Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on Haiti


We thank Deputy Secretary-General Mohammad and SRSG La Lime for the briefings. We also thank American journalist and editor of “Haiti Liberté”, Mr.Kim Ives, and appreciate his rather interesting and unbiased view of the situation in the country. We believe it very useful to invite briefers who can provide additional information and let us look at the issues on UNSC agenda from different prospectives. We also welcome Foreign ministers of Haiti and the Dominican Republic to this meeting.

Much has been said today about the current state of affairs in Haiti. We will not repeat that. The scope of the political, economic, and humanitarian crisis that the country is exposed to is obvious to everyone. It is also clear that there are no ready-made recipes for settlement and bringing the country back on the sustainable track.

Short-term decisions may lessen the pain of the long-suffering Haitian nation, but they will not be able to relieve this pain completely. Look at the situation with unblocking of the oil terminal, which used to be presented almost as a cure-all solution. However this did not facilitate access of the population to basic goods and services. Just like a considerable part of Haitians, we do have doubts that the option with deployment of an international force may change the situation.

If we want to come up with truly effective steps, we need to elaborate a comprehensive understanding pf the causes of the current situation in Haiti - a chronic crisis of statehood, socio-economic collapse, and decomposition of legal institutions to a large extent are the results of protracted external “political engineering”.
The historical responsibility for this rests not only with Washington, which has repeatedly interfered in Haiti’s internal affairs, including by armed force, but also with Paris.

It was colonial France that, for more than 100 years after the liberation of Haiti, received from it the so-called "payments for independence", extorted through blackmail and military ultimatum. This was the first and only case in history when those liberated from slavery had to pay to their oppressors. Huge remittances, which today would equal billions of dollars, were transferred to French bankers and landowners instead of serving the development of a young and not too rich country.  

By this moment, former colonial powers have changed their methods, but their colonial approaches have remained the same. Interference in Haiti’s internal affairs occurs by means of imposing of alien solutions and placing the political figures outside Haiti's legal framework. As a result, there are no authorities in Haiti that can be called legitimate, that is formed in accordance with the national Constitution. Lasting international involvement in Haitian affairs have instilled in some local elites the feeling of dependency and permissiveness and made them think that their future would be contingent not on a people’s vote, but on the benevolence of external patrons and sponsors.

So the key task of the global community is to set the ball of the nationwide political dialogue rolling. This dialogue should elaborate the rules for forming truly legitimate authorities. Haitian political forces, both at power and in opposition, need to act constructively to make life comfortable at home.

We are surprised that this obvious political signal to the Haitian elite is not coming from the United States, which eagerly stigmatizes authorities in some Latin American countries as unconstitutional, while at the same time being very protective of others, where regimes are loyal to the US. Doesn't the 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter, which is effective across the region, establish clear criteria under which an "interruption of the constitutional process" is recorded and the order of international response to it is determined? Under this Charter, where is the reaction to rather dubious (to say the least) legitimacy of most Haitian power authorities?

We know what Washington does when it needs to subjugate a country. It utilizes unilateral sanctions against the unwanted political figures that need to format the domestic “political field” as the US finds fit. Canada does the same. For example, we are aware that Canadian sanctions list includes at least two former Prime Ministers of Haiti, who intend to contest this decision. We warn against presenting these measures as a reaction of the entire international community in the framework of UNSC Sanctions Committee. This Committee was established by a UNSC resolution exactly to avoid unilateral action and elaborate joint solutions while engaging specialized experts in order to assess the feasibility and adequacy of possible restrictions.

The insights of Mr.Ives that he shared today should be the reason for us to be even more careful with sanctions. Otherwise, we sanctions risk affecting not the criminal elements, but the opposition activists who could take part in the nation-wide dialogue, but somehow turn out to be unwelcome for the US and its satellites. I stress again: unilateral measures by the US and Canada do not represent the will of the international community and must not be something the new Sanctions Committee on Haiti should proceed from.

We count on a productive engagement of Committee 2653 and Gabon as its Chair, es well as the selected experts whom we now to be good professionals. We underscore that the sanctions resolution prescribes to study the sources and routes of arms smuggle, i.a. via UNODC channels. Ultimately we need not only to identify, but also to eradicate channels of financial and material recharge of band formations, first of all in the arms trade and drug business, which provide subsistence for crime in Haiti and constitute the main reason for the lack of legal order.

As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia will keep working to ensure that Haitians not only can have their law and order back, but also enjoy opportunities for a free and democratic political process, sustainable economic development and prosperity. This is important not only for Haiti, but also for Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic (which fact is evidenced by the presence of the Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic in this meeting), and for the entire region.

Thank you.