the Haitian authorities’ request and the Secretary-General's recommendation for the need of an international specialized force to support the National Police. However, such an initiative must have clear, fully defined objectives and an achievable mandate, he stressed.
SHINO MITSUKO (Japan) voiced support for BINUH’s efforts in helping Haiti restore security and strengthen the rule of law, as well as tackle corruption. She also noted the myriad challenges facing that country, including violence, corruption, human rights abuses and health and economic crises. Ahead of its mandate, due to end on 15 July, she voiced support for its extension. However, its efforts can only complement Haitian-led efforts, she said, welcoming steps taken by the Haitian Government for an inclusive transition and transparent elections. While taking note of other positive steps, she encouraged the Government to forge a broader consensus to the agreement through dialogue among all Haitian actors. Underscoring the need for institutional reform, especially in the security and judicial sectors, she recognized the call to strengthen the Haitian National Police, including the possible deployment of a non-United Nations-specialized international force, while welcoming significant engagement by regional actors, including CARICOM.
ZHANG JUN (China) said external efforts will have no effect if there is no progress on the internal political front. It is therefore more urgent than ever to advance the transitional process and end the political stalemate. Noting the need for bridging differences and achieving the broadest consensus towards holding the fair and inclusive elections, he highlighted the critical role BINUH plays in promoting inclusive dialogue and supporting the Haitian-owned and -led solution. He also welcomed CARICOM's efforts. In fighting gang violence, the sanctions regime plays an important role and should be fully utilized. Sanctions on gangs has helped curb their violence on the ground, he pointed out, calling for greater support for the Sanctions Committee. Regarding the possible deployment of an international security force, he said there were loud narratives of support today, but, regrettably, no concrete discussion. Therefore, more study is required. In the meantime, the Council should prioritize taking further measures based on the arms embargo, he said, urging all measures to be engaged to stop illicit trafficking of firearms and ammunitions to gangs.
DIMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) highlighted worrying trends towards growing numbers of abductions, murders and sexual violence in Haiti. Direct clashes between the gangs and peaceful civilians continue, he said, adding that “armed to the teeth and well-organized armed gangs” control the areas of the capital, while understaffed and unmotivated police are afraid to enter there. Voicing concern over a long-standing crisis of legitimacy of elective bodies, he emphasized that finding a lasting solution to the political crisis in Haiti is only possible based on a truly wide national consensus. He welcomed CARICOM’s mediation efforts, stressing the need to ensure that the Haitian crisis does not become a challenge to the stability and security of the Caribbean as a whole. Further, he supported the proposal to strengthen the capacity of BINUH to help, assist and train the National Police.
ADRIAN DOMINIK HAURI (Switzerland) strongly condemned sexual and gender-based violence committed against Haitian women and men. To combat this scourge, it is essential to strengthen capacities of the mission, notably through additional specialized human resources in the mandate renewal. Victims and survivors of such violence must have access to care and those responsible must be brought to justice. Additionally, children in Haiti are particularly vulnerable to recruitment, abduction, murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence. Attacks on schools and hospitals and the denial of access to humanitarian aid have also been observed. He, therefore, supported the inclusion of child protection measures in the renewal of the mandate. Further, access to safe and unhindered humanitarian assistance remains essential for the population in need, he said, adding that basic services are still inaccessible and almost half the population is food insecure. He also called for the re-establishment of the rule of law, notably through reform of the judicial and penitentiary systems.
JAMES KARIUKI (United Kingdom), Council President for July, spoke in his national capacity to underscore that the people of Haiti are facing a dire humanitarian, security and political crisis. Gangs have taken over entire neighbourhoods, he said, spotlighting reports of killing, burning, kidnapping and restriction of movement. “We hear chilling accounts of the widespread use of sexual violence — including collective rape — by armed gangs as a weapon to instil fear into communities,” he also noted. With nearly half the population in need of humanitarian assistance, the Council must find ways to address the cycle of violence. In addition to addressing the security crisis, the people of Haiti need political stability, he said, welcoming in this regard the CARICOM-hosted stakeholder meeting held in Jamaica. He called on all actors to engage constructively to prepare for the holding of inclusive, free and fair legislative and presidential elections, as soon as the local security situation permits.
JEAN VICTOR GENEUS, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti, welcomed the call made during Secretary-General Guterres’ recent visit to his country for the rapid deployment of a robust international force to fight gangs. He also welcomed the renewal of this call during the 4 July Summit of Heads of States in Trinidad and Tobago on CARICOM’s fiftieth anniversary, urging the Council to authorize the dispatch of such a force, and asking contributing countries to stand ready. He also spotlighted the recent visit of an independent United Nations expert to assess the human rights situation in the country, which painted a grim picture and pleaded in favour of a specialized international force. The Secretary-General’s report was submitted at a time when Haiti experienced an unprecedented national crisis, he said, adding that the ongoing security, political, humanitarian and food crisis, worsened by the cholera outbreak and national disasters, has shocked the collective conscience.
Turning to the upcoming expiration and expected renewal of BINUH’s mandate, he expressed hope it will be strengthened so that the Mission can help national authorities find solutions to strengthen the country’s political stability and free and transparent elections can be held when security conditions are met. He outlined steps taken by Prime Minister Henry to that end, including through dialogue with all forces in the country. He also added that he intends to forge progress towards establishing a Government of national unity in the wake of the installation of the High Transition Council, among other steps. Voicing hope that the Council will work together to help the “shipwreck” of Haiti, he reiterated his country’s call for robust international assistance to help the National Police in its fight against armed gangs.
ROBERTO ÁLVAREZ GIL, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, said that finding a definitive, lasting solution to the crisis in Haiti is the primary responsibility of the Haitian people. “This meeting coincides with the eve of the anniversary of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse,” he noted. However, “it is not enough to pay a respectful tribute to the departed President, nor is it enough to mourn the thousands of lives lost”, he said, stressing the need to restore Haiti’s security and to create the environment necessary to stabilize the country. Elections must be held in a secure, peaceful setting. Pointing out that BINUH alone is not a response to the crisis in Haiti, he commended timely efforts by the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, to lead an inclusive dialogue in Haiti.
He also recognized the importance of the myriad initiatives announced by other Governments, including those of El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and the United States. The Dominican Republic welcomes recent comments made by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken supporting the deployment of an international force to help stabilize Haiti, adding that his country faces myriad challenges in protecting and securing the border it shares with Haiti. Turning to economic issues, he said that insecurity in Haiti has prompted many businesses to shut down or limit operations. This has reduced the availability of formal employment and affected the day-to-day lives of many residents. Spotlighting the 3 million children in Haiti that need humanitarian support, he expressed hope that, over the next 90 days, Haiti will move closer to resolving the grave security crisis affecting its people.
OLIVER JACKMAN (Barbados), speaking for the Economic and Social Council Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti, said that the international community must move without further delay to support Haiti in restoring security. “Haitians require security to safely leave their homes without fear of being killed, kidnapped or raped,” he stressed. This requires curbing the flow of arms and ammunition, strengthening the Haitian National Police, justice system and the rule of law. It also means protecting human rights, addressing sexual and gender-based violence and working at the community level to reduce violence. Immediate actions to help Haiti restore security must be accompanied by efforts to address the root causes of violence in the country. That means combating extreme poverty, corruption, impunity and collusion between the political and economic spheres.
Recounting his meetings with Haitian youth who described their daily struggle to eat, he reported: “A 17-year-old living in Cité Soleil told us that it is easier to get a gun than it is to find a meal.” Haiti’s humanitarian needs have doubled in the last year. Despite its considerable agricultural potential and the fact that, until recently, it was able to produce most of the rice it consumed, Haiti is now among the countries with one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the world. He encouraged intensified efforts among Haitian stakeholders to ensure a broad and inclusive national political dialogue. This will help re-establish democracy and accelerate the country’s sustainable development. Further, he urged the Council to renew the mandate of BINUH for 12 months and ensure that it is adequately equipped, in terms of personnel and resources.