Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on the situation in Haiti
We thank Ms.Helen La Lime for the briefing.
Unfortunately, in the three weeks that passed since the previous UNSC meeting on the topic the situation in Haiti has followed the worst-case scenario. The authorities have no control of the fuel terminal and some other port facilities in Port-au-Prince. This exacerbated the already dire political, socio-economic, and humanitarian situation in the country. As we know, criminal groups impede traffic from the capital, which limits people’s freedom of movement and deprives them of an opportunity to get basic goods and services. There are overriding shortages of almost everything – from medicines to food and water. Port-au-Prince and other cities are engulfed in violence and lawlessness. State governance institutions have been paralyzed, which brings to naught all efforts aimed at improving the situation in other areas. In addition to all calamities, which befell the Haitians, an outbreak of cholera is taking place.
Of course, these problems are interconnected and cannot be solved easily. Their root cause is the stagnating political process. Therefore we see no alternative to Haiti’s return to the constitutional track by means of a broader dialogue of the Haitian society, as well as convening of elections and the needed reforms. As highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report, settlement of the political crisis is a necessary pre-condition for improving security in the country.
We have taken notice of the report of the government of Haiti on the progress of national dialogue. We also note the positive role of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti in promoting this dialogue. We understand that problems in the negotiating process to a large extent are related to the deteriorating security and legality. Nevertheless, we call on all sides to cast aside opportunistic differences and set forth the negotiations. As the governmental report rightly states, the humanitarian crisis should make all stakeholders realize that the interests of the society must always come first.
The overall situation in Haiti is also impacted by the fact that there has been no transparent and complete investigation of the assassination of President Moïse. More than a year has passed since that tragedy that triggered today’s crisis, but the Haitian society still has been offered no trustworthy version of those events that should i.a. explain the involvement of foreign nationals in this crime.
In this context, we underscore that external interference in Haiti’s political processes, and subjugation of the country to the ambitions of certain regional actors who regard the American continent as their “courtyard” is unacceptable.
In parallel to resolving political problems, we also need to strengthen the potential of Haiti’s national police and respond to the pressing issue with access to critical infrastructure. We realize that Haitian law enforcement alone will not be able to address this challenge effectively.
We have looked into what Secretary-General proposed as a reaction of the global community to the address of Prime Minister of Haiti A.Henry. We have also noticed that there are varying opinions on that matter among the Haitians. Many opposition-oriented groups call to not allow a foreign intervention. To prove their point, they rightly cite rather deplorable record of foreign interference in Haiti's domestic affairs that took place previously. We call to take into account such opinions and carefully consider all possible implications of deploying foreign international or regional contingents in Haiti.
We do not share the approach of the penholders who tend to mix the issues of unblocking Haiti’s port infrastructure and the issues of introducing a sanctions regime against the country. We cannot support attempts to “push through” a sanctions resolution in the Council.
I remind that we agreed to look into imposing UNSC restrictive measures only on the condition that we will have to thoroughly consider their prospective efficiency, their targeted nature, and take into account humanitarian consequences of such steps. UNSC sanctions is a serious and long-term tool that requires an in-depth analysis and detailed consultations on the text of the resolution, especially if we recall the fact that it has been five years since the last time the Security Council established a sanctions regime. At the very least, it is naïve to think that a hastily drafted document, once approved by the Security Council, can miraculously solve all Haiti’s problems.
In case with Haiti, we need to do our best to make sure that the measures we adopt promote recovery of state control rather than are perceived (as is often the case) as a punishment of the country and its entire people. Sanctions must not hinder provision of socio-economic assistance to Haiti or suppress the beginning of its national political process.
We call on the authors of the document to reject the tactic of a “negotiations race” and artificial deadlines, and finally pay attention to the constructive proposals and concerns of many members of the Council. Thank you.