Delivered By: Mrs. Ameirah AlHefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative
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At the outset, I would like to express our sincere condolences to the government and the people of Gabon and to our colleagues here at the Gabonese mission following the death of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Adamu.
I would also like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Helen La Lime for her valuable briefing and her efforts in Haiti. We also welcome the participation of Haiti, Dominican Republic, Canada, and Belize.
In the context of today’s discussion, I would like to address four points relevant for Haiti’s path towards stability and prosperity:
First, we are encouraged by some of the progress made on the political track with the signing of the 21 December Accord. We hope that this Agreement will strengthen political dialogue, which remains essential for a shared vision among Haitian political actors. This will also contribute to improving the humanitarian, economic and security situation and ensuring Haiti’s long-term stability. We therefore reiterate our previous calls to all stakeholders to put aside their differences and engage in a constructive and inclusive dialogue, in order to create the necessary conditions for successful elections.
Second, violence will undoubtedly persist in Haiti as long as the crucial security, law enforcement and judicial institutions are not able to effectively respond to the dramatic increase of violence across the country. In this regard, we commend the efforts of the Haitian National Police, which must be built upon, especially in response to the persistent and alarming rise in levels of sexual and gender-based violence.
Addressing the security situation in a comprehensive and sustainable manner also entails combatting corruption and the trafficking and proliferation of illegal arms and illicit financial flows. We appreciate the efforts to UNODC to work with and build the capacity of Haitian authorities in dealing with illicit arms and financial flows. We also recognize the important role and continued engagement of regional actors in this regard.
Third, we are deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian crisis in Haiti, which must remain at the top of the Council’s priorities. The people of Haiti are suffering from severe food and water insecurity, high levels of poverty, and the country continues to be vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. These crises are compounded by the resurgence and rapid spread of cholera throughout the country and insufficient humanitarian aid. We once again condemn the obstruction of basic services and access to humanitarian aid, and the blockades of critical roads, which only exacerbate the already dire situation.
Fourth, we cannot ignore the repercussions of the humanitarian, health and security situation on children and their right to education. According to UNICEF, last year alone, more than 500,000 children in Haiti lost access to education across the country. These restrictions not only make children more vulnerable to targeting and recruitment by gangs, but it also prevents them from the attaining the necessary education to access economic opportunities and positively contribute to their communities, and it undermines future development efforts. The harm that young Haitians are currently suffering will continue to inflict the country’s future generations. It is critical for Haiti and other relevant actors to explore ways to safely reopen schools and ensure access to education, in a sustainable manner.
In conclusion, the UAE reaffirms its solidarity with the government and people of Haiti. We reiterate our support for the UN’s work in Haiti, including BINUH, to achieve security and stability in the country. We will also continue to cooperate constructively in discussions around the Haiti sanctions regime as an important tool to address gang-related violence in Haiti, as well as on any future discussions related to the SRSG’s proposal.