Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at an open VTC of UNSC members on Haiti
We thank SRSG La Lime for her briefing on a very complicated situation in Haiti and the work of the United Nations Integrated Office in this country (BINUH). We also thank Ms. Vivianne Roc for her briefing and welcome the participation of H.E. Jovenel Moïse in this VTC.
The political turbulence that has persisted in Haiti for several months, gave an impetus to growing activity of criminal groups that affects all strata of the society. This is particularly painful for the ordinary people who badly need a stable state, capable of responding to numerous problems – from natural disasters to epidemiological risks.
Foreign nationals also face risks in Haiti. Today we learned about kidnapping of two citizens of the Dominican Republic, which is very alarming news.
We understand the concern of the protesters with security of the civil population, which it is the primary task of the government to ensure. We are convinced that the situation deteriorated due to the lack of consensus among the political circles in the first place. This polarization has already led to the Parliament stopping its work. Now it does not allow to get down to practical resolution of the country’ s current problems, first of all those related to security, to say nothing of humanitarian issues, as well as economic restoration and development.
The situation in Haiti is not unique, meaning that the key to settlement is always in a political solution, which is only possible once there is broad internal dialogue between the political forces and the society. In that matter, the Security Council has assigned a special role to BINUH, whose mandate is based on promoting internal Haitian dialogue.
We expect that the work at this track will be galvanized in view of the landmark political developments that are upcoming this year – presidential and parliamentary elections, as well as public discussion of the constitutional reform. During this crucial phase of Haitian history, we need to be sure that all views and opinions are duly taken onboard.
We welcome readiness of the Secretary-General to provide electoral support to Haiti upon request of the government. We know that other countries of the region submitted similar requests, however the response was not always the same. We call to bring criteria of such support to a common denominator.
Last time the Council discussed the situation in Haiti, we warned that should the practice of unilateral decision-making persist, this would magnify risks of escalation. The recent four months proved right our concerns. Growing protest activity and complaints against the executive power raise from the vacuum in legislative power and concerns over independence of the judicial branch.
Obviously, a reasonable balance is needed, which can be ensured only once there is respectful dialogue based on the effective legislation.
Port-au-Prince needs responsible international assistance in order to avoid further social division and prevent the situation from evolving into a humanitarian crisis on a regional scale. In its capacity as a UNSC Member State, Russia will keep working to ensure that UN assistance result in true normalization in Haiti, strengthening of its sovereignty and self-sufficiency.