Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on Haiti
We thank the briefers for their insights. We welcome the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Haiti and the Dominican Republic to this meeting.
News that the situation in Port-au-Prince has stabilized is reassuring. But by all odds, Haiti is only one step away from a true disaster. What is happening there is a real war among the bands. To peaceful population, it means abductions, plundering, violence, and the already common fear for their lives. This situation has naturally led to protests triggered by the decision of the government to cancel fuel subsidies and accompanied by mass riots and demands for the leadership of the country to resign.
We hear claims that it is criminal circles and their sponsors who stand behind the protests. However, attempts to oversimplify the situation and underestimate the level of people’s discontent are clearly inappropriate here. We see that the people are largely disappointed and lose their trust in the authorities.
We repeatedly spoke about the need for broader political dialogue, and launch of electoral and reform processes. Unfortunately, we see no consistent or purposeful action aimed at bringing Haiti back to the constitutional track of development.
What is particularly disappointing is the fact that external players who can have real leverage on Port-au-Prince take no practical steps for crisis resolution in Haiti while holding aloof from the current developments. We all know Haiti’s complicated history and understand whom it is all about. Calls to stand with Haiti, including those made from the podium of the UN General Assembly are not enough. In particular, it is important to make efforts in order to ensure that violent assassination of President Moïse14 months ago be duly investigated and the guilty held accountable. We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that it has been almost six years without elections in Haiti and that the powers of the government and most of the parliament have long expired, i.a. in the context of the 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter. While at the same time far less serious problems in other regions receive vehement criticism or even threats on the part of some UNSC members.
You either need to be frank and call things by their real names or admit that you use double standards with regard to different countries on the Security Council agenda.
The international community needs to correct its mistakes, identify the true needs of Haitians and elaborate effective ways to support their efforts. This must be done without interfering in the country’s internal affairs which, as we know from history, never brings the desired results.
As for the proposals to introduce targeted sanctions against band leaders, we are ready to consider those. By all means, we need to block access of the leaders of criminal groups to finance, and deprive them of the possibility of movement. Another question is, to what extent they use foreign accounts and international travel and whether those targeted sanctions are going to influence the real situation in the country, where bands and mafia feel perfectly at home and in control. We need to pay close attention to the routes of illegal arms deliveries and movement of finance. Unless we stop the smuggle of weapons, it will continue to spiral up violence in Haiti – the country that has long deserved peace and progressive development.