Delivered by Amiera AlHefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative
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At the outset, I would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Helen La Lime, for her insightful briefing and her efforts in Haiti. We also welcome the participation of His Excellency, Haiti’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean Victor Geneus in this meeting, as well as the representative of Dominican Republic. I also thank Dr. Arnoux Descardes for his valuable briefing.
Today’s meeting comes at a critical juncture. We witness a deteriorating security situation in Haiti with a significant increase in gang violence, which in one month, has left almost 200 dead. Women and girls continue to be subjected to sexual violence without any accountability. Abductions have become a primary source of income for gangs, including the abduction of UN personnel. These challenges are compounded by the already fragile humanitarian situation in the country, where today, more than 4.5 million Haitians are facing acute food insecurity. Haiti also continues to be exposed to natural disasters by the worsening impacts of climate change, which in turn, increases the need for humanitarian efforts, yet impedes the delivery of aid.
Against this backdrop, the UAE welcomes the findings of the Secretary-General’s strategic assessment, which will inform the coming period as we consider how BINUH can continue to support Haiti. We also look forward to constructive engagement with other Council members in this regard. The UAE would like to express its sincere gratitude to Mr. Murad Wahba and his team for their role in helping provide a clearer picture of the situation in Haiti.
I would like to point out three areas of focus:
First, a nationally owned, inclusive political process remains one of the most important tools in assisting Haiti on its path to peace and stability. The UAE believes that BINUH can contribute to achieving this objective, particularly through its efforts to facilitate space for national dialogue. In addition, and as we have emphasized many times in this Council, sustainability also requires guaranteeing women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in all efforts towards peace. In this regard, we welcome BINUH’s efforts to work with local women to identify recommendations that can advance their participation in the political sphere.
Second, we must support measures aimed at preventing and combating corruption. Anti-corruption measures must include tackling the trafficking and proliferation of illegal arms and illicit financial flows, which amplify armed gang violence, and in turn, undermines the stability of Haiti and impacts the region. We appreciate UNODC efforts in building Haiti’s capacities to tackle corruption. This includes launching initiatives that can strengthen border control, such as the Container Control Programme. We also fully support the efforts to strengthen cooperation between UNODC, the Haitian government and BINUH.
Third, the capacity of the Haitian National Police (HNP) must be strengthened so that it can respond effectively to Haiti’s worsening security situation and rising levels of gang-related violence. This includes increasing the HNP’s presence across the country as well as developing their intelligence capacity. In order to address the persistent rise in crimes of conflict-related sexual violence and hold perpetrators accountable, it is important to for the Haitian National Police to appoint gender protection officers. This will help to improve women’s and girls’ sustainable access to basic services, as well as other temporary response measures, such as the mobile clinics. In the same vein, all efforts to strengthen Haiti’s security sector will be more effective if complemented by community violence reduction programmes, which can directly address the root causes violence and the socio-economic disparity in Haiti.
In conclusion, the UAE reaffirms its continued solidarity with Haitians and its full support for BINUH and its efforts at achieving security and stability in Haiti.
Thank you, Madam President.