Security Council Authorizes Multinational Security Support Mission for Haiti for Initial Period of One Year, by Vote of 13 in Favour with 2 Abstentions
The Security Council today authorized deployment of a Multinational Security Support Mission, headed by Kenya, in close cooperation and coordination with the Government of Haiti, for an initial period of 12 months, with a review after nine.
Adopting resolution 2699 (2023) by a recorded vote of 13 in favour with 2 abstentions (China, Russian Federation), the Council, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, authorized the Mission on the understanding that the cost of implementing the operation will be borne by voluntary contributions and support from individual Member States and regional organizations, in strict compliance with international law.
By the text, the Council, condemning in the strongest terms the increasing violence, criminal activities, and human rights abuses and violations which undermine the peace, stability, and security of Haiti and the region, decided that the Mission, as requested by Haiti in a 22 September letter, may adopt urgent temporary measures in coordination with the Haitian National Police.
Further to the wide-ranging text, the Council called on Member States and regional organizations to contribute personnel, equipment, and necessary financial and logistic resources based on the Mission’s urgent needs. It invited contributing Member States to inform the Mission’s leadership, the Council, and the Secretary-General of their intent to participate. It also requested Haiti and the Mission’s leadership to update the Council and the Secretary-General regularly on the progress of deployment of relevant personnel and equipment.
By other terms, the Council called on the Mission to establish an oversight mechanism to prevent human rights violations or abuses, and to ensure that the planning and conduct of operations during deployment will be in accordance with applicable international law.
Following the adoption, several delegations welcomed the authorization of the Mission in response to Haiti’s repeated calls for help in supporting the Haitian National Police restoration of law and order. Some speakers emphasized the multidimensional nature of the crisis, calling for its humanitarian and economic aspects to be addressed alongside the security situation.
The representative of the United States, co-penholder of the text with Ecuador, said the 15-member body made history by its authorization of the Mission, which was at the request of the Haitian Government and civil society. The operation, he said, will support the country’s near-term needs and foster necessary security conditions for long-term stability. He highlighted the text’s emphasis on learning from past Missions, as well as its safeguards for human rights and accountability and its dedicated expertise in anti-gang policing.
Ecuador’s representative expressed hope that today’s adoption will send a clear and resounding message to the leaders and members of armed groups in Haiti. Strategic communications are key, even prior to deployment, he said, stressing that the resolution is not the final goal, but a strong historical landmark on which the international community can build.
The Russian Federation’s representative said his delegation had abstained, although it was fully aware of the urgency of the problems facing Haiti. While he did not have any objections in principle to the initiative, armed forces being sent to a nation was an extreme measure that had to be thought through. “Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations was essentially being invoked blindly,” he said, noting that requests for more information on the Mission, including its withdrawal strategy, had not been forthcoming.
China’s delegate, who also abstained, voiced hope that countries leading the Mission will hold in-depth consultations with Haiti on the deployment of security forces to ensure that those arrangements will be supported by the Haitian people. On the political front, he underlined that without a legitimate and effective government in place, any external support “can hardly have any lasting effect”. The Haitian authorities and all parties and factions should reach the broadest possible consensus on transitional arrangements as soon as possible and come up with a feasible and credible timetable.
The representative of Kenya, commending the Council for igniting a beacon of hope for the beleaguered people of Haiti, said his country responded to the clarion call of the Haitian Government to lead the Mission. Kenya invites Member States to contribute personnel, funds, equipment and logistical support to the Mission, and reaffirms its commitment to collaborate with Haiti’s allies, especially Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member States, in constituting it. His country will apprise the Council of the substantive arrangements in the coming weeks, he added.
Haiti’s representative thanked all those who contributed to the decision adopted today and said: “It was more than a simple vote. It is an expression of solidarity with a population in distress.” The Council took stock of the crisis and understood the urgent need to act, he said, calling the resolution one of “great historic scope”. It highlighted Haiti’s sovereignty and independence, as well as its primary responsibility in restoring security and stability.
THE QUESTION CONCERNING HAITI
Action on Draft Resolution
The Council adopted resolution 2699 (2023) by a vote of 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (China, Russian Federation).
JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States) said the Council today made history by authorizing the Multinational Security Support Mission in Haiti, answering the repeated calls of that country, which is facing a multidimensional crisis due to spiralling gang violence. Thanking Haiti for its partnership, and Kenya, for leading the Mission, he noted that the Mission was at the request of the Haitian Government and civil society, in response to the dire humanitarian crisis and insecurity which the country has been enduring for far too long. The Mission will help support the country’s near-term needs and foster necessary security conditions for long-term stability.
He said the text emphasizes the need to take into account lessons from past Missions and to ensure safeguards for human rights and accountability. It calls for the inclusion of dedicated expertise in anti-gang operations, community-oriented policing, and children and women’s protection. Drawing attention to the Secretary-General’s call on the international community to come to Haiti’s aid, he said “it took us one full year to get where we are now”. The focus should now be on making the Mission operational and to support the Haitian National Police in securing the streets. Other aspects of the crisis, including food insecurity, also must be addressed.
ZHANG JUN (China), noting that his country has been working to increase the Council’s attention on the question of Haiti, voiced hope that countries leading the Multinational Security Support Mission to Haiti will hold in-depth consultations with Haiti on the special arrangements for the deployment of security forces, with a view to reaching agreement and ensuring that those arrangements will be supported by the Haitian people. Timely reporting should be submitted to the Council. Without a legitimate, effective and accountable Government in place, any external support can hardly have any lasting effect. He called on the Haitian authorities and all parties and factions to reach the broadest possible consensus under transitional arrangements as soon as possible and come up with a feasible and credible timetable. He regretted that the resolution just adopted fails to send the strongest signal in that regard. He further urged Haitian authorities and all parties and factions to respond positively to the mediation efforts by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) and work in the fundamental interests of the people.
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) stated that while his delegation abstained, it was fully aware of the urgency of the problems facing Haiti and advocated for a responsible position towards the situation. Although he did not have any objections in principle against the initiative, he said that armed forces being sent to a nation was an extreme measure that had to be thought through. More so, the requests for more information on elements of the Mission, such as its withdrawal strategy, had not been forthcoming. Such authorization for the Mission was extremely serious and needed a full understanding of the consequences, he noted, adding that he was not confident that that was the case. Rather, Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations was essentially being invoked blindly. Foreign interference had blighted Haiti in the past, he pointed out, underscoring that, without precise parameters, the Mission’s mandate was short-sighted. He also highlighted the positive elements of the resolution — including calling for dialogue among parties in Haiti — and expressed hope that the Mission will rapidly stabilize the situation in the country.
PEDRO COMISSÁRIO AFONSO (Mozambique), also speaking for Ghana and Gabon, said he voted in favour of the resolution, as it authorized action on behalf of Haiti and humankind. Welcoming consensus reached on the text tabled by Ecuador and the United States in response to the unbearable situation the people of Haiti are enduring, he said it was an important stepping stone to curtailing the activities of the criminal actors that were paralyzing Haiti and seeking to destroy it. He commended Kenya for leading the Mission, allowing the Council to go from rhetoric to action. Underlining the need for a national consensus aimed at fostering an inclusive political process and transparent elections, he called on all segments of Haitian society who have not yet done so to join consensus and help steer the path towards Haiti’s recovery.
VANESSA FRAZIER (Malta) said her delegation voted in favour of the resolution, considering the desperate situation on the ground and the Council’s responsibility to respond with urgency. The Mission must perform with exemplary standards, implement all aspects of the resolution and operate fully and transparently under international law. Moreover, central to the resolution’s successful implementation will be its oversight and the clear delineation between the role of the Security Support Mission and humanitarian action on the ground. However, the Mission will not resolve all the issues the country continues to face, she said, stressing that stabilizing the security situation will require significant international support. Underscoring the need for free and fair elections in Haiti, she called once again on Haitian authorities to build broad and robust consensus on the country’s political roadmap.
ADRIAN DOMINIK HAURI (Switzerland) welcomed the adoption of the resolution, saying that it bears witness that the pleas for help from Haiti have been heard. Switzerland is pleased that respect for international law, in particular human rights, is an integral part of the Mission and that it reinforces its mandate. He welcomed the importance given to child protection in the text, as well as the inclusion of gender and sexual violence issues. The resolution mandates that participating States respect these issues. He called on the Mission to coordinate with international aid missions for Haiti, as these will pave the way for inter-Haitian dialogue to address the complex crisis in the country.
SHINO MITSUKO (Japan) said she voted in favour of the resolution due to the gravity of the situation unfolding in Haiti, which is experiencing escalating violence and criminal activities. The Mission was authorized in response to the urgent, repeated calls of the Haitian Government. It is, however, the first step in responding to the crisis, she said, underlining the need for thorough preparation, a careful assessment of the situation on the ground and the establishment of an appropriate command structure. Emphasizing that addressing the security situation alone is insufficient, she said it must go hand in hand with Haiti’s efforts to restore resilient democratic institutions, establish an accountable Government and provide basic services and development opportunities.
JAMES KARIUKI (United Kingdom), noting his country’s vote in favour of the resolution, said the Multinational Security Support Mission to Haiti is an important step to help the Haitian National Police address the deteriorating security situation in their country. Further, it paves the way for further efforts to address the connected security, humanitarian, political and economic crises, he said, noting Kenya’s leadership in stepping forward to lead the Mission. He also welcomed the engagement of Member States from CARICOM and beyond in the multinational effort to help the people of Haiti. Today’s adoption is an important step to help address the dire security situation, he said. However, for the longer term, only a political solution can give the Haitian people the security and prosperity they deserve, he stressed.
LANA NUSEIBEH (United Arab Emirates) said that the resolution answers a call for action from Haiti and countries in the Caribbean, as well as further afield. Her country reaffirms that decisive action is necessary to help Haiti get back on the path of peace and stability. The resolution includes safeguards that the mission will be implemented effectively and in close coordination with the Haitian government, and it recognizes that the situation is dynamic. She calls on the Council to have entry points to review and adjust, in light of feedback on the Mission’s mandate. She welcomes the inclusion of timebound authorization for 12 months, and a mandated review at nine. She notes that the authorization is not gender-blind, but rather recognizes the sexual and gender-based violence of gangs in the country. Mission personnel need training and expertise to respond to this. The Mission is critical but not a panacea. A comprehensive response is needed, including inter-Haitian dialogue for a Haitian-led and owned political settlement.
ARIAN SPASSE (Albania), commending the leadership shown by Kenya as well as CARICOM’s readiness to participate in the Mission, said he voted in favour of the resolution, recognizing the vital role the Mission will play in re-establishing security and creating conditions for free and fair elections to take place in Haiti. It is also an important step towards addressing the humanitarian crisis, he added, noting that the Mission will work closely with the Haitian Government to adhere to international law and standards.
HERNÁN PÉREZ LOOSE (Ecuador), highlighting African leadership, said Kenya’s readiness to consider heading up the security Mission, the broad support received from the “A3” in the Council and the endorsement of other countries in the African Union is a clear example of South-South cooperation. He hoped that today’s adoption will send a clear and resounding message to the leaders and members of armed groups in Haiti. Strategic communications are key, even prior to deployment, he stressed, adding that the crisis in Haiti is multidimensional and thus requires a comprehensive approach. The resolution is not the final goal, but a strong historical landmark on which the international community can build. Noting the text’s robust provisions on sexual violence and child protection, among others, he called on Member States to support the Haitian National Police in their efforts to protect Haitian citizens and guarantee their access to humanitarian aid.
SÉRGIO FRANÇA DANESE (Brazil) said that given Haiti’s urgent security needs, his country voted for authorization of the Mission. The resolution has key aspects guiding and underpinning the operation. Long-term success requires a comprehensive approach, including the imperative to address the underlying causes of violence and instability. A broad national political consensus is urgent and vital. The Mission must ensure security in order for normal life and economic activity to resume. Solidarity will fall short if actions are not taken in a committed and sincere way, he said, adding that certain undertakings are needed, including a complete arms embargo to disarm gangs and paramilitary groups, broad political understanding to enable State institutions to get back up and running, the holding of free and fair elections, strong resumption of humanitarian aid, and cooperation and economic support, particularly lasting support. This is the only way to ensure that Haitians take their future into their own hands and that the resolution will be a success.
VICTOR GENEUS, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Haiti, thanked all those who contributed to the decision adopted today, stressing: “It was more than a simple vote; it is an expression of solidarity with a population in distress.” The vote represents progress towards resolving the multidimensional crisis facing Haiti, offering its people a glimmer of hope. The Council took stock of the crisis and understood the urgent need to act, he said, thanking Kenya for agreeing to lead the mission. Calling the resolution one of “great historic scope”, he welcomed that it highlighted Haiti’s sovereignty and independence, and recognized its primary responsibility in restoring security and stability. The authorization represents the first stage towards the normal functioning of Haiti’s institutions, he said, underscoring the need for socioeconomic development and addressing extreme poverty. Therefore, he called for support to be lent for social programmes in needy areas, which are fertile grounds for the recruitment of the marginalized.
BRIAN CHRISTOPHER MANLEY WALLACE (Jamaica), speaking on behalf of CARICOM, stressed the importance of the international community’s support to Haiti. As a result of the blatant criminality perpetrated by powerful gangs and the resulting high levels of insecurity, half of the Haitian population is in desperate need of humanitarian aid and the situation is worsening daily. “This is the backdrop against which we are called to act — to help restore security and contribute to a stable political, social and economic environment to foster sustainable development in Haiti,” he stressed, welcoming the Multinational Security Support Mission to Haiti.
He commended Kenya’s steadfast commitment to lead the Mission, adding that several CARICOM countries will also contribute personnel and other support to the cause. Noting that other countries from around the region and the world have made commitments of support pending adoption of the Council resolution, he urged other Member States to contribute security personnel, and logistical and financial support. He further called on Member States to pledge to the Security Basket Fund to finance the needs of the Haitian National Police and to contribute to the Humanitarian Response Plan for Haiti. CARICOM remains committed to collaboration at both regional and international levels, he said, adding that its eminent persons group continues to engage with the Haitian Government and stakeholders in a mediation role aimed at resolving the political impasse and re-establish political instability in the country.
MARTIN KIMANI (Kenya) said that the Council had ignited a beacon of hope for the beleaguered people of Haiti in adopting the resolution. Kenya is steadfast in its belief that the adoption will be a seminal contribution to the renaissance of Haiti’s security and a catalyst for the fortification of governance, socioeconomic uplift, and the rule of law. His country responded to the clarion call of the Haitian Government to lead the Mission. It now invites Member States to contribute personnel, funds, equipment and logistical support to the Mission. Kenya reaffirms its commitment to collaborate with Haiti’s allies, especially CARICOM member States, in constituting and carrying out the Mission. It will apprise the Council of the substantive arrangements in the coming weeks.
CAROLYN RODRIGUES-BIRKETT (Guyana), aligning herself with CARICOM, welcomed the decisive action taken by the Council in response to addressing the situation in Haiti. Voicing solidarity with the country, she commended those who expressed readiness to contribute to the Multinational Security Support Mission, particularly Kenya, that offered to lead it. Such support must be sustained so the Haitian National Police can help assure long-term peace and stability throughout the country. Nonetheless, she underscored the multidimensional nature of the crisis, calling for international action to also progress along political and economic tracks. Any solution to the crisis must be Haitian-led, -owned and ‑focused, and free from geopolitical expediency. She urged partners to ensure the humanitarian plan was adequately funded, including through investments in agriculture, to ensure food security. Guyana is providing humanitarian aid for Haiti, in the form of food and medicine, and is considering other forms of support, following today’s action, she added.