Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2692 (2023)
The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) until 15 July 2024, deciding that its police and corrections unit will include up to 70 civilian and seconded personnel serving as police and corrections advisers to scale up its strategic and advisory support to the training and investigation capacities of the Haitian National Police, and that its human rights unit will include dedicated capacity to address sexual and gender-based violence including the identification of women’s protection advisers.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2692 (2023) (to be issued as document S/RES/2692(2023)), the Council reiterated the need for all Haitian stakeholders to continue to facilitate a Haitian-led, Haitian-owned political process to permit the organizing of free, fair and credible legislative and presidential elections, and with the full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women and the engagement of youth, civil society and other relevant stakeholders through an inclusive inter-Haitian national dialogue. It further requests all Haitian stakeholders to urgently reach an agreement on a sustainable, time-bound and commonly accepted road map for elections.
On the security front, the Council demanded cooperation between Member States to prevent illicit arms trafficking and diversion, including through inspecting cargo to Haiti, and through providing and exchanging timely and up to date information to identify and combat illicit trafficking sources and supply chains. It also strongly urged them to, without delay, prohibit the supply, sale or transfer of small arms, light weapons and ammunition to non-State actors engaged in or supporting gang violence, criminal activities or human rights abuses in Haiti, as well as to take all appropriate steps to prevent their illicit trafficking and diversion.
Council members also requested BINUH to take fully into account child protection as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate and to assist the authorities in the protection of children including through prioritizing advisory support on child protection. As well, they requested BINUH to provide information on cases of gang violence, criminal activities and human rights abuses in Haiti, collected in carrying out its mandate, as an annex to the Secretary-General’s report to the Council.
In addition, the text requested the Secretary-General to submit a written report to the Council, in consultation with Haiti, within 30 days, outlining the full range of support options the United Nations can provide to enhance the security situation, including support for combating illicit trafficking and diversion of arms and related materiel, additional training for the Haitian National Police, support for a non-United Nations multinational force, or a possible peacekeeping operation, in the context of supporting a political settlement in Haiti.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield (United States) said the resolution submitted by her delegation and Ecuador, reauthorizing BINUH’s mandate, represents an important step towards the goal articulated by Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the recent Caribbean Community (CARICOM) plenary: to “help the Haitian people shape their future, and restore the country’s democratic order through free and fair elections”. BINUH remains a positive force in Haiti, supporting the Haitian National Police in addressing the gang violence plaguing the country. The text encourages Member States to extend security support to the Haitian National Police through a specialized force, acknowledging Haitians’ repeated calls for help, she said, noting that it also asks the Secretary-General for a written report outlining ways to effectively enhance the security situation, including through training for Haitian National Police and support for a non-United Nations force. She stressed, however, that while the adoption of the resolution is a positive step, the Council must do more, in concert with BINUH, Haiti’s Government and the international community, to help the country’s people achieve a just and peaceful future.
Geng Shuang (China) said that Haiti is deeply mired in humanitarian and political crises. Today’s adoption of resolution 2692 (2023) shows that the international community is committed to finding a Haiti-owned, Haiti-led solution. The fundamental solution to the Haitian crisis lies in advancing its political process. The resolution calls on all parties and factions in Haiti to advance the political process with a sense of urgency and in the fundamental interest of the country. No amount of support for Haitian police will make any difference unless the flow of weapons into the country stops. All countries must immediately stop providing arms and munitions to Haitian gangs and their supporters. He called on Council Members to master political determination and demonstrate political will. He warned against “quick fixes implemented from the outside” which have long failed to deliver long-term results.
Guilherme Marquardt Bayer (Brazil) said that throughout the negotiations, his country’s main objective was to help Haiti overcome its economic, political and security crisis. Enhancing BINUH’s capacity to support national authorities, prevent and respond to gender-based violence and protect children represent improvements, he stressed, while noting that additional measures to prevent the illicit trafficking and diversion of small arms, light weapons and ammunition could also serve as a crucial step in curbing the violence. “In the upcoming days and months, the situation in the country must remain at the forefront of our attention,” he stressed, adding that the Council should monitor the situation on the ground, while considering potential new measures. Any possible security assistance should fully align with the needs and aspirations of the Haitian people and be developed in close collaboration with other relevant actors, he emphasized, pointing out that the effectiveness of such assistance will depend on the will of key stakeholders to set aside differences to address the root causes.
Hernán Pérez Loose (Ecuador) recognized the constructive contributions by all delegations towards the text tabled by his country and the United States to extend and strengthen the mandate of BINUH, when Haiti needs it most. The resolution sends a clear message to the heads and members of gangs besieging the country and calls on the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and BINUH to ensure strategic communications. As well, it calls on all relevant bodies, including those with the ability to influence armed groups, to end the blockade impeding supplies to local markets. The text also almost doubles the ceiling of personnel providing assistance in penitentiary matters and includes enhanced language on combatting illicit arms trafficking. The Council has stated its case for a specialized support force for Haitian National Police, he said, adding that the text represents, not the final goal, but “a starting point to build from”.
Tariq Ahmad, Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom, Council President for July, speaking in his national capacity, said that his delegation is pleased to have voted in favour of this resolution, which extends and strengthens the mandate for the United Nations’ work in Haiti. It is particularly welcome that the text paves the way for the Council to respond to Haiti’s request for security support, in the context of the steeply deteriorating security, humanitarian, political and economic situation. “Only last week the Council heard powerful accounts from civil society and the region on the appalling human rights abuses being committed by gangs in Haiti,” he recalled. Conflict-related sexual violence has spiralled in recent months. And the ability of people to live their lives, to move freely, to go to school or to hospitals, has been tragically disrupted. The United Kingdom, he said, welcomes the resolution and looks forward to considering in due course the options presented by the Secretary-General.
Harold Adlai Agyeman (Ghana), also speaking for Gabon and Mozambique, said: “More could have been done, and indeed, more should be done.” Mindful of the limitations of BINUH’s assistance, he recalled that, during negotiations, his country has sought to have the Council demonstrate a clearer commitment to put together a robust security force to assist the Haitian National Police and re-establish public order across the country. Pointing to a “small, but encouraging shift” in the country’s dynamic, he welcomed the supportive role of regional States, including CARICOM. “This gives confidence, that working together and quickly, we can support the people of Haiti,” he stressed, noting that, while the resolution may not have responded to the Haitian people’s immediate needs, it sets the right direction for all stakeholders. “We must do everything possible to support the Haitian people and their Government to restore the glorious and historic foundations of their statehood,” he emphasized.
Mohamed Issa Abushahab (United Arab Emirates), reaffirming support for BINUH in assisting Haiti achieve peace and stability, deplored the ongoing violence by armed gangs, calling their depredations “completely unacceptable”. The political and security situation in the country must be addressed simultaneously. Amid a deteriorating security situation, he emphasized that all relevant stakeholders must work towards a Haitian-led and Haitian-owned settlement to the situation. In this context, he welcomed the text’s recognition of the role of regional countries and subregional organizations in supporting Haiti overcome the ongoing situation and help forge progress towards stability and security. As well, he welcomed the inclusion of a paragraph proposed by his country highlighting the adverse impact of climate change, including floods and other events, as these compound the existing food, water and humanitarian situations, fuelling further insecurity. The unanimous adoption of the text was a “much-needed sign of Council unity”, he added.
Antonio Rodrigue (Haiti) welcomed the extension and expansion of BINUH’s mandate, which considers the new reality and challenges in the country. Some of the progress here is encouraging, he said. “For instance, we note the strengthening of police units, the appeal made for cooperation among Member States to prevent the trafficking and diversion of illicit arms and the appeal to Member States to contribute to the basket fund for security assistance and to provide security support financial police,” he said. Sufficient resources must be made available to the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti so that it can carry out its work more efficiently and effectively.
“We must pool our efforts and find innovative ideas that respond to the complex situation,” he added, pointing out that the situation in Haiti has not changed. Daily life remains marked by kidnappings, gang violence and an increase in humanitarian needs. In the first half of 2023, more than 260 people were abducted from their homes or from public places. “All eyes are fixed on this important Security Council meeting,” he said. The population is awaiting a concrete decision and solution on the deployment of an international force. “That wasn’t the case and there is great disappointment at that fact,” he said.
The meeting began at 10:03 a.m. and ended at 10:29 a.m.