Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on Haiti
We thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti Helen La Lime for her briefing on the situation in the country and the work of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti.
The state of affairs in Haiti instills growing concern. The security and socio-economic situations keep deteriorating, there is lack of unity on issues related to launching a constitutional process, and weakness of state institutions and the entire system of centralized and local governance. Besides, the humanitarian situation is worsening, i.a. due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, to which the Haitian healthcare system turned out unready for obvious reasons. The statistics of human rights violations, cases of exerting pressure on the judiciary, and limitations of civic freedoms is on the rise. Against this backdrop, in addition to broad public discontent, criminal groups boosted their activity.
We are convinced that this catastrophic scenario was prompted by the collapse of the political system that happened after the Parliament suspended its work over a year ago. Apparently, rule by decree fails to alleviate tension, but rather provokes it.
A clear example of that is strong public dislike for particular decisions that should normally be made during consultations with the parliament.
We see attempts of President Moïse to establish inclusive political dialogue to develop national approaches to key normalization issues, including constitutional reform, presidential and parliamentary elections. Regrettably, these steps have yielded no result so far.
We were surprised and concerned that a referendum that was initially planned for 26 June was postponed, of which we learned once Secretary-General’s report had already been issued. Draft amendments to the Constitution per se are subjected to public criticism, because they are put forward in the absence of parliament. Such radical and simultaneous changes of state system should have rested upon solid public support, which we do not see at the moment, to be frank.
Port-au-Prince needs responsible international assistance, and the current situation places special responsibility upon the UN presence in Haiti. We expect that while strictly abiding by its mandate and preserving its unbiased stance, BINUH will help its host country establish domestic national consent given maximum broad involvement of key political forces.
Let me also stress that amidst efforts to ensure security of civilian population, the task of settling political discords should not be left behind. Otherwise the efficiency of our efforts will be scarce.
Given the complex conditions that Haiti encounters at the moment, it would be very important if the Council sent a consolidated signal to support national dialogue.
Russia stands ready to provide all the required assistance to Haitians, so that the work of the Security Council could result in true normalization in Haiti, strengthen its sovereignty and self-sufficiency.